District offers two after-school programs


Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.

If you're looking for an after-school program offered onsite in Alachua County Public Schools, then you're in luck because there are two programs from which you can choose.

The 21st Century Learning Centers for elementary and middle school students offers parent free workshops. The Extended Day Enrichment Program for elementary school students doesn't offer parent workshops and has a cost based on a student's school lunch status.

The 21st Century Learning Centers is available in east Gainesville at Rawlings and Lake Forest elementary schools as well as Lincoln and Howard Bishop middle schools and the Reichert House Youth Academy. The Extended Day Enrichment Program, or EDEP, is available in east Gainesville at Lake Forest, Williams, Rawlings, Duval and Metcalfe elementary schools.

The Extended Day program is funded through parent fees, while the 21st Century program is funded through a federal grant administered by the Florida Department of Education.

Misty Martello, EDEP office assistant, said EDEP is an enrichment program that also offers homework help everyday school is in session during the school year.

"We're located at the schools and we offer a competitive enrichment program," Martello said.

Kimberly Sims, project service specialist for Alachua County Public Schools, said 21st Century offers project-based learning that incorporates enrichment and academic activities to encourage critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

21st Century

Sims said the program, which is set to start Sept. 3, will include tutoring, mentoring, homework help and enrichment activities such as dance, art and crafts, music, culinary arts, team sports, character education and other activities. It also offers monthly parent workshops.

Cathy McNamee, elementary project director for 21st Century, said the program will be offered to students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Lake Forest and Rawlings. Hours will be 2:30-5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday at Rawlings and immediately after school until 4:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday at Lake Forest. Howard Bishop and Lincoln will offer the program from 8-9 a.m. and 3:45-6:15 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Reichert House offers it program from 2-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.

She said students attending other schools can participate in the program, but parents will have to provide transportation to the school.

"We follow the school guide of activities to support what the students are learning in class," McNamee said. Applications are availble now at www.sbac.edu by clicking on "Parents and Students," "After school Programs" and "21st Century" followed by "Applications. They also will be available the first day of school.

For more information, call 352-955-7550.

Extended Day

Martello said the program will begin when school starts on Monday. Hours for all elementary schools in east Gainesville will be 1:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 12:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

She said the cost is based on the student's lunch status, whether full pay, reduced or free, and includes a $25 registration fee per family.

The weekly fees will be: Full pay, $40 for first child and $35 for each additional child; reduced lunch, $27 for first child and $23 for each additional child, and free lunch, $17 for first child and $14 for each additional child.

The program includes homework help and enrichment activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, Girl Scouts, cooking and other activities. Registration is available now at the child's zoned school and also during Meet Your Teacher/Orientation events, which will be held Thursday and Friday at the various schools.

For more information, call 352-955-7766.

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