Absent for the past several years, after-school programming will return to the York City School District for students in grades K-8 this fall.
Superintendent Eric Holmes said the district will contract with Martin Library to offer tutoring, activities and dinner for students at each of the district's seven K-8 schools every evening Monday through Friday starting in October.
"I believe this will go a long way" toward making the city and students safer, Holmes said.
He said the program will be funded entirely with federal Title I money, which the government funnels to schools with a high percentage of low-income students.
Parents will be able to enroll their children for free, Holmes said.
How it works: The program will start at 3:30 p.m. each day with an hour of tutoring for students in grades 3 to 8. Students in kindergarten, first grade and second grade will participate in a program called Leap Into Science.
Then, for about 90 minutes, students can participate in clubs, sports or other activities. The goal is to coordinate with existing programs to maximize enrollment, Holmes said.
For example, a Girl Scout troop will continue to meet at Devers K-8 during the time between tutoring and dinner, he said.
The program means K-8 students will have access to breakfast, lunch and dinner at school each day, Holmes said.
The contract with Martin Library also guarantees the availability of tutors. During the 2013-14 year, the number of students needing tutors exceeded the number of teachers available to do the work, Holmes said.
What's next: The district has budgeted about $715,000 to fund the program through the 2014-15 school year. Most of that money will cover the compensation of site coordinators, tutors and Leap Into Science instructors.
The district has not diverted Title 1 funds from any other program, Holmes said. The cost of the after-school program will be funded by leftover dollars from previous Title one grants and current funds from school-improvement grants to individual schools, he said.
That includes the cost of the dinners and the compensation to cafeteria staff, Holmes said.
Holmes proposed the idea to the district's school board Monday. The board is scheduled to vote on a contract with Martin Library at its Aug. 20 meeting.
Then, he said, the district will actively promote the program to parents.
Plans are also in the works for a similar program called Second Shift at William Penn Senior High School, but it's not yet officially approved, Holmes said.
Teens would have access to the high school between 3 and 9 p.m. for activities.
Officials are also working on incorporating an intervention aspect in the program for teens picked up by police officers for "nuisance" crimes.
— Reach Erin James at email@example.com.