Archive for Thursday, November 13, 2003

Program gives students care on shortened school days

November 13, 2003

Although she stays home with her kids, Heather Wrinkle feels for parents and caregivers whose daycare plans are thrown for a loop each month with Eudora schools' early release days and the occasional inservice.
"I feel bad for some of the single moms," Wrinkle said. "I don't know many bosses that would let their employees off as much as they need."
Through the Eudora United Methodist Church, Wrinkle and volunteers are setting up an after school program at the gym in the old middle school building downtown for those early release and inservice days. The program will kick off next month.
"I hear too many stories of first-graders being home alone," Wrinkle said.
The pilot program will be offered to students in first through fifth grades from 1:15 to 3:30 p.m. on early release Wednesdays, and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on inservice days. Students will be offered afternoon snacks but required to bring their own sack lunch on inservice days.
During the several hours of the afternoon program, Wrinkle said the agenda would be pretty easy-going, with arts and crafts tables set up and gymnasium games available. When students would be there all day, she said the program would offer more organized activities. Students will get to the program on the shuttle buses that run to the downtown building each school day.
Wrinkle said Eudora's elementary schools had been supportive of the idea.
"My little idea just kind of exploded," she said, adding that including older students in thefuture was a possibility.
The program will charge $5 per student on half days and $20 for the full days, or $15 each for two or more children in the same family. Because the program won't be a profit-making endeavor, Wrinkle said she was looking for volunteers, whether they were high school students or parents, as well as donations of balls, art supplies and snacks.
To enroll their children, parents and caregivers can obtain a registration packet by calling Wrinkle at 542-2096 or the church at 542-3200. The packets must be filled out and returned by Dec. 3 for students to participate Dec. 10, an early release day.
"I'm fortunate enough to stay home with my kids, and others don't have that option," Wrinkle said. "We're still a pretty small community where we can take care of each other a little better."

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