Students learn lessons from after school programs

Programs fill two-hour void between school and work hours


Many children are the most susceptible to substance abuse during the after-school hours before parents get home.

Most working parents get off work at 5 p.m., but their children are usually out of school by 3 p.m.

In an effort to help these parents, and fill some of that two-hour void after school, Craig elementary schools offer after-school programs to entertain children and teach them new skills.

They do so through the After School Enrichment Program.

"The basic idea is to teach kids early on how to get involved in activities after school," said Alison Hobson, school counselor at Sunset Elementary. "A lot of research shows that later on, drug experimentation occurs in that two-hour time span after school, and before parents get home."

Hobson said the program promotes socialization among students, while helping them have fun learning new ideas and skills.

The program is funded by the Substance Abuse Prevention Program, which was developed to promote abstinence among young people in Moffat County.

A few of the classes offered after school at Sunset include Spanish, Arts and Crafts, computer science, and a "Yoga" type class where students are taught stretching and breathing exercises.

The classes are taught by teachers and paraprofessionals, but volunteer help could still be beneficial, Hobson said.

"We had such a huge turnout this year that we had to turn away some students," she said.

Vicki Olsen, counselor at Ridgeview Elementary, said the After School Enrichment Program helps to lessen the time latch-key kids spend alone after school.

"The schools saw there was a need for after school activities for children. Especially children whose parents work," she said. "Providing after school activities is a good thing the schools do to help the community."

Not only do parents and the community benefit from the program, but the students do as well, according to Olsen.

"It's a time for students to be creative and learn without the expectations that go along with the regular school day," she said. "They have a good time with it."

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