Sign-ups under way for after-school programs

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Students who want to learn how to survive in the wilderness, study American heritage or brush up on Spanish should act quickly.

Sign-up deadline for the fall session of Recreational Afterschool Doorway (RAD) is Friday, and the season brings new after-school offerings, director Dianne Gould said.

"Classes are filling up quickly," she said. "We have some new ones that should be interesting."

RAD offers one after-school class a week for six weeks to fifth- and sixth-grade students. For the past four years, the program has offered at least academic, foreign language, musical and physical activity courses.

But organizers added to that list, and this season, they are offering 17 classes a week that run the gamut. New classes include a course called "Trails, Trees and Twigs" intended to teach students how to survive in the wilderness by identifying edible plants. Another new course called "All-American" will teach students about American history.

The class will engage students in learning how to fold an American flag and will include sessions about writing letters to soldiers stationed in Iraq.

A new fundraising class will teach students different ways to make money by engaging them in specific projects.

"Grab Bag," which takes students on a different sporting event each week, continues to be the most popular pick, Gould said.

Gould said she heard feedback that the RAD program would no longer be offering afterschool activities, but that's not true.

RAD was funded by an $50,000-a-year grant for three years by the Colorado Trust, but that has expired. RAD is waiting for the results of 18 grant applications, Gould said.

RAD has trimmed administrative costs and has cut one position to be able to offer programs. Its office is in Craig Intermediate School to save on costs of renting an office. Gould said she cut her salary and hours to be able to offer programs, as well.

Gould said it also is a misconception that RAD is connected to Boys & Girls Club of Craig. RAD offers specific afterschool programs.

Students also can get after-school help on homework.

"There really is no duplication of services," she said.

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