YMCA to offer after school program

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Cassville R-4 School District has entered into a new partnership with the Cassville YMCA. Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, the local Y will offer an after school program at the Cassville Intermediate School.

"This is going to be a good partnership," said Cassville Superintendent Richard Asbill. "It has the potential to help a lot of families.

"This is just another one of the pieces in a successful community," said Asbill. "The Y's offer to work with the school district reinforces the idea that the Cassville community is committed to taking care of its kids. We are really excited about this partnership."

The Cassville YMCA's Primetime Program will begin immediately following the regular school day. Childcare services, which are for kindergarten through sixth grade students, will be offered until 5:45 p.m. each school day.

"We are really excited about this program," said Bob Crouthamel, Cassville YMCA sports and youth director. "It began with an email I sent to Richard Asbill after hearing that the district might not be offering an after school program next year.

"The school district has been fantastic to work with," said Crouthamel. "They have been on board with making this happen from the first time we spoke."

The Primetime Program will be structured using a schedule of events. Each afternoon will begin with snack time, and then children will have the opportunity to complete homework and receive tutoring services.

Organized games, crafts and free time activities will be offered after the homework and tutoring session.

"Activities will be similar to those offered during our Summer Odyssey Day Camp," said Crouthamel. "We will keep the kids occupied. They will not be bored."

Crouthamel said different age appropriate games and activities will be offered for children in different grade levels.

"We will be looking to hire people for this program," said Crouthamel. "We will need a site director and helpers. I will oversee the program as the youth director."

The Primetime Program will also focus on safety. Parents will be required to provide a list of individuals who are authorized to pick up children. Adults picking up children will also be required to show a photo identification.

"We will have a strict pick up process," said Crouthamel. "We will have a locked door at the back of the intermediate school building. We will not let any adult into the building unless they are on the list as someone authorized to pick up a child."

A minimal cost will apply to the Primetime Program, but financial assistance will be available to families. Children who qualify for reduced lunches will automatically receive a 25 percent discount, and children who qualify for free lunches will receive a 50 percent discount.

"On days that there is no school, we will offer a school day out program at the YMCA," said Crouthamel. "That will also be structured like our summer day camp program. We will provide a morning snack and an afternoon snack and ask parents to send a bag lunch with their children."

The Cassville YMCA will also continue to offer transportation to the YMCA two days a week. Crouthamel expects several fifth and sixth grade students to take advantage of this service and enjoy activities at the YMCA after school twice a week.

The Cassville R-4 School District will begin its 2012-13 school year on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Parents interested in signing up for the Cassville YMCA's Primetime Program should visit the Y on Highway 248 in Cassville or call Crouthamel at 846-1535.

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