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New after-school program set to begin

Colleton County now has an after-school program that will keep students on school grounds after the education day is done.

In a board meeting last week, the Colleton County School Board voted to approve the creation of a first-ever afterschool program for all public schools.

The program will keep students at their respective school campuses after school each day until the end of a standard work day. The program is meant to help parents who work, according to Tim Mabry, a Colleton County School Board. Mabry is also the vice-chairman of the school board.

“We hope that this program will have a very positive impact on the community as a whole, and will definitely help parents,” said Mabry.

According to Mabry, details of the program are still being created. It is unclear if teachers will be responsible for the program’s direction each day. It is unclear if any such responsibilities will occur at additional salary costs for the after-care instructors. The program will, however, begin at the start of the coming school year.

The first day of school for students in the coming 2018-2019 school year is August 20th.

The after-school/after-care program will operate at a fee for all guardians and parents of children who attend the pre-kindergarten program at Black Street’s Early Childhood Education Center.

The program will also be offered at all elementary schools in the district, according to the district’s Web site.

Any fees that the district obtains for the program will cycle back into the costs of the after-school care, said Mabry. “We want it to be as self-sufficient as possible,” he said.

Talk of an after-school program began among district leaders at the end of the most-recent school year. Officials with the school district began the conversation by asking parents and guardians to take an online survey: this survey gave district officials feedback on whether an after-school program was needed or wanted. Mabry said the general response from that feedback request was positive, with most people asking for the program to start.

Neighboring counties, like Berkeley County, already offer after-school care for enrolled students in elementary and middle schools. According to that county’s Web site, these programs typically last until 6 p.m., with costs differing based on daily or weekly after-care needs.

“This will be a trial run for us this year, but we will learn from it and we are happy about it,” Mabry said, about Colleton’s program.

Heather Walters (1494 Posts)