For some kids coming to school early and staying later isn’t a bad thing. At all five of our Jenison Elementary schools and the ECC, before and after school programs are providing intentionally fun and educational environments for students of busy, working families.
From 645 – 9am and 330 – 6pm kids can enjoy a healthy snack, gym time, art projects, outside time and get help with their homework. Currently, there are just over 400 students enrolled in the program and attendance varies each day depending on families and their schedules. On average, however, schools see about 18 – 30 kids each day.
Each school’s program has their own variations including “Technology Friday’s” when students an earn time towards video games or ipads. Other days of the week they are playing board games and interacting with teachers and each other.
Melissa Caster is the Director of the program and has been for seventeen years. She says that “our main goal is for the children to have a fun, safe place to come to while their parents are at work.” Melissa is especially grateful for the staff that work with her to make a difference for kids, some of whom have been in the program for over ten years. “We have great staff who care for the kids, who want the kids to succeed, they take great pride in working for Jenison and being a part of the school district. I’ve had kids come back [who are graduating] give hugs and say “thank you for always being there”.”
Rosewood Principal, Lloyd Gingrich appreciates the the important work of the program. “Before and after school care is truly an important service to our students and families. The staff does a job well above and beyond just child care. They help students complete their homework, give them opportunities to play active games where they are exercising, provide snacks and make their time here fun and creative. It’s an important service for working families because they need a safe and stimulating environment for their children while they are starting or finishing their work day. Even though it happens outside of our school day, the before and after school program is an important part of our school.”
There is a rolling enrollment to join the program and there is a fee of $8 per session that your child is present [as opposed to other programs in the area where parents pay for the days the child is signed up, regardless of attendance]. The program does not take snow days and is open for a great summer camp as well. If you are interested in having your child be part of the summer camp program please note that it does fill up and registration paperwork is available after Spring Break.