Central Vermont parents, policymakers and others are joining in a nationwide push to promote the importance of after-school programs.
At Union Elementary School in Montpelier and six other central Vermont towns, Community Connections has offered daily after-school opportunities for K-12 students for the past dozen years. Kids participate in everything from cooking to kayaking. Friday, Nov. 16, the group takes part in a nationwide effort to celebrate and call attention to the work of these programs and the threats they face from federal cuts, like the impending fiscal cliff.
"It's a safe place to be in, especially the hours of 2-6. It's a great place for them to have a great, healthy snack. It's also a great place for them to do curriculum activities like arts and crafts, we have a book club, they have outdoors adventure throughout the community. And it just brings everybody together in a safe place," said Diadel Ortiz of Community Connections.
A recent study showed that over 40 percent of Vermont's K-12 children are responsible for taking care of themselves after school unsupervised.
Friday's program at Union Elementary goes from 3-6 p.m.