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OXNARD : Businesses to Fund After-School Project

Oxnard businesses pledged Friday to help fund an after-school program aimed at keeping children busy when their parents aren’t home.

The project, called “Oxnard Youth After School Program,” was organized by residents and business owners who worry that children who are unsupervised after school are at risk of joining gangs and getting into other kinds of trouble.

“Our purpose is to wake up our community to the problems that we have with our young kids,” said Ventura County Supervisor John K. Flynn, who heads the program. “It is a responsibility that we are taking as a community.”

Oxnard Elementary School District officials are set to vote March 23 on whether to allow the program to operate in two of the district’s elementary schools--Lemonwood and Driffill.

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If approved, the program will begin in September and would be free to children ages 6 to 12.

It will cost approximately $44,000 a year to run the after-school program. The cost includes staff salary, arts and crafts materials and liability insurance.

Some of the organizations that have committed to provide funding for the program include the McDonald’s restaurant corporation of Oxnard and Port Hueneme, Honda of Oxnard, Barber Ford and Isuzu of Ventura and General Telephone.

The program, which would be administered either by the Boys & Girls Club or Oxnard’s Recreation Department, is to be funded solely by businesses.

The centers would be staffed by high school and college students, and by volunteer senior citizens of the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging.


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