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Popular program gets green light

Molly Shore

A partnership between the Burbank Unified School District and the

Burbank Boys and Girls Club to provide after-school tutoring will be

expanded from one to six elementary schools beginning Sept. 4.

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Edison, Emerson, Jefferson, Miller and Stevenson elementary

schools will offer after-school enrichment programs sponsored by the

Boys and Girls Club, including tutoring, basic computer training, and

arts and crafts.

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Shanna Vaughan, director of operations at the Boys and Girls Club,

said a pilot program at Roosevelt Elementary School has been so

successful that principals at other schools were flooded with calls

from interested parents.

“Word traveled fast, and more and more signed up,” she said. “At

the end of the school year we had 68 kids.”

As part of the arrangement unanimously approved by the school

board Thursday night, the club will receive the use of three rooms at

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each school free of charge. The club, which hires college tutors to

aid students, will only pay for utilities. Each school will be able

to accommodate 65 children for the after- school programs.

Board member Paul Krekorian said the programs make sense because

there is a great need for affordable child care throughout the city.

“What sets this apart is the way the program is tied into the

curriculum of the school,” he said. “The nice thing about this

program is that it’s able to offer some extra services we’d like to

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offer the students.”

The cost to parents is $90 per month, per student, plus a

one-time annual fee of $50 to pay for educational materials and

snacks. Children whose parents sign them up for the program will

receive memberships to the Boys and Girls Club.

Vaughan said the club is seeking federal, state and private grant

money to offer scholarships to children whose parents cannot afford

the program.

The program will be staffed by college students who are

knowledgeable in various disciplines, as well as volunteers from

colleges, high schools and the Joslyn Adult Center. The after-school

classes begin at 2:30 p.m. and end at 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The program has three components, Vaughan said. The learning

center will offer tutoring, homework assistance, reading programs and

writing classes. In the computer lab center, students can play

educational computer games, while the arts and crafts center

encourages students to express their creativity through various art

mediums.

In a letter to school board members, Roosevelt Elementary school

teacher Kathy Wills-Sarna praised the Boys and Girls Club for working

closely with teachers to help meet the academic, social and emotional

needs of students.


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