After-school program is on

BURBANK — Staff members at two Burbank elementary schools are gearing up for a new after-school program this semester courtesy of state grants.

George Washington and Walt Disney elementary schools each received $112,500 to install and maintain the program on campus in the new year.

Two other schools in the Burbank district also received the grant for a total of more than $510,000, but Washington and Disney elementary schools are first-time recipients.

“This is going to be fabulous,” said Jane Clausen, principal of Washington Elementary School. “It’s a great opportunity for our community. This will be child care for free, from dismissal until 6 p.m., and it’s part physical activity, part homework and part enrichment activities.”

The school board unanimously approved the acceptance of the grants Thursday.

Students will have time to work on homework and academic pursuits, arts activities and physical activities during the after-school program, Clausen said.

Teachers will supervise students with the help of Burbank Boys & Girls Club aides, said Sue Boegh, director of educational support services at the district.

New equipment and supplies will also be purchased with grant money to get the project going, and teachers will be able to choose the types of enrichment activities children participate in, said Sandra Cavalheiro, principal of Disney Elementary School.

“It will involve homework and then some kind of enrichment activity, and our teachers are talking about cooking class, putting on plays, anything that’s enrichment,” Cavalheiro said.

Both schools run limited after-school programs in which students can participate at any date, for any amount of time.

The activities at the current after-school programs at both schools are limited to arts and crafts and free time for catching up on homework.

The After School Education and Safety Program provided by the state will be enrollment-based and require children to stay a minimum of three hours after school.

“Parents who commit are committing to their students coming five days a week, because to make a difference academically you need to have five continued days of attendance,” Boegh said.

Parents will be notified when the programs at each school become available for enrollment, she said, with a sign-up event being held sometime in the evening at each school in January.

Participation in the program is on a first-come, first-served basis and is free to parents.

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