Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Offer Some Enrichment after School Elementary Kids Can Be in Program

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Offer Some Enrichment after School Elementary Kids Can Be in Program

Article excerpt

Byline: Maggie FitzRoy, Shorelines staff writer

Parents looking for after-school care for their children will have some expanded options this year at Ponte Vedra Palm Valley and M.K. Rawlings Elementary schools.

A new program called After Class Enrichment will be available for kindergarten through fifth-graders and will be housed within the school buildings and staffed by school employees.

In the past, the Winston Family YMCA held after-school programs in the schools. But those programs are being moved to the YMCA building next to Landrum Middle School, off St. Johns County Road 210.

Now the two elementary schools have their own programs. Two full time positions have been created for the programs at both schools. Pat Forsythe has been hired as full-time director at Rawlings and Kim LaMondie is full-time director at Ponte Vedra Palm Valley.

"I think it's exciting," said Rawlings Principal Pherbia Engdahl. "I think it will be exciting for the kids."

Ponte Vedra Palm Valley Principal Kathleen McCarthy agreed: "I think it's a great opportunity for our families to have quality care that is fun and motivating for kids with some academic structure."

Forsythe said the programs are modeled after similarly successful programs at Julington Creek and Cunningham Creek elementary schools in the northwest section of the county and will provide children with closely supervised group activities, guidance with homework and tutoring if needed. Enrichment camps will also be offered, including dance, music and tennis.

The program's main objective, said Forsythe, is to provide quality after-school care and enrichment activities. In addition, the schools will earn commissions on the enrichment camps, which will be available for an extra fee and provided by outside contractors.

The program at Rawlings will be staffed by two additional full-time counselors -- Lynda Wing and Trish Arnold. A certified teacher, Brenda Brooks, will be providing homework assistance as well. …

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