One elementary school in West Valley is noticing serious success with its after-school program. One reason may be that it offers what other schools don't.
It's Monday, and the news team at Monroe Elementary is ready to broadcast its show. The program normally includes the usual news segments, including weather, health segments and even "man on the street" interviews.
Last school year, two kids went around the school asking other students if they were ready for the CRT exams.
Why did they create a broadcasting class? Because they could.Learning Specialist Hazel Peterson said, "When the grant came for after-school \[programs\], we just kind of said, ‘What is it that we've always dreamed of being able to do for students and haven't been able to do?'" But the broadcasting class is just one of many courses offered in the after-school program.
"[There's] sports, piano, violin, viola. It takes in drama, broadcasting and dance. It takes in puppeteering. It takes in quilting," she said.
Peterson says later in the year, opera classes are coming, and the students produce their own show.
"Oh, yes, they're all original operas. You bet," she said.
The participation in these programs is extremely high at Monroe. If you add up the children who take part in after-school programs and academic tutoring, 80 percent of the students are involved, and the year is just starting. At the end of last year, they had nearly 100 percent participation.
Margaret Peterson, executive director of the Community Education Partnership of West Valley, said, "We've been very, very fortunate to have the support that we have and get the grants that we have."
The partnership finds grants for after-school programs. Peterson noticed a serious need for these programs when she was on the West Valley City Council.
"Juvenile delinquency was high from the hours between 3:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon. We have kids whose parents, one or both, work. They were latch-key kids going home and not having anything to do, or being the younger ones, being supervised by 8-year-olds," she said.
She says she doesn't think there were more than two programs out of 27 public schools in the city.