After-school program underway
For working parents, the start of school provides a place for their children to be from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., but they are often faced with the problem of finding their children a place to go until they get off work in the evenings.
Other parents may simply want to find a way for their child to be involved in productive activities in the afternoons and receive help with homework and a supplement to what their child is already learning in school.
The answer to both of these situations is found in the Franklin County T.R.A.C.K.S. Afterschool Program, which is offered at nine different schools throughout the county.
Luanne Vickery, who serves as the student drug testing program coordinator and the intervention counselor, said the T.R.A.C.K.S. program provides tax deductable childcare in a safe, supervised environment and academic enrichment through games, activities and literature.
“Through T.R.A.C.K.S., children in Franklin County don’t have to become one of the 25 percent of children in Alabama who are known as ‘latch key kids,’” Vickery said. “This situation places children and teens at grave risk for juvenile crime, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and other problems. It also means students are wasting precious time when they could be learning.”
Sue Entrekin, Community Education’s prevention programs coordinator, said parents who have sent their children to the T.R.A.C.K.S. program have expressed how much they appreciate knowing their children are in a safe and caring environment and are also learning and having fun at the same time.
“The staff at all of our site locations consists of veteran and well-trained teachers who are adequately prepared to help children with their homework so parents can spend more quality time with their children once they get home from work,” Entrekin said. “But besides homework help, there are also fun programs that provide enrichment through music and arts and crafts.”
Entrekin also added the social aspect of the T.R.A.C.K.S. program was a benefit for children.
“Instead of sitting at home by themselves or with a single babysitter, the T.R.A.C.K.S. program offers the opportunity for children to be with other children their own age who become their friends, even outside of the program,” she said. “They participate in age-appropriate programs and have fun while doing so.”
The Franklin County T.R.A.C.K.S. Program is offered Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. For registration information, rates or other information, contact Sue Entrekin or Dr. Susan Hargett at 256-331-0005. Registration forms are also available online at www.franklin.k12.al.us under the Community Education tab.
Programs are offered at the following schools:
Russellville City Schools
• West Elementary PreK-6
• Russellville Elementary 3-5
• Russellville Middle 6-8
Franklin County Schools
• Phil Campbell Elementary PreK-6
• Red Bay Elementary PreK-6
• Vina High K – 6
• Belgreen High PreK-6
• Tharptown Elementary PreK-6
• East Franklin Jr. High PreK-6