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After-school programs key to education

As Ohio, and ultimately the entire nation, looks to fix its public education system that remains broken, real attention must be paid to the value of after-school programs.

The Chesapeake School District recently got some good news when it was informed that it had been approved for more grant funding for its PEAKE after-school program, bringing the total award to more than $2.5 million.

Although several Lawrence County schools have some form of after-school program, the reality is many are underfunded, short on resources and under-utilized for these same reasons.

It is a significant challenge for parents to find quality child care or after-school programs. Most school days end well before 3 p.m., but the workday, for most people, doesn’t end until 5 p.m. or later.

Even if you can find a quality facility, daycare isn’t always the best option.

Having an education-focused after-school program where parents can be assured their children are both safe and learning would be a significant benefit for many families.

In the end, it is the students who will reap the rewards.

Although program like this should primarily be paid for by those who use it, a dedicated funding source is needed to establish any after-school program.

Parents must do their part, but school districts and the government agencies that fund them must rethink how they view school’s role.

Educating children doesn’t start and stop when the school bell rings.