After-school programs get their money, must revive nearly from scratch Delay in state funds forced closings at two Carroll schools in November

January 26, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

The money is here, but the people are gone.

Before the after-school program at Northwest Middle School can reopen in February, the school system has to find and hire a person to run it.

Nancy Shaw Hart, who had been supervising the program last fall when it started, found another job during a hiatus in funding, said Jolene Sullivan, director of the county Department of Citizen Services.

When they're operating, the programs at Northwest and West Middle Schools provide after-school activities such as cheerleading, journalism and drama for middle-schoolers until 6 p.m. weekdays.

They are a joint venture between Ms. Sullivan's department and the schools, with the $25,060 grant coming from the state Department of Education and Child Care Administration.

But the state was very late coming forth with the money it had promised, and so by Nov. 4, the county had to stop operating the Northwest program until the money arrived, Ms. Sullivan said.

"We had hoped to keep it running just on the tuition, but it wasn't working," Ms. Sullivan said. Parents pay, based on their income, either $35, $25 or $15 per eight-week session at Northwest.

West Middle School's program has been around for one year longer than the one at Northwest and has a higher enrollment.

It was able to keep operating until Nov. 20 with the tuition paid by parents. Tuition there is a flat $35 fee per eight weeks.

But until the state money arrived, West couldn't reopen after ending its first session Nov. 20.

Ms Sullivan said she expects West also to reopen the first week in February.

When the check from the state finally arrived Dec. 16, it was only because the county's child and youth coordinator drove to Annapolis to pick it up.

"We didn't trust them to [mail it]," said Leslie Hinebaugh, who left Jan. 12 as the child and youth coordinator. "They told us they mailed it before."

If they did, it never arrived, she said.

The first installment Ms. Hinebaugh picked up was for $1,600 from the state, for a total grant of $25,060 for the year at Northwest. The grant for West Middle is $11,064.

Ms. Sullivan said the school system plans to interview applicants vTC next week so the Northwest program can begin the first week in February.

The after-school program at East Middle in Westminster is run by the city of Westminster and has no connection to the ones at West and Northwest.

But East Middle students are eligible to participate in the state-funded program at West, and can ride a bus there, Ms. Sullivan said.

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