Though the project is still in its infancy, a Faulkton Out of School Program Steering Committee is now to the point where they are looking to hire someone as a program director.
“Our first job was to determine what the needs of the community were,” committee member Brenda Ferguson said. “In all, we have an interest potential of 30 students who could utilize an after-school program. Right now the daycares are so full that we’ll be able to relieve some of the pressures from their current waiting lists.”
“At our last meeting,” said Sorensen, “We decided to call our program an Out of School program. We also decided, that before we go further, we need to find someone who can be its director and coordinator.”
The plan so far is that the organization will be state licensed and 501C3 tax exempt non-profit, and that it will serve students from kindergarten to sixth grade and will start immediately after school is dismissed. The program will also run year round, with programming after school during the school months, and a summer program.
“Whoever we choose as our director, it will be from strict requirements,” said Ferguson. “We want to offer parents a much better option than babysitting by television.”
“We are still working on formulating ideas, but a licensed program will mean income eligibility, so that it can be affordable and available to any family who needs it,” Sorensen said. “The program’s funding will be derived largely from the enrollment fees, but we want to make the program very worthwhile for our students. It should include a healthy snack and be an extension of the school day, allowing students to study and do their homework with tutoring available.”
“Also we’d like to include things like arts and crafts, sports, games, field trips and special projects, multiple activities to make it both a good learning experience and a lot of fun so that kids want to come every day,” Sorensen continued. “Of course, all of this is still speculative. We have several prospective locations in mind, but nothing set in stone. What we need to begin to make it a reality is the right person as the director. Until then, there are a lot of unknowns.”
Ferguson and Sorensen said that the ideal candidate is someone with a four-year degree and teaching experience, preferable who has worked with elementary age students and has child skills. The director of the program and subsequent staff members could be a current member of the school staff so long as their duties with the program did not conflict with their contract with the school.
As for the practical needs of the program, as yet they have no permanent space from which to operate, they will also need equipment and the ability to pay their employees. There will be a startup fundraiser during the Homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 13.
“This may become an annual fundraiser for the program,” said Sorensen, “for whatever the program’s particular needs might be. But as we are starting from scratch, we will need money with which to start. We are planning to apply for grants, but grants are not a sustainable form of revenue, and we want to build this program with stability and sustainability in mind.”
Persons interested in the position or simply learning more about the Out of School program should contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org