By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
Greene County Schools Superintendent Dr. Andrea Whitmarsh gave the Greene Board of Supervisors an update on the county’s after school program with the assistance of the YMCA staff from Charlottesville at their October 22nd meeting.
Whitmarsh reviewed the history of the after school program including the announcement in February 2019 of the pending closing of the program due to several outside factors. The program was critical for many working families and the staff spent a great deal of time researching options. As a part of her review of operations, Whitmarsh indicated she did a search of neighboring school systems to see how they handled their after school programs.
She found Nelson County, who doesn’t have a YMCA program in their county, similar to Greene County, actually partners with Lynchburg’s YMCA to provide their after school program. That lead Whitmarsh to contact the YMCA in Charlottesville to see if they could work out a similar situation.
Roderick Howard, Executive Director of the Brooks Family YMCA, addressed the Board of Supervisors and first stated that they were honored to be asked to provide the after school program for Greene County. In addition, CEO Jessica Maslaney said they were excited to serve Greene County and hoped it would lead to more programs in Greene.
Program Director Caroline Butler gave the Supervisors a presentation of the program that currently has 44 students from kindergarten to fifth grade enrolled and runs from 3 – 6:30 pm. The program includes both time for homework and physical activity.
The presentation also included a testimonial from a parent thanking them for the program and their child has nothing but positive things to say about the program.
Butler closed by outlining plans for a 2020 summer program at Ruckersville Elementary School with the hope to expand to older students and possibly have a separate program on the Stanardsville campus.
All of the Supervisors had nothing but thanks and praise for the program. Howard addressed the fact that the new program is more expensive than the prior program. He stressed that the YMCA offers financial aid and will work with families to find a way to make the program affordable.
Chairman Bill Martin (Stanardsville) stated that the Y program exceeded our hope of what could be done. He asked what other types of programs would be made available to the county in the future. Maslaney outlined a plan to do an assessment of needs of the county and have interaction with the stakeholders to determine what would be most beneficial to Greene County.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at http://www.freeenterpriseforum.org