Opinion: Towns need support for after-school learning programs

I believe every Vermont community and family should have access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs for their children.
Students thrive after school, especially when it comes to learning. Afterschool learning opportunities in Addison County allow students to participate in programs that enrich them academically; literacy, math, science, technology and art are presented in workshops that appeal to students in a unique, low-pressure environment.
Afterschool learning opportunities spill over to the school day. So while many students might be at home watching TV, others, whose families can afford it, are developing skills in science, technology, engineering, art and math. This is great, except programming like this MUST be available to ALL students. After school matters.
Expanded learning opportunities are an integral part of Vermont’s education system; we need to make sure that they are fully utilized, sustainable and accessible to all. 
Dedicated state funding for afterschool and summer programs would be a great step to help achieve this goal.
Mandy Chesley-Park

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