State funding awarded to start new after-school program at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School

PARISHVILLE — More than 100 students at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District will soon have the chance to participate in a new after-school program funded through a four-year $697,600 state grant.

The funding will be provided through Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County which was notified Friday it was among 15 organizations across the state awarded money through The Empire State After-School Program.

“We’re very excited about this new partnership with Parishville-Hopkinton Central School,” Patrick T.. Ames, St. Lawrence County’s extension executive director, said. “We collaborated closely on the proposal and look forward to working together in the future.”

The funding is awarded to high-needs school districts and community-based organizations, according to announcement from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office.

Mr, Ames said the grant will provide $174,400 each year for the next four years. It will be available to 109 students in grades kindergarten to 12. Extension plans to hire a full-time program director and 10 part-time program educators to implement the program.

The extension director said he hopes to start the program after Jan. 1 after the permitting process is complete with the St. Lawrence County Childcare Council. Specific projects have been developed for elementary, middle and high school age students.

The newest round of funding provides a total of $6.8 million and is part of the $10 million program expansion included in the 2018-2019 state budget. With last year’s $35 million commitment, the Empire State After School awards now total $45 million, according to the governor’s office.

The grants provide $1,600 per student and the extra funding adds 4,250 new slots for students. Districts that receive the funding are required to adopt quality indicators that assess the environment, staff-to-student interaction and student outcomes.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said support for students and families should not end when the dismissal bell rings.

“Community-based, after-school programs like these actively engage students in age appropriate educational and recreational activities and offer families opportunities for meaningful engagement in their children’s education,” Ms. Elia said in a prepared statement.