After-school program in Jemison kicks off with success

Published 1:14 pm Friday, September 6, 2013

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The Chilton County YMCA after-school program in Jemison has been a success with roughly three weeks in a new facility.

“Having the Jemison extension is a benefit to the parents,” Chilton County YMCA Director Mary Beth Wyatt said. “When parents drive to Birmingham and Alabaster to work, an additional 15 minutes to drive to Clanton to pick up a child makes a real difference.”

The Jemison City Council unanimously voted on Aug. 19 to enter a one-year annual contract with the Chilton County YMCA for an after-school program.

The program is not the same program as the PALS program that is no longer offered at Jemison Elementary but replaces the extended after-school care program that was formerly housed at Jemison Elementary.

The pilot program kicked off on Aug. 20 in the Rescue Building with more than 30 children listed on the roster.

After-school staff from the YMCA in Clanton administers the program and Angie Wright, the program director, oversees the program.

Wyatt said when the announcement was made that the after-school care program would no longer be offered at Jemison Elementary, parents called the YMCA in Clanton asking for help.

“It is flattering for the community to have a need and turn to the Y for help,” Wyatt said. “After all, that is why we are here: to support our community. It gives me a great sense of pride to be able to respond to those needs.”

Wyatt said the children that attend the program in Jemison spend their time completing homework and “active play” both indoors and outside.

“They play everything from kickball to hopscotch,” Wyatt said. “The families are glad to have somewhere safe for the kids to go. We have had a wonderful response from the community for the potential growth and we are excited to be partnering with the city of Jemison.”

The program is open to any student ages 5-13 and students are accepted from any school.

Registration continues for any student interested.

For more information, contact Wyatt at (205) 755-2382.