This fall, Lemhi’s After School Promise and Salmon School District 291 have joined forces to expand out-of-school time opportunities for Salmon area children through establishment of Salmon’s 21st Century Community Learning Center. The response to the new programming has been overwhelming, with 78 children registered in the 4 center operations.
With establishment of a 21st CCLC, the traditional after school program that has been historically offered to families since 1998 by LASP, has expanded to encompass grades K-8. Additionally, there is now homework and enrichment club offered during the Pioneer School’s free breakfast time from 7 am to 8 am and a Fun Fridays enrichment program from 9 am to 1 pm.
The great response to the new and improved programming has the 21st CCLC Director, Kim Olson, seeking additional community volunteers and support. The K-5 after school program that is located at the Presbyterian Center is one where volunteers are particularly needed. “We have a huge need for caring adults and older teens who are interested in reading aloud to young students, listening to beginning readers, helping with math homework and playing games or supervising a craft or art activity”, expresses Olson.
In addition to homework assistance, the program provides children with a full supper meal after school and lunch on Fridays. Participants during the after school days also enjoy special arts and craft activities, a curriculum on prevention and hands-on STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) based enrichment. The program also utilizes additional community partnerships, involving the Salmon Arts Council, Salmon FFA Chapter, Salmon Robotics club, Whitewater Therapeutic Riding Association and others to widen the students’ exposure to new concepts, interests and skills.
An example of the successful partnership was the Friday October 3rd Fun Friday when Salmon Arts Council teamed up with a Salmon High School senior to provide a hand-on combined art and literacy activity as part of her senior project. The children greatly enjoyed the art and it gave the senior high school student a realistic introduction to teaching art in the classroom setting.
The new partnership expands on the positive connection that has historically existed between the school district and LASP. All staffing for the programming is provided by LASP, with educational and administrative support by the district. The grant funding the program comes from the Idaho Department of Education and only allows for support of out-of-school time enrichment support.
Currently, the K-5 grade after school is full and only accepting students to the wait list, however there is room in the before school, 6th - 8th grade program and limited space for families wanting to participate in the Fun Friday events. Individuals interested in making a difference through volunteering, joining the program to teach a specific skill or making a donation towards supplies not covered by funding are encouraged to contact Olson at 208-940-0409.