Town, businesses revive
(8/20/2004) Elementary school children in Emmitsburg will once again have a
chance to participate in an after-school recreational program, despite the loss
of Frederick County funding.
The program, designed for 30 children in grades one through five, will
operate during the 20042005 school year thanks to a public-private partnership
initiated by the Emmitsburg town government.
The after-school program operated for about six years with funding from
Frederick County, coordinator Erma Tressler said this week.
After 20 years doing this kind of work with the county, Tressler said she is
enthusiastic about starting this year with so much town support for the
"The kids will have a place to go to after school and hopefully have some
fun. That's what it's all about," she said.
Activities will include homework time, snack time, free play, games and
Special activities such as guest speakers, trips to local attractions and
other events are still being planned.
"Basically it's an organized playtime," Tressler said. "Obviously through
play we can also teach our kids a lot and that's what we do."
Town manager Dave Haller and town planner Michael Lucas announced the
partnership at a recent meeting of the town's Board of Commissioners and
enlisted the support of the town's leaders, who enthusiastically committed
$10,000 to the program.
Lucas has been working with local companies to donate money to the effort
and several have done so, he said this week.
The donations have increased since the town meeting from $5,000 to $6,000
and are growing, he said.
Sponsor Bollinger Construction Company, owned by local resident Josh
Bollinger, is making the largest contribution, Lucas said.
Other local companies making donations to support the program include
Emmitsburg Glass, Briggs and Associates Real Estate, Jubilee Foods, The
Carriage House Inn and One More Tavern. Their combined donations give the
program 60 percent more funding than it had last year, Lucas said.
Lucas said a donor may provide several computers to the program and Tressler
is pleased with that.
"Some kids do all their homework on the computer now so that would be
wonderful," she said.
The Town of Emmitsburg has always been supportive of the program, Tressler
said, but now it is really showing its support by funding the program.
Lucas said the program would also be supported by the Community Agency
School Services (CASS).
CASS coordinator Debbie Wivell Swiderski said CASS would continue to support
the program and continue its involvement with the parent advisory council.
Parents are very involved with the program and provide snacks for the children,
"Now that the Town of Emmitsburg is completely administering the program, it
would be a good time for the parents to have even a greater level of
involvement," she said.
Students in grades one through five at Emmitsburg Elementary and Mother
Seton schools in Emmitsburg will receive handouts on the first day of school
announcing the program.
Up to 30 children will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Children will participate in the program on weekday afternoons when school
is open, 3:30-5:45 p.m. It will run from Oct. 18 to April 29.