The Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence is ringing in the start of the school year with its after-school program that serves as a gathering spot for children in the community.
Families of students grades pre-K to five, can register for the Community Center’s annual program for $75 with a weekly fee of $80. From 3 to 6 p.m. students will be supervised said Sasha Young, a community center director.
“Children have a safe inviting place with folks that care about them to come to after school,” Young said.
High school-age students supervise the younger children after undergoing a training process that is used for the Community Center’s summer programs, learning rules and safety procedures.
The program leaders will provide homework help, set up activities and organize games. They will also incorporate enrichment into the sessions with science, engineering, art, mathematics and other subject-based sessions.
Young said students could help build electrical circuits, solar system models, Oreo moon phase creations, candy DNA models and more with the help of the program counselors.
After-school program employee Isabella Marciano, who graduated from Lawrence High School in June and will guiding the children throughout the school year.
“They’re just so fun and full of life,” Marciano said of the after-school program attendees.
She participated in cardio pulmonary resuscitation training before the program began and babysat to prepare for overseeing the children.
“I know a lot of their parents have to work,” Marciano said. “It helps them a lot to get all of the needs that they need while their kids are having fun and being safe, while getting help with homework too.”
Sarah Hayes, an Inwood resident, has sent three of her children to the after-school program. That the program is nonsectarian is a positive for Hayes, she said. Currently, her son Isaiah, 10, is attending.
“They get to do physical activities and workout,” Hayes said. “When they get home, they are beat, they’re eating dinner, taking showers and going to sleep.”
In addition to the activities, Hayes appreciates her connection with the program leaders.
“We’ve all just grown to really become very close,” Hayes said.
One new focus of this year’s program will be on civic engagement.
The after-school leaders will bring students to legislative meetings and teach the children about the electoral process, to encourage students to urge their parents to vote.
Young does not have an anticipated number of students for the program, being that families can sign up throughout the school year, paying on a week-by-week basis.
Five Towns families appreciate the affordability and proximity of the center to schools, Young said, as the program does not offer transportation.
For more information on the Five Towns Community Center after-school program, contact Young at (516) 239-6244, Ext. 265, or email@example.com.