By Alex Estroff
After school programs provide an important service to students and parents alike. They are particularly vital in the Athens-Clarke area due to the high volume of students of low income families.
The Thomas Lay After School Program is sponsored by the UGA Honors Program and allows UGA students to mentor local children through reading and playing. The program is provided for free to the nearly forty children who participate–nearly all of whom are economically disadvantaged.
Gary and his mentor for the day, Sarah, play a game of one-on-one. Lucky for Gary, Sarah is admittedly “terrible” at basketball.
Eddie and Jockiv’ise (everyone just calls him “Jock”), like most of the boys, always head straight to the court for a game of pickup basketball.
On nice days, all the children who don’t play basketball enjoy spending time on the playground outside. After waiting for quite some time, Curiyah and Roderick finally get their turns on the swingset.
Legracion (“LG” to his friends) and Za’riyah discuss the latest 2nd grade gossip on the playground.
Athens-Clarke County, in partnership with the local Boys and Girls Clubs, provides free 21st Century Community Learning Centers for children of low income families. Programs are offered to children in Kindergarten through high school and focuses on both academics and enrichment. The center at the H.T. Edwards Boys and Girls Club has about fifty children participate each day.
If the children have homework they must complete it before doing any of the other activities. Jada, Uriah, and Zaniyah like to work together on their work.
Heaven practices her spelling.
Now that all their homework is done, the boys play a game of kickball in the gym. The program leaders try to keep the game somewhat organized.
William and Jordan, two of the older boys in the program, prefer the quietness of the game room over the chaos that occurs in the gym.