|STONEHAM — Superintendent David Ljungberg is pleased to report that Stoneham Public Schools is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield, as the non-profit group takes over supervision of the District’s elementary school childcare program.|
The District provides before- and after-school programming to 250 students from the district’s three elementary schools. Increasing demand has made it difficult for school staff to keep up.
The new partnership will take effect on Feb. 27.
“As the years have gone by, more and more families have had a need for before- and after school care, and the numbers continue to climb,” said Superintendent David Ljungberg. “The Boys & Girls Clubs has expertise in really providing fun and engaging activities, and they’re also community-based.”
Collaborating with the Boys & Girls Clubs on the program will provide a well-trained, state certified team who will offer students more activities and learning opportunities. The Boys & Girls Clubs is a non-profit agency, so parents will be eligible to receive financial aid if they cannot afford the program cost.
Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham & Wakefield CEO Adam Rodgers said employees who staff the program will be supported by a director at each of the three sites. The Boys & Girls Clubs is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, which sets curriculum standards, safety standards, and other standards that the non-profit must meet, according to Chief Operating Officer John Brinkman.
Rodgers said Boys & Girls Clubs staff will add music, arts, and crafts offerings, as well as activities focused on STEM education.
The program is available in the morning from 7:30 a.m. until the beginning of school, and in the afternoon from school dismissal at 2:40 p.m. until 6 p.m. While Boys & Girls Clubs programming is typically only available five days a week, parents may sign up their child for one or two days each week.
“If parents only need care one or two days a week, that option will be available,” said Rodgers.
All existing school staff who assist with the program will be invited to continue to work at the program, and the costs for parents will not increase or change as a result of the new partnership. Costs for the programs are $7 per day for the before school program, $10 per day for the after school program if pickup is by 4 p.m., and $24 per day for after school if pickup is by 6 p.m.
The Boys & Girls Clubs previously collaborated with Stoneham Public Schools to assist families with hybrid and remote learning throughout the pandemic. In 2021, they successfully co-launched the Summer Step Up program, which assisted children entering Pre-K through grade 1 with academic and social & emotional support prior to entering their classrooms in September. That program, sponsored by the United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley, expanded in 2022 to enable the joint venture to serve more families, completely free of charge.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield, visit : bgcstoneham.org