After school programs at Perley and Hutton schools successful

An after school initiative has been engaging elementary students in actively participating in arts and sports in Grand Forks.

An after school initiative has been engaging elementary students in actively participating in arts and sports in Grand Forks.

Dr. D. A. Perley and J. A. Hutton elementary schools have select at-risk students from both schools engage in various activities to promote active engagement and social communication.

Doug Lacey, principal of Hutton Elementary School, noted all the children who are involved have been enjoying the program.

“The overriding program goal is to give sport opportunities to youth in Grand Forks that do not normally engage in community sport offerings,” he said. “The aim is to build a strong team environment and to get youth to feel comfortable with trying new sports and recreational activities.”

Lacey added the program looks to develop social skills and positive relationships between the youth at both schools.

The After School Sports Initiative is co-ordinated by Katie Spark and Tyler Van Moll, with Grand Forks Secondary School student assistants, Tristan Payne and Mason Payne.

Kevin Argue, principal at Perley Elementary School, explained the sports program runs on Monday for Grade 4 and 5 students from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Hutton Elementary School, and Wednesday for Grades 6 and 7 students 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Perley Elementary School.

“On Friday’s once a month, Grade 6 and 7 will participate in a community recreation activity,” Argue said. “From biking along the trails to swimming at the lake.”

Carol Mitchell and Sabrina Rougeau will lead the After School Arts Initiative on Mondays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Hutton Elementary School.

“It’s very similar to the sports program with its social emotional objective,” Lacey said. “The goal of this program also works to build self-esteem but through art experiences and opportunities and interaction with local artists.”

For the 2012-2013 budgets, the After School Sports Initiative will be receiving $31,000, while the After School Arts Initiative will be receiving $12,000. These funds also go towards maintaining the program and supplying snacks for the students.

Lacey and Argue give credit to the hard work done by Leda Leander at Boundary Individual and Family Social Services. Leander oversees the administration and staffing of the programs.