Bunsold Middle School starts a new after school program this week to join the other School Age Child Care (SACC) programs offered by the Marysville school district

Bunsold Middle School starts a new after school program this week to join the other School Age Child Care (SACC) programs offered by the Marysville school district

Currently, about 175 students in kindergarten through sixth grade participate in the districts SACC program. The new BASE program at Bunsold opens up after-school options for seventh- and eighth-graders as well.

BASE, whcih stands for Bunsold after-school enrichment, is partially funded by a five-year, 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant from the Ohio Department of Education worth $200,000.

Participants pay $100 a month but scholarships are available for students who may qualify.

Michelle Harris, SACC director for Marysville schools, said some people think after-school programs are babysitting services but they are much more than that. BASE will offer help to students in many areas, she said.

"The funding is really for students who are not proficient in reading and math," Harris said.

The program also offers snacks, health and wellness lessons and physical activity. Students will work with the Humane Society, master gardeners and the Marysville Public Library.

The program meets Monday through Thursday at Bunsold Middle School from the time school dismisses to 6 p.m.

Harris said Bunsolds Million Voices project, along with the 2010 Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the Union County Council for Families, found 41.7 percent of students reported they had high to moderate levels of stress related to school. Only 35 percent of students felt they received support from teachers, 25.4 percent had a moderate to high level of depression, and 15.4 percent said they had been recognized for something at school.

This information led the district to pursue the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant.

Harris showcased the districts other after-school programs at Creekview Intermediate, Edgewood Elementary, Navin Elementary, Northwood Elementary, Mill Valley Elementary and Raymond Elementary at an event on Thursday, Oct. 18, called Lights on After School.

The event is part of a national celebration of after-school programs. It included presentations by Marysville Mayor John Gore and Marysville Superintendent Diane Mankins.

"The whole idea behind this is to advocate for after-school programs, to talk about the importance of quality after-school programs in our community," Harris said.

She said the districts existing SACC programs are funded strictly by the students tuition and the budget is independent from the school district budget.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services funds about 5 percent of the students involved but those students have to meet qualifications to receive the scholarships. The other 95 percent pay $65 a week for both before- and after-school participation.

Those who attend either before or after school pay $50 a week. Harris said weather delays or cancellations do not typically apply to her staff.

"We do emergency weather days," she said. "When school is canceled because of weather, my staffs still there working. When we do delays, my staff comes early. When we do early dismissals, my staff stays late.

"We really try to be sensitive to the needs of working parents in our program," Harris said.

SACC programs used to receive state funding but the Ohio legislature cut temporary assistance for needy ramilies (TANF) funding from the 2011- 2012 budget.

For those interested in participating in the BASE Program, Coordinator Zach Balch can be reached at Bunsold Middle School (937) 642-1721. Other information can be found on the districts website at marysville.k12.oh.us/site/departments/sacc/.