In Clay County there is no excuse for the term "latchkey children." The YMCA has after school programs providing a variety of activities for youth.
More than a quarter of Indiana children of working families are unsupervised in the afternoons, according to data released in March 2005 by the Afterschool Alliance.
The YMCA After School Program is held in four of the elementary schools in Clay County. Elementary students can participate who are from any part of the county.
The after school program is held at Van Buren, Jackson Township, Staunton and Forest Park elementary schools. Children who attend East Side and Meridian elementary schools can be bused to the program at Forest Park Elementary School. Those who attend Clay City Elementary can be bused to the program at Jackson Township Elementary School.
Each of the four programs start after school and last until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are also other child care programs offered during Spring Break and summer vacation.
During the program, children will receive a snack and homework help. Children can participate in sports activities, drama, arts and crafts or organized games. Each site also has KidzLit, a children's literacy program that has been made possible through a CAPE grant.
There is fee of $25 per week for the first child and $20 per week for each additional child, plus a $5 per child fee at the time of registration.
Another option is to pay daily if children cannot attend each day, $7 per day for the first child and $5 per day for each additional child. There is financial assistance available for families who qualify.
The program is an alternative to children going home to an empty house and it keeps children active, offering help with homework while staying out of trouble.
For more information about the After School Program contact Deb Plummer at the YMCA, (812) 442-6761.