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East Feliciana academic programs in limbo

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Posted: Dec 2, 2009 5:52 PM by Dana Hackett
Updated: Dec 2, 2009 6:31 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: school, programs, East Feliciana, money, grant

An after school program and optional academic program on Mondays for students in East Feliciana Parish are at risk of shutting down.

Grant money was used to fund the "21st Century After School Program" and "5th Day Project." That money has run out, forcing school leaders to temporarily suspend the after school program. It ended Tuesday. The "5th Day Project" could stop running after the holidays.

The "5th Day Project" started three years ago, after the East Feliciana School Board voted to implement a four-day school week. Students attended the program on Mondays, when they were out of school. Working parents worry if it shuts down, their kids will have nowhere to go.

"There is an extreme lack of childcare," said Sarah Bonnette, a parent. "It's a struggle for us weekly to find somewhere for our son to go during the day."

Teachers have agreed to volunteer and work for free for the next two Mondays. The school board will donate bus transportation to get students to designated sites. Officials said that will allow them to run the program until the holidays. After that, they are not sure what will happen.

"The money is real important," said Royann Lane, program director. "But somehow we're going to have to figure out how to keep it going, whether we get the money or not."

The district is waiting to hear back from the Louisiana Department of Education to see if it will get additional grant money. If the request is denied, school leaders plan to apply for other grants and ask the public for donations.

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