Elementary students will get a little boost before and after school starting this year.

 Heyburn Elementary is gearing up to provide an after school program to benefit a limited number of students. The program, which is supported by a 21st Century Grant the school received earlier this year, will provide opportunities for students to get extra time to do school work as well as have a safe place to be before and after school.

“We are really excited to be able to offer a safe place for them to be after school and provide more places to learn,” principal Bridgit Arkoosh said.

Heyburn staff are calling the program the Heyburn Kids Club, and there will be a limited number of openings available for before school and after school sessions.

Before school sessions will run from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and will have around 20 slots available. The after school program will provide activities from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and has 55 slots available.

Organizer Kelly Feasline said the students in both programs will have ample opportunities to complete unfinished homework and participate in a number of activities.

“We’ll have a little enrichment activity in the morning and maybe do some reading, or do some homework that got missed,” Feasline said. “We will have a snack, have some recess play time, homework help and then the best part, enrichment activities.”

The group also plans to have guest speakers appear at the after school program as well as organize field trips. PotlatchDeltic partnered with the school earlier this year to complete the grant so some of its specialists may also come and make guest appearances.

“Will be working with them a lot, some of their employees may come in to talk about career opportunities,” organizer Sabrina Ferris said. “There may be a time we bring in a forester, we’ve also talked about a tour of the Potlatch facilities.”

 The organizers want to also allow for opportunities where the students get to make decisions in the program and help to plan what they want out of the program as well.

“We want kids to be a part of it and take ownership,” Feasline said. “ We want to ask what they would like to learn about, whether it’s robotics, or they want to learn about the kinds of animals in the area. When kids are excited about something, they learn more.”

With limited slots available, the group will have an attendance policy for those who sign up though they will be flexible with students who do after school sports or other activities during the week.

“We don’t want kids to say they want a spot and end up only coming once or twice when there are some kids on a waiting list,” Feasline said. “We understand some kids may only be able to come a few times a week and we’ll work with those kids.”

“We just want some form of consistency and predictability,” Ferris added.

The group plans to hire a on site person that will be at the program every day and they also plan to utilize interested teachers who want to help. Feasline said the group will need to have about four to five staff at each of the after school sessions, especially if the 55 student roster fills.

Students and parents will be able to find out more about the program and register at this week’s Heyburn Elementary open house at 5:30, Thursday, September 2.

For more information contact the Heyburn Elementary at 208-245-2025.

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