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After-school program offers safety, fun for Royce City students | Local News | #schoolsaftey

Among the plethora of parenting challenges for many families is providing child care for young children between the time they get out of school and when commuting parents return home, and the Royse City Independent School District is partnering with the YMCA of Metropolitan Falls to provide a solution.

For the third year, the YMCA will provide an after-school care program at each of Royse City’s six elementary schools and the Glenda Arnold Early Childhood Learning Center.

Adi Bryant, Chief Communications Office for the district, said the program is a great chance for parents to keep their child safe and provide additional learning opportunities for a reasonable price.

The cost for the program is $71 week with a $5-a-week discount for siblings. Royce City school employees get a 50 percent discount.

“It’s a great benefit for parents,” Bryant said. “You know your kids are going to get a healthy snack, they’re going to get some enrichment time, time to learn, time to play with friends. The school day is really structured, the YMCA does a really good job of providing structure but also providing time for kids just to be kids right after school gets out of class. It’s a great experience, we’ve had great feedback from families that continue to sign up year after year.”

Bryant said the program follows the school calendar so it starts on Aug. 15.

She said the program offers care on some holidays when schools are closed.

“During some of the holidays when we’re off we know some parents may still have to work,” Bryant said. “So they’ll offer full day care during some of the holidays so parents aren’t in a bind that way.”

Bryant said the program offers a variety of learning and fun opportunities for kids.

“They allow homework time if kids have something they need to work on and then there’s lots of hands on activities,” she said. “So kids participate in STEM activities, arts and crafts, group activities and there’s plenty of free time for them to use the gym to play and run around and have a little bit of flexibility in that regard. They also do health and wellness studies and there’s a little bit of time for social emotional activities to help kids understand it’s ok to have feelings and things like that. So it’s not just a free-for-all, they do a lot of great activities.”

Bryant said because the program is hosted at the elementary schools, the same security protections and procedures used during the school day are used in the after-school hours.

“Because these are held on our campus, all of the safety procedures that we conduct throughout the day continue after school,” Bryant said. “So the buildings are still secure, parents are still required to come and show ID when they pick up their child. The YMCA has completely adopted the school’s standards for safety during the after-school care program, which is a great benefit.”

The program starts at the dismissal bell and runs until 6:30 p.m. every day. People can sign up for the program online on a link on the new student enrollment page the Royce City ISD website at https://tinyurl.com/2s3uhwfy

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