Schools share in afternoon recreation programs

“I find myself in a position to share good news, good news, good news,” said Nancy Rapp, the acting Parks and Recreation Director, addressing a joint session of the Santa Barbara City Council and the Board of Education. “This is probably the strongest relationship that we have had in years.”

The Parks and Recreation Department shares facilities with the school districts and does the after-school scheduling for the fields. Among the projects Rapp said are planned: improved lighting at La Colina and Santa Barbara Junior High Schools, renovations at Ortega Park which will include easier pickup and drop off for Santa Barbara Junior High students, and the exploration of synthetic turf use at various facilities.

She also reviewed the status of 14 different joint-funded elementary school and junior high after school programs. The elementary programs include A-OK! Afterschool Opportunities for Kids, which costs parents $25 per month and targets underachieving students at Franklin, Harding, McKinley, Adams and Cleveland Schools; and the Recreation Afterschool Program (RAP), which is open to all students at Caesar Chavez, Open Alternative, Washington, Roosevelt and Monroe Schools, and costs $74 per month. While the A-OK! Program is only open to qualified students, the RAP program is open to all, and Rapp emphasized how inexpensive that program is compared to fees between $200 and $315 per month at the YMCA and other similar programs.

The city also administers junior high afterschool sports and arts programs at all four junior high schools, which cost participants $36 per semester.

All of the publicly funded programs at the elementary and junior high schools have scholarships available as well, said Rapp. For more information call 564-5495.

Originally published in South Coast Beacon on October 14, 2004.

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