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Gadsden County after-school care programs reopen

Posted at 6:27 PM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-07 18:27:17-04

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. — There's relief in sight for Gadsden County parents.

As of Tuesday, the after-school care program is back open and the district says the reason for the temporary suspension came down to dollars and cents.

Parents of about 600 students in Gadsden County were left without a place for their children to go after school when the school district ran out of money to fund the programs.

This, as the district waited for federal grant money from the Department of Education (DOE) to be processed.

"We are very pleased to announce that we have received confirmation from the Dept. of Education that we will have funds to be able to continue those programs as of Tuesday Oct. 8," said Roger Milton, Superintendent of Gadsden County Schools.

The school district's resources have been stretched thin since Hurricane Michael because leaders had to spend so much money on repairs.

"We wanted to make certain we had the funding to be able to pay, to be able to pay for the supplies and the employees working with us," said Milton.

Parents at the 10 schools affected were understandably concerned. They depend on the after-school programs while they are at work.

"We started to explore other options to figure out some services in place to make sure that we continued in our efforts to provide the best opportunities for their children," said Maurice Stokes, Principal at John Shanks Elementary.

But now, the district says parents and students can rest easier.

"Currently we have been told the funds will be allocated through May 30 and we will receive notification for the summer part as the verification comes from the DOE," said Milton.

So a safe haven for many Gadsden County students, remains just that.

"Our after-school program is a great place for children to grow and learn and experience new things," said Stokes.

The Gadsden County School District is waiting to get reimbursed by FEMA and insurance for that extensive Hurricane Michael damage.