Of the county’s 13 schools, eight have summer and afterschool activities funded by grants under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. But, because of federal budget cuts, the programs cannot continue the same level of service this year.
Summer programs like full-day pre-K for eligible students have been eliminated in favor of afterschool activities during the traditional school year.
“In our surveys of parents, they felt the biggest bang for our buck was in afterschool programs, not summer. We hope they return next year with additional funding,” Tamara Mills, coordinator of instruction at Worcester County Public Schools, said.
Mills said she got word of the cuts at the end of March and into the beginning of April, and admitted that communication with both parents and the private daycare community — upon whom parents must depend to pick up the slack left by the cuts — could have been better.