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Recreation Worcester Expanded to Afterschool Program

Worcester, MA (January 21, 2016) - Recreation Worcester, the City's free program for youth, will be expanded to a year-long afterschool program to keep students engaged in a healthy, safe and productive lifestyle, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. announced Thursday.

The newly expanded Recreation Worcester program was announced at a press conference on Thursday, January 21st at Chandler Elementary School, Worcester.

Due to the program's popularity last summer - when more than 1,500 young people made more than 10,000 visits to city parks over five weeks - the program has been extended in order to offer the same academic, athletic and artistic opportunities to kids in a school setting.

Staff and volunteers have designed programming to encompass visual arts, music and physical recreation activities. Homework help will be available. The academic portion includes tutoring and learning about healthy behaviors and nutrition.

The program is free and is open to all students in grades 3-12 who attend any public, private or charter school in Worcester. Each session is divided into two segments, an earlier session for students in grades 3-7 and a later session for students in grades 8-12. Snacks will be provided.

"There's nothing more important than making sure our kids are healthy, happy and ready for the future. We know that kids who take part in quality afterschool programs do better in school, develop socially and are more likely to graduate," City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. said. "Recreation Worcester's expansion into a year round program will allow us to build on the success of the summer, to keep providing our young people with a safe and engaging environment to nurture their academic and extracurricular pursuits under the care of positive adult role models."

Registration is required. Forms will be available at Worcester Public Schools and online at www.worcesterma.gov/recreationworcester. Please note that transportation will not be provided.

Recreation Worcester will start February 1st and continue through May 26th at five schools across the City.

Each site will be staffed by a site administrator, two recreation leaders who are overseen by the City of Worcester's Youth Opportunities Office and multiple community volunteers.

Various community partners will supplement the Recreation Worcester curriculum with additional activities and programs. Worcester State University students will help provide arts, athletics and academic programming at Chandler Elementary. North High School students will run substance abuse prevention programs starting in March at East Middle School. And at Goddard Elementary, The Boys and Girls Club of Worcester will provide dance exploration activities, and the Worcester Soccer House will run soccer clinics on Saturdays. The Worcester Youth Center and Safe Routes to Schools will also provide staff and programming at all sites.

Locations, Dates, and Times:

SitesDates/Times
Worcester East Middle School
420 Grafton St, Worcester, MA 01604
Grades 3 - 7:
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Grades 8 - 12:
Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Goddard School of Science & Technology
14 Richards St, Worcester, MA 01603
Grades 3 - 7:
Mondays 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturdays 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Grades 8 - 12:
Mondays 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Saturdays 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Claremont/Woodland Academy
93 Woodland St, Worcester, MA 01610
Grades 3 - 7:
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Grades 8 - 12:
Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Chandler Elementary School
114 Chandler St, Worcester, MA 01609
Grades 3 - 7:
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Grades 8 - 12:
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Quinsigamond Elementary School
14 Blackstone River Rd., Worcester, MA 01607
Grades 3 - 7:
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Grades 8 - 12:
Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Elm Park Community School
23 North Ashland St., Worcester, MA 01609
Times TBD

"As I said in my inauguration, we cannot separate the success of our students in our classrooms from the success of our neighborhoods. The success of the summer recreation programs has truly shown the need for programs that keep our kids active. The expansion of after-school programming year round will ensure that our students are safe and productive even after traditional school hours have ended," said Mayor Joseph M. Petty.

"This partnership between the Worcester Public Schools and the City of Worcester solidifies our commitment to the safety and well being of the children in our community. This program is available to all children in our community and it embraces the notion that healthy neighborhoods create opportunities for children to remain engaged and active after school hours. Our children deserve it!!" said Interim Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools, Dr. Marco C. Rodrigues.

"As the District Attorney I stress crime prevention everywhere I go," said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. "Expanding Recreation Worcester is a great idea. We know if we can keep young people busy and around responsible adults, especially in the after school hours, we can keep them off the streets and away from trouble."

Recreation Worcester is sponsored by the Jenny Trust Fund, the Worcester Educational Development Foundation, the Office of District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. and an anonymous donor.

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