New program helps students after school

After school program

BRISTOL, Va. - Finding something for children to do after school can be a challenge for parents, so a Bristol, Virginia elementary school started a program aimed at keeping kids busy after class ends.

Tuesday afternoon nearly 40 students were hanging out at Clear Creek Golf Course in Bristol, Virginia. It's not your typical after school activity, but part of a program aimed at keeping students focused, out of trouble and bringing out the best they have to offer.

Some third, fourth and fifth graders are learning a new sport. The students are from Highland View Elementary School and they're all taking part in new after school program that started in September.

"We wanted to add more to the students' day. We felt a need to enrich their lives with activities that they might not have a chance to do in a normal school day," says principal Pam Smith.

Smith says 84 percent of the more than 200 students at school qualify for free and reduced lunches. That's how the school gets money to offer the program, because many families may not have the means to provide so many after-school activities. "We have families and parents everyday that thank us for what we're providing our students on a daily basis," adds Smith.

This program is free to all students at Highland View. It offers help with school work, an afternoon snack and even field trips.

"It was kind of interesting because I've never been on a golf course before. And I liked it," says third grader Sara Richard said about her trip to the course.

In addition to the physical activity, the students are also learning some golf etiquette. "[Don't] slide your foot on the cut short grass!" adds third grader Omar Said.

"We feel like if we can affect change with our students it will affect change at home as well," adds Smith.

The students do more than golf -- in fact, Smith tells us she's always looking for people in the community willing to offer their services, special skills or interests to share with the students.

For more information contact Highland View Elementary School at (276) 821-5710.

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