New free program offers
support for after-school study
CAPAC — A free snack, bus ride home and help with homework–that’s what Capac Community Schools will offer their students this school year through their new Learning Link program. The after-school offering was launched in the spring near the end of the 2018-19 school year and will debut for an entire year starting next week.
For one-and-a-half hours, three days a week, students in all grades can stay after school to work on their homework and, if they need it, receive assistance from a teacher. The school offers up snacks and, come 4:30 p.m., a bus ride home.
“This is a way for us to help students stay on top of their studies. It was very well received last year,” said Supt. Jeff Terpenning.
“Students don’t need to qualify in any way. This is completely free to anyone in our district. We assign some kids to attend who could use the extra help but for the most part students are attending voluntarily.”
Some Learning Link participants appreciate just having a quiet space to work on their assignments while others prefer to stay after school with friends and tackle projects together, Terpenning said. A teacher in each of the district’s buildings—the elementary and jr.-sr. high schools—is present to offer help and this year the district hopes to have National Honor Society students on hand to provide tutoring help.
“We think this is a great way to help our students and our parents too. We recognize the struggle that parents can have when helping their children with homework, especially at the higher levels,” Terpenning said.
Being able to provide transportation home for Learning Link attendees is key too to making the program workable for families, he believes.
The concept of Learning Link is similar to a program Terpenning took part in when he was a high school principal in Hillsdale.
As an added bonus, the district didn’t have to mine their existing budget to fund the Learning Link program. Terpenning said Capac qualifies for state funding through the Section 31a At Risk program and gets reimbursed for all of their expenditures.
“We use those monies to pay the teachers, bus driver and food costs. We’re able to offer this service at no cost to our general fund,” Terpenning said.