REACH Afterschool Programs Getting Off To A Good Start
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Hannah Sullivan (left) and Kristen Knox do some coloring during a recent REACH Afterschool Program. The program serves nearly 150 local youth. (photo by SEAN PARKER)
The Cannon County REACH Afterschool Programs are getting off to a good start this year. We have also done some restructuring of the program. Along with our focus on a safe and secure place for our children, we offer academic help, fitness and enrichment activities, a nutritious snack, and this year we are stressing fun, fun, and fun for everyone.

At this time, we still have some slots open if you would like to enroll your child. The program is very affordable and is based on your ability to pay. The maximum fee that anyone ever pays is $25.

We also offer the Credit Recovery program at the Cannon County High School. The Credit Recovery Program is an innovative program designed to give students an alternative method of instruction to regain credits lost due to a previous unsuccessful grade. Our services range from tutoring students with individual class work, to providing Nova Net services for students with failing grades.

In 2008-2009, approximately 150 students participated in our program. 78 students received class credits using the Nova Net program; and, 29 students actually received their High School Diploma with the help of Credit Recovery. If you have or know someone that needs this service, check with Dave Dawson at the Cannon County High School.

You may notice at our sites that we have some new faces, some returning, and some changing locations.

Our site leaders and tutors this year are: Stefanie Alford, Marion Campbell, Angela King, Dave Dawson, Barbara Manix, Amber Milligan, Monica Mitchell, Paulette Kierstead, Dorothy Todd, Annie Reed, Andrew Bullock, Heather George, Diana Barrett, Ashlynn Boss, Brandi Brown, Erin Fann, Amber Alexander, Wanda Duggin, Jeran Tennpenny, Kayla Head, and volunteer Sarah Rogers

Our office staff remains the same with the addition of a much needed Secretary-Melinda Malone. Other staff is: Angela King – Executive Director, Linda Bedwell –Executive Assistant/ Outreach Site Coordinator, Carla Parker – Grant Writer, Henri Weller & Sue Hale – Food Service, Bobby Hale – Food & Supply Deliveries. We feel that we have a very energetic and excited staff to get started with.

Plans are now underway for the celebration of our “Lights On” afterschool event on Oct. 15, at 6:00 p.m. This day is set aside to raise nationwide awareness for the need of afterschool programs.

Our Lights On event will be held at the Justin Pemberton / Clayton Glen Arena in Woodbury.

Plans are now being made for another haunted house that is larger and better than last year. Some of the games and activities are planned to be bean bag toss, pick up ducks, hoola-hoop contest, face painting, hair coloring, washable tattoos, horse shoes, bobbing for apples, free books, free food bags, prizes with every game, mini hay rides, free dinner, drinks, desserts, and much, much more.

If weather permits, the police department will be doing car seat checks. Unsafe seats will be replaced with new ones. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be bringing a simulated wrecked vehicle. At this time plans are still developing.

If anyone would like to help set this event up, or could furnish any supplies they would be greatly appreciated. We are in need of pumpkins, hay bales, corn stalks, etc. We would greatly appreciate it if anyone could donate us some. This event is open to the public, not just REACH children and families. Everyone is welcome, so come on out and join in the fun as we raise awareness for the need of afterschool programs.

This year we have once again been given the opportunity to participate in the BackPack Program. This program consists of a bag of easily opened nutritious snacks that do not have to be cooked or refrigerated. Each selected child will receive one of these packs each weekend absolutely free. Our quota has been raised; therefore, we can accommodate several more children at each site.

For anyone that doesn’t know about REACH, stop by and see what REACH is about. The office hours are 8:00 – 4:00 and sometimes much later. Parents, grandparents, and all interested parties are welcome!

Linda Bedwell, Executive Assistant/ Outreach Site Coordinator, 563-5518.
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