After a year of planning and preparation the Penn-Kidder Ministerium After-School Program is almost ready to open its doors.

What started out as an assessment of the community's needs in the spring of 2009 soon will become a reality. The After-School Program expects to begin accepting enrollments in early March 2011.

Representatives of The Penn-Forest Ministerium of Churches, a family of churches located in Penn Forest and Kidder townships, began meeting in March 2010 to begin the long process of establishing a high-quality, well-supervised, faith-based, and affordable after-school program that will meet the needs of the latchkey children and working parents of our community.

Latchkey children are the children who go home after school to empty houses while others "hang out" on the streets until their parents return home from work each evening. Generally, these children are left unsupervised for three to four hours until their parent(s) return home. Left unsupervised, these children often find themselves falling prey to deviant behaviors that are harmful to them, to their schools, and to their communities.

The Penn-Kidder Ministerium After-School Program, PKMASP for short, will follow the Jim Thorpe Area School District's Academic Calendar. It will provide a safe and secure learning environment between the critical after-school hours of 3:30 and 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for children from Grades K through 8. The Program includes mentoring, recreation, homework assistance, and social activities that meet the needs of the children of our community. Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church on Church Road, Penn Forest Township will host the program.

As a licensed Child Care Facility by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the program will be included in the list of subsidized facilities that will allow for qualified families to receive assistance with tuition.

For more information, contact Donna at the PKMASP at (570) 325-3757, (215) 852-3975, or email us at [1].