Online program helps parents, students find after-school, summer activities

Online program helps parents, students find after-school, summer activities

Madison families now have a new resource to help them find after-school and summer programs for their children and teens, according to a release from the Madison Metropolitan School District.

The Madison-area Out-of-School Time initiative launched an online program finder where families can find a collection of programs and search by distance from their home, school attendance area, grade and age, price and type of activity, officials said.

Families can search for free programs, programs offering financial assistance, services that provide transportation and bilingual services, according to the release. The database includes arts and academic programs, competitive sports, mentoring, recreation, service learning and internships.

“The MOST program finder will increase families’ access to information about programs that can help support the physical, social-emotional and academic learning for their children. One of the important features of this program is that it will address barriers to participation in a simple, no cost manner,” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said in the release.

One parent said the program would have helped make summer planning easier for her child.

“Having a website or access to a list that provides times, what’s available in my area — would have been very beneficial,” parent Miranda Starr said.

“Studies have shown that after-school programs help reduce juvenile crime and violence. This partnership between the city, the school district and Dane County along with dozens of service providers is one way we can work together to build stronger families, neighborhoods and community,” Soglin said.

MOST provides access to 45 youth-servicing organizations in the area, according to the release.