Port Henry After-school programs in Moriah and Willsboro are at risk of closing.
Funding for the two programs, which serve 85 elementary-age children, will end in April. Unless addition money is found, both sites will close.
Operated by Adirondack Community Action Programs, Inc., the programs have offered children care and educational activities since December of 2000.
“The need for high quality after-school programs in our rural community is tremendous,” said Marjorie Zmijewski, program manager. “Too many children are unsupervised between the time school ends and parents get home from work.”
The ACAP after-school program currently serves 61 children from 46 families at Moriah Central School and 24 children from 16 families at Willsboro Central School.
Zmijewski explained the Office of Children and Family Services Advantage After School has lost its state funding. As a result OCFS can no longer fund the local ACAP programs.
Zmijewski said $31,000 is needed to get the Moriah and Willsboro programs through the remained of the school year.
“We are looking for donations from business and the communities,” she said. “They can designate where the money goes, but we operate both sites as one program and don’t ask for the money to be designated to one or the other. We hope to raise enough to keep the program open till the beginning of June.”
Anyone who wants to contribute may send donations to ACAP, P.O. Box 848, Attention Marge Z (Zmijewski),Elizabethtown 12932.
“We are also asking everyone to advocate for after-school programs,” Zmijewski said. “Essex County lacks quality child care. There is just not enough child care to meet the need in the county. If programs close parents will have some tough choices make.”
People who would like more information can call Zmijewski at 873-3207 ext. 249 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Over the past 10 years the program has been a great help to working parents, providing a safe and healthy environment for children after school, at little or no cost,” Zmijewski said.