SOUTH OGDEN — Burch Creek Elementary recently opened a new after school program, after the Weber School District Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weber-Davis secured a federal grant through the 21st Century Community Learning Center initiative.

The program aims to serve 80 students and is currently serves 34 in kindergarten through sixth grade. Students at Burch Creek in South Ogden can participate in the program five days a week starting at 3:15 p.m., when school gets out, until 6 p.m. The grant funding will support these services for five years.

“The grant that has brought the Boys and Girls Club also allows us to provide a community school, kind of outreach wraparound to at least 25 or 30 families,” said the school’s principal, Richard Proffer, at the program’s ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday.

“We’ve been working as hard as possible, bringing community partners, working with (Burch Creek’s) family resource center, trying to reach out to Weber Human Services, so many different agencies — and yet because we’re trying to educate the students and meet their needs in the school, we run out of time and ability to get to those things,” Proffer continued. “We can now get to them in a way we couldn’t before. And as educators ... you know how frustrating it is to see the kids and not be able to get to the heart of certain things.”

In addition to providing a safe place for kids after school, the program focuses on building relationships and supporting academic achievement.

As part of the program, children can choose between a variety of activities, including “power hour,” where kids can get their homework done, and “triple play,” when students choose from activities that allow them to be physically active.

So far the program offerings are a hit with the students who have already started participating.

While the ribbon cutting ceremony was being held, a group of fourth through sixth graders built a tower out of pencils in their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity group.

“I’m glad that (they) changed it, because before (the activities were) just on computers or in the gym, and now that we have Boys and Girls Club I like it because now we get to do different stuff every day,” said Samuel Rosas, a fourth grader at Burch Creek.

The school had a limited after-school program before it received the recently awarded grant funding.

Aya Santistevan and Sierra Quintana, both fifth graders, also liked the variety of activities. They had the same favorites: triple play, arts and crafts, and STEM.

“I like that we have more activities and snacks and not the same thing every single day,” Santistevan said. “In arts and crafts, you get to use your creativity and make things that you usually wouldn’t make at home because you usually wouldn’t have the materials.”

“It’s fun, and I don’t get bored,” said Quintana.

Santistevan said that help in the after-school program has also helped her with her spelling.

The other big hits were the daily snacks, and time with friends.

“The only thing I like is just hanging with my friends,” said Angel Mendoza, a sixth grader.

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