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Kids on Campus plans open houses at local schools

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 17, 2005) -- State Rep. Jimmy Stewart and community leaders will visit Kids on Campus programs Thursday, Oct. 20, at six local elementaries as part of a day of celebrations across the country highlighting the importance of afterschool programs.

The local festivities will take place at Alexander, Amesville, Chauncey, Coolville, Trimble and West elementary schools. The open houses are part of a nationwide "Lights On Afterschool" campaign involving more than 6,000 schools and chaired by California governor and children's advocate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Participants scheduled to attend the local events include mayors, city council and school board members, and business leaders. Speakers and guests will call for expanding afterschool opportunities to enable every child who needs such a program to have access to one. Participants will also discuss the potential harm of budget cuts.

Another aim of the local open houses is to remind the community that Kids on Campus, perhaps best known for its summer program for local children, also provides afterschool activities for more than 300 children, providing homework assistance, tutoring, healthy snacks, physical activities and special interest clubs.

"The Athens community is aware and very supportive of our Kids on Campus summer program, but we want to take this opportunity to highlight the great things that happen in our six afterschool programs" said Leslie Moss, Kids on Campus executive director.

The "Lights On Afterschool" event was dreamed up by the nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization called Afterschool Alliance, whose mission is to ensure that all children have access to after school programs by 2010. For more information on that campaign, visit the group's Web site at www.afterschoolalliance.org.  

The current Kids on Campus Afterschool Programs opened in 2003 with 21st Century Community Learning Center grants from the federal government that are administered by the Ohio Department of Education. The programs are collaboration among the University, school districts, the Athens County Department of Job & Family Services, and other local, state and national organizations.

Following is a list of specific activities planned at each of the participating local schools:

Coolville Elementary, Coolville

  • Address: 26461 Main Street, Coolville, OH 45723
  • Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Contact: Paul Kristofco @ 591-6432
  • Special guest(s): Coolville Mayor Paul Harris and Christi Lynch, field representative for Ohio Rep. Ted Strickland
  • Events planned: Overview of afterschool program, pizza dinner, celebratory dance in school gym

Alexander Elementary, Albany

  • Address: 6105 School Road, Albany, OH 45710
  • Time: 2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Contact: Carrie Hiestand @ 590-9876 or 698-4585
  • Special guest(s): Albany council president
  • Events planned: Pizza party and dessert, served by the students; presentation of proclamation by Albany council president; indoor Olympic stations and activity centers.

Chauncey Elementary, Chauncey

  • Address: 21 Birge Drive, Chauncey, OH 45719
  • Time: Call contact
  • Contact: Stefanie Powell @ 591-8319
  • Special guest(s): Chauncey council members
  • Events planned: A drama performance by students; a dinner of stew that students helped prepare; reading, recreation and craft activities.

Trimble Elementary, Glouster

  • Address: 18500 Jacksonville Rd, Glouster, OH 45732
  • Time: Call contact
  • Contact: Misty Cole @ 274-1187 or 767-2810
  • Special guest(s): Superintendent Cindy Johnston
  • Events planned: Food including desserts provided by students; arts and craft activities

Amesville Elementary, Amesville

  • Address: SR 329 N, Amesville, OH 45711
  • Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Contact: Jennifer Cooper @ 590-4446 or 448-2501
  • Special guest(s): Amesville Mayor Frank Hare
  • Events planned: A dinner of stew, breads and pies prepared by students; games and activities including Dragon Tails, Web Quests and decorating switch plates.

West Elementary, Athens

  • Address: 41 Central Avenue, Athens
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Contact: Ellen Botkin @ 590-4448
  • Special guest(s): State Representative Jimmy Stewart
  • Events planned: Pizza will be served, along with a dessert made by students; an address by Stewart on the importance of afterschool programs; craft activities and games.

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Media Contacts: HHS Director of Communication Jody Grenert, (740) 593-1433 or grenert@ohio.edu, or Kids on Campus Executive Director Leslie Moss, (740) 593-9703 or mossl@ohiou.edu

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