DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — More than one hundred kids no longer have a place to go after school. Davidson County Schools and the Lexington YMCA could not come up with a financial agreement for their after-school program.
The changes will be in place for the next school year in 2023/2024. The program will continue at Southmont Elementary but will stop at four other elementary schools including Davis-Townsend, Friedberg, Tyro and Welcome.
It’s something that has been in the works for a while, but some parents feel blindsided.
“It’s terrifying for all of us,” said Kayla Strange, a mom in Davidson County.
Strange says she just found out about the changes earlier this month from the Lexington YMCA.
“It’s incredibly terrible because they told us at the end of the school year, so you have just the summer to figure it out,” Strange said.
Strange’s daughter Riley is a kindergartner at Davis-Townsend Elementary School, which is one of the schools that will stop the program.
“I think it is a wonderful program,” Strange said. “It was definitely a shock for us.”
The price of the program went from $10 a day in 2018-2019 to $10 an hour in 2019-2020. It stayed at that rate until this year when it increased to $20 an hour.
The Lexington YMCA says they can’t afford that.
“The responsibility for the preparedness of the YMCA should not fall on the school system to use public funds to pay for their programs,” Davidson County School Board Chair Alan Beck said.
Strange says she is fortunate that Riley’s grandma can watch her after school next year but hopes it doesn’t come to that. She likes that the program is affordable, safe and helps her daughter grow.
“As parents, you do whatever you need to do for your kid … when you find something that works, you stick with it,” she said.
Strange wants to keep this program alive for her daughter and all the families.
“I even told the school board: be prepared because we are ready to rally,” she said.
Strange and several other parents plan to be at the next school board meeting on June 5 to voice their concerns.