We are Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 949 in Greene County. As part of our ‘Inside Government’ Badge, we are writing a letter to the newspaper about a local issue. Our local issue is that the after-school program is closing at Ruckersville Elementary, and has already closed at Nathanael Greene. We think the after-school program shutting down is not a very good thing for our county because a lot of kids use it. Maybe these kids don’t want to be home alone or don’t have siblings or adults to watch over them, or a safe place to go. Maybe their neighborhood isn’t the most safe place to be if there isn’t an adult around.

Sometimes the after-school program allowed parents to finish their job and earn more money to support their families with fewer issues. If the after-school program closes, parents might have to leave work early and not earn as much money, and more kids and families could go into poverty.  Parents might even lose their jobs if they have to leave work early, which would result in less employment. This program also helps kids get their homework done if they don’t have help at home.

The after-school program is a place where kids can make connections and friends and feel at home, even if they aren’t at home. If the kids have been in the program for a while, they have gotten to know people and will miss their friends and the adults who mentored them. Also, the people who work at the after-school program will lose their jobs. The afterschool program brings our county together under one common cause to help children. We understand the program would cost more, but maybe some families are able to pay the extra price. Maybe the county could help the parents who can’t afford the higher cost. Maybe there could be a sponsorship program to help families who can’t afford the higher cost.

We care about our county and the kids in our schools. We want to help our local families, and we think the afterschool program should stay open.

Girl Scout Troop 949

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