Keeping kids busy after school

September 7, 2016

By Neil Corbett – Maple Ridge News

With guitar lessons, robotics and more, the after-school hours will be a lot more more active at four Maple Ridge elementary schools this year.

After-school programs are popular at most schools in the Lower Mainland, and are now coming to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district.

They will be offered by community groups, many of them local, at a low cost. The activities will start at 2:30 p.m., and run until 3:30 or 4 p.m.

Drea Owen has been hired by the district as the program manager of community connections and healthy living.

Her position is funded in part by a grant from the United Way.

She said the hours of 3-6 p.m., when kids are finished school but before dinner, is a “vulnerable time,” when children have their largest block of discretionary time. How they spend those hours can affect their development. Their choices – whether it be play, sports, television or computer time – make a difference.

“We’re trying to keep kids connected to the school,” she said. “They’re safe and they’re engaged.”

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