PrimeTime program offers variety of programs for kids

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2003

Our mission at PrimeTime Kids is to provide a safe place for kids (K-6) to be while their parents are still at work. Also, we strive to organize stimulating activities for body, soul and mind. Such as crafts, gym games, reading/homework assistance and character building time.

We serve latch-key children, coming from both lower and lower-middle income families. All different races and learning abilities are served.

There are four schools that participate in this program.

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They are: Sibley, Lakeview, St. Theodores and Hawthorne elementary schools. We pick the children up after school, around 3 p.m. and provide supervision until 6 p.m. when parents or caretakers can bring them home. Currently, we have 23 children registered. We run an average of 16 daily.

The cost of the program is minimal, $8 per week of service, but Capt. Bob Miles, director of the Salvation Army &045; who runs this program, has noticed that “oftentimes we will end up with situations where the family cannot pay the small fee.”

PrimeTime Kids receives about 10 percent of its budget from the United Way. If we didn’t receive United Way funds, we would most likely have to cut staff hours. This would result in less one-on-one time with the children. We would consider closing the building at 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m., making things less convenient for parents/caretakers.

Also, the resources and activities would be limited. Our trips to the library and &uot;The Rock” would occur less often and money needed for craft and gym supplies would be affected. Miles stated that “in some cases, we would have to cut the program completely.” This would likely be the case if more hours were to be cut, as day-care is practically useless unless it is provided for the entire work-day.

There will be a day-camp during Christmas. Those part of the latch-key program will pay $5; the charge for someone who is outside of the program is $10. The day-camp runs from Dec. 22-23, 29-31 and Jan. 2. Please call 373-8776 to schedule a day, or for more information.

Contact the United Way if you are interested in making a donation, 373-8670 or write to: The United Way, 341 S. Broadway Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007