Having a safe place for students to go before and after school is especially helpful when parents work outside of a normal school schedule. Programs like the Missouri River Educational Cooperative (MREC) offer before and after school care, but with more students in the schools, fewer spots are available for the programs.
MREC serves four school districts, private and public schools. State guidelines require one youth coordinator for every 20 students, MREC shrunk the ratio to one staff member for every fifteen students, but they're having trouble finding enough staff members to meet that ratio.
Federal grant money has been funding the MREC program for more than five years. And each year, the number of students applying to the program grows as well as the challenge of finding enough staff to watch them.
"It takes away a feel from the kids being able to have more interaction with adults, but granted, they still have that safe place to go. And they know the drill," says site coordinator Calli Heinemeyer.
MREC had to put more than 40 students on waiting lists across the districts at the beginning of the school year.
School Extension Coordinator Alicia Bohl says youth coordinators are paid well, and only have to work a few hours after school. But there aren't enough to go around.
"I was rear ended in the morning, at 6:30, on my way to work. And I tried calling the school and no one was at the school. So, I had to call one of my staff members, and he was fortunate enough to get there, and be there for the kids," says Heinemeyer. "And that is the most, I didn't even care about my vehicle, the damage, I just wanted to make sure that somebody was there to be with the kids."
As a parent whose child was put on the waiting list, but was lucky enough to get back into the program, Ann Haag says it's not just up to MREC to fix this problem. Parents need to get involved.
"Whether it's the schools or the after school programs, or what not. So get involved and not just take it for granted like I did," says Haag. "And ask them, what can we do to help the program?"
Because helping the program cuts down on the number of latchkey kids, and gives parents some much needed peace of mind.
MREC staff members say since they're funded by the government, there are a few more steps to applying for the job, but it's all worth it. To find out more information visit http://mrecnd.org/.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:57 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:57:59 GMT
The Class B Boys season wrapped up the state tournament tonight in Grand Forks. Fargo Oak Groves defeated Rugby 68 to 58 in overtime fashion. North Star defeated the Lions from Linton-HMB 60 to 49 in the
The Class B Boys season wrapped up the state tournament tonight in Grand Forks.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:54 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:54:06 GMT
The Century Patriots took home 1st place overall in the Swim and Dive State event finishing with 349 points. Followed by Minot with 323 points. North Fargo took home 3rd place overall at 297 points. West
The Century Patriots took home 1st place overall in the Swim and Dive State event finishing with 349 points.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:50 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:50:18 GMT
The West Region Class A boys and girls basketball season concluded play today, and the state qualifiers are set. On the girls side Bismarck High won the tournament with a 64 to 61 win over Century. Both
The West Region Class A boys and girls basketball season concluded play today, and the state qualifiers are set.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:48 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:48:30 GMT
Chair-lifts were packed and tube runs were full, as hundreds of families enjoyed a day at the Bottineau Winter Park. But Saturday was no ordinary day in the Turtle Mountains. It's was the grand opening
Saturday was no ordinary day in the Turtle Mountains. It's was the grand opening of Annie's House, a new ski-lodge and adaptive center.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>
NBC North Dakota News has launched a new channel -- Me-TV North Dakota! If you love the classics, Me-TV North Dakota has them.
NBC North Dakota News has launched a new channel -- Me-TV North Dakota! If you love the classics, Me-TV North Dakota has them. Me-TV North Dakota will also play a replay on the Evening and Night Report at 11:30pm Monday-Friday. As well as, local news and weather updates throughout the day.