After-school program cut in Russellville elementary schools

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A federally funded after-school and summer program in Franklin County is being cut when the grant expires at the end of September.

Audrey Marsh is a concerned parent.  She emailed WHNT News 19 to ask us to Take Action on the issue.

“I am truly upset over this, not just for my child but for other children and their parents that are trying to work and make a living,” Marsh wrote.

Marsh is one of many parents who will be affected by the program’s end.

WHNT News 19 is looking into what is at the bottom of this move by the Russellville Board of Education.

Several years ago the Russellville School System was included in a grant application by the Franklin County School System to start an after-school program.

Russellville Superintendent of Education Rex Mayfield says the Franklin County School System administrated the Century 21 grant and applied for it each year.

A few weeks ago, Mayfield found out the grant would not be available to their school system after September 30th.

“That one grant had grown into three,” said Mayfield. “They [Franklin County School System] decided to go ahead and renew two of those grants, but because of personnel in their office and some of the constraints of them financially, they are not renewing the third one which was our students.”

Mayfield says there is not enough time to apply for the grant which services the after-school program for Russellville elementary school students.

And according to Mayfield, as soon as it was discovered the program would not be able to continue, parents were notified.

“We would need a significant amount of money to fund it and make it operate the way it was operating currently,” explained Mayfield. “If we had an after-school program where we charged everyone a set fee, it might be possible but that’s not how this program is set up.”

Now Mayfield says they must decide where to go from here.

Mayfield added he appreciates the Franklin County School System for giving Russellville’s students the opportunity to participate in the T.R.A.C.K.S. program for this many years.