The After-School Program at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church began as a dream of Donna Critchfield, which was put into action more than 10 years ago. Donna enlisted retired teacher Diane Vafis to help organize the program, and found volunteer tutors from the church and the community to work with the students. St. Stephen’s provides all of the financial support so there is no cost to the twelve fourth graders who attend the program each year.
The fourth-grade teachers at Egling Middle School recommend students each year who would benefit from extra help. The program offers a snack, some physical activity, tutoring on homework and work on math facts, plus art and craft activities each Wednesday afternoon.
Once the first year’s students reached high school graduation, the church decided to offer scholarships for further education to students who attended their program in the fourth grade. For three years now these students who won the awards have received renewing scholarships. ■