Keeping the lights on after school
The program is run by Somali Kulan Community, in partnership with Rochester Public Schools through a federal grant. It's one of more than 50 after-school programs throughout Rochester providing kids with opportunities to learn after the traditional...
Students, ranging from kindergarten to high school, file into what was once an apartment, but is now a converted study space for an after-school program three days a week.
Here, students work together on homework, have access to computers and study materials, and play with their friends. And it's convenient because most live in the Creekside Apartment complex in which the space is housed.
The program is run by Somali Kulan Community, in partnership with Rochester Public Schools through a federal grant. It's one of more than 50 after-school programs throughout Rochester — including Boys & Girls Club of Rochester and those hosted at Rochester Public Schools — providing kids with opportunities to learn after the traditional school day has ended.
"We try to have them in a structured program without video games for two or three hours," said Abdi Roble, who runs the program. "Parents don't have to worry if they're still at work."
Roble works to help the younger students with their homework and keeps on them so that they know to prepare for quizzes and tests. With the older students, he talks about applying for college
He talks about applying for college with the many of the older students.
"We've been there before, we share what we've learned and how to navigate the system," Roble said.
This week, many of the city's after-school programs will be celebrating with "Lights On Afterschool," a national rally that aims to raise awareness of the program and draw community support for them. They provide homework help, mentoring, tutoring, healthy snacks and meals, opportunities to play sports, college and career readiness and much more.
"It's another chance for our kids to work with their peers and supportive adults in a positive environment," said Amy Eich, director of community education with RPS.
Somali Kulan Community is in its first year at the location, after it was one of three programs that was awarded a three-year, $2 million grant through RPS in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester.
The funding allows RPS to provide more after school programming that will geographically "cover the district," Eich said. "It opens the doors for all of our kids to participate."
This type of programming is crucial in helping students succeed later in life, according to Afterschool Alliance.
"These programs give kids a chance to discover their talents and passions," said Jodi Grant, Afterschool Alliance director in a news release. "They keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and give parents peace of mind while they are at work."