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On January 19, 2019, After-the-Bell celebrated its 20th anniversary of providing safe, structured and meaningful after-school programming for middle school students who reside in the Kennett Consolidated School District. After-The-Bell has just been named a Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) AFTERSCHOOL CHAMPION in the QUALITY and ORGANIZATION categories.
After-The-Bell was the brain child of John and Denise Wood and Marshall Newton. As members of the Kennett Episcopal Church of the Advent, they had participated in a community listening study to explore and address challenges in Kennett Square in the late 1990s. The study revealed growing concerns about children of middle school age who were home alone after school, before their parents returned from work. Local law enforcement and community leaders expressed concerns that these children could be exploited or could, themselves, engage in risk behaviors.
The Woods and Mr. Newton established the not-for-profit Kennett After-School Association (KASA) in order to create an after-school program that would be open to all middle school students at no cost to any student or family.
The program is open to all middle school students who reside in the Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD), including those who are home-schooled or attend charter schools. In keeping with the original mission of the founders, no child or family has ever paid for the activities and services provided, and the program has been offered at no cost to school district taxpayers. All funding for the program has been provided via donations from foundations, organizations, area businesses and community members.
Just a few of the incredible activities offered to students are behind the scenes tours of Winterthur, one-on-one academic assistance from tutors, movie-making, visits to Stroud Water Research Center, PSSA prep, cooking, sports, and much more.
After-The-Bell originally opened its doors to 80 students on January 19, 1999. Over the last two decades, After-The-Bell has served 5,726 students. More than 1,000 men, women and high school students have volunteered in the program since 1999.
Fig is proud to be the media sponsor for After-The-Bell’s Annual Fundraiser called A Taste of Kennett, which will be held on March 22nd, 2019 at the Holly Peters Oriental Rug Gallery. The event will feature signature dishes and libations provided by approximately 20 local food and drink establishments.
The program relies on the generosity of foundations, local businesses and community members for all funding. To make a donation of your time, dollars, or expertise, please visit afterthebell.org or call 610-268-5889.
Written by Kathy Do