St. Edmond to launch Before School program

St. Edmond Catholic School will launch its Before School program at the beginning for the 2014-2015 school year in August.

The hourlong program, which complements St. Edmond’s After School (SEAS) program, will run from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. The students will then go to breakfast and start their regular school day.

“It will be a place for parents to drop their kids off if they need to get to work early,” said Linda Mitchell, St. Edmond Elementary principal. “They’ll be working on their homework. They can play board games. They can read library books.

A need for this service exists in the community, said Mary Gibb, St. Edmond president.

“Most people have to be to work by or before 8 o’clock,” Gibb said. “And if you had to go in even one day a week for a meeting at 7, if you don’t have family that lives near you, what do you do with your children? We thought this would be a service to our parents.”

She added, “As a working mom myself, knowing I had a place to take my children that was safe and would feed them breakfast, that would ease my mind.”

The Before School program will be different from SEAS, Mitchell said.

“Our after-school program is more structured for homework completion. This one will not,” she said. “It will be a place where they can just come and they’re supervised for an hour.”

According to Mitchell, starting such a program has been discussed throughout the year.

“In town there are so many different companies that have different work schedules nowadays,” she said. “Our after-school program has been successful, so we thought we would just take the same concept and expand it. Our biggest challenge will be finding a teacher who wants to come in at 6:30 in the morning, and have little ones there.”

The community already has been receptive to the idea, Mitchell said.

“We did do a survey with our parents,” Mitchell said, “And 70 to 80 percent thought it would be beneficial to our students and families here, to have that as an option.”

Gibb said she is excited about the program.

“I think it’s a great option for parents,” Gibb said. “It can be very stressful when you have to work at 7 in the morning and wonder what you’re going to do with your children.”