HAMMOND — After more than a year of planning, an after-school education program for Hammond fifth- through eighth-graders will open Sept. 2 — thanks to funding by the Hammond City Council and the Tangipahoa Parish School Board.
Both public bodies have agreed to chip in $50,000 apiece to jump-start the program, developed by the Hammond Youth Education Alliance Inc.
The after-hours school will be on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters.
City Councilman Lemar Marshall, an early supporter of the program, said between 50 and 60 students will be welcomed at the school’s opening session, and enrollment is expected to remain at about that level for the coming year.
The school initially will open at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church near the Martin Luther King Jr. Park in the northeast section of Hammond. Other venues may be used in the future, Marshall said.
Instruction at the school in English, the arts, science, technology, engineering, creative arts and mathematics will be conducted by Young Audiences of Louisiana, headquartered in New Orleans. Marshall said that group was chosen because of its proven track record in providing quality after-school programs.
Students will be taken to the after-hours session from their schools by parish school buses and will be picked up by their parents at the session’s conclusion.
Cost for attending the after-hours school will be based on a sliding scale that takes into consideration the students’ family income. Scholarships will be available, Marshall said.
“This program will allow us to take better care of many young students who will have learning resources not now available to them,” Marshall said.