Adventure club seeking to increase enrollment

The Richmond R-XVI School District’s School Age Child Care (SACC) program provides before and after school child care for school age children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
The Adventure Club, started by Sharon Powell 15 years ago, when she was principal at Richmond Intermediate School, is another benefit for parents and students in the district. The program is at the Richmond Middle School and offers many attractive features. Adventure Club is not supported financially through the district, but by the parents.
Students receive help with their homework by staff and through the A+ students at Richmond High School. This is just another area where students participating in the A+ program can earn their hours.
Morning daycare begins at 6 a.m., and when there are enough students the district provides transportation for the children to their respective schools. Parents pay for breakfast at their child’s school building, not through Adventure Club.
Afternoon daycare is provided from 3 to 6 p.m. The district provides transportation for the children from their respective schools to the RMS building.
Adventure Club is offered on days that school is dismissed early for teacher in-services, parent conferences or inclement weather. It is not open during most of the holiday breaks.
Marilyn Randle has been with the program for 10 years, the last nine as director. She enjoys her association with the children and buys the supplies out of her own pocket.
When the students arrive after school, a snack is offered and the students can play outside during good weather. A Computer Learning Center is available for students to do their homework and a Reading Center is provided for those that need to complete book reports.
A Dramatic Play Center encourages the children to expand on their “pretend skills” and there are crafts and organized group games to engage children in learning appropriate social skills.
With all it has to offer, currently enrollment in the program is down.
“Our numbers are down to the point where the numbers don’t take care of themselves,” said Superintendent Jim Robins. “We’ve been down before, and the following year we shot back up to 30 to 35 kids.”
Randle said there were 32 students last year, but that three years ago enrollment was down to 15. It varies like any program.
“We currently have 15, but three more are coming in after Thanksgiving,” said Randle. “We just started out with fewer students this year.”
“To sustain it, we need 25,” said Robins. “We are in tough times. Excelsior Springs had five after-school programs and now they’re down to two.”
School board member Brad Richey is an avid supporter of the Adventure Club. “This is a great program. If eliminated, kids would go home that shouldn’t. I’ve sent my kids there and saw good results. I think it’s important and I support it.”
The enrollment fee for Adventure Club is $25 for the first child and $20 for each sibling. The Morning Program is $25 per week per child. The Afternoon Program is $40 per week per child. For those that wish to participate in the Morning and Afternoon programs, the cost is $45 per week per child. Sibling rates are available.

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