San Antonio after-school programs filling up weeks before classes begin

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio area school districts are gearing up for the start of the classes, but they’re also gearing up to support families after school with programs for students.

Charlie Gallardo, director of guidance and counseling for South San ISD, said there’s excitement for the return of students starting next week. They’re grateful for community partners who help provide emotional and academic support to students and families before and after school.

“At all our middle schools and high schools, we’ve got all sports, boys and girls sports. We’ve got band, cheer, dance. We’ve got ROTC — anything that students can get involved in,” Gallardo said about the district’s programs.

SA Youth provides after-school enrichment for the kids. Allyce Ramon with SA Youth says they can only sign up 520 students in programs this year compared to 840 last year.

“We’re facing a staffing shortage,” she said. There’s a waiting list of the after-school programs. If they could hire 15 to 20 more staff, they would be able to get those on the waiting list in.”

The YMCA after-school programs are about 50 staff members short this year. Shannon Gowen, with the YMCA, said filling those positions could open up about 300 spots for kids.

If you have not signed up for an after-school program for your child, get on a list now. If you don’t know what programs are available, reach out to your child’s campus to learn more.

Gallardo said families who need support beyond after-school programs, such as counseling or food, will also find help by contacting campuses.

“If a student is looking for it, either we have it or we’re going to push you in the right direction,” he said.

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