by Geoff Fox
Washington County Commissioners have awarded the Hagerstown YMCA a $51,455 in Community Development Block Grant Funds by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
The grant money will be funding the after-school youth program in Hancock, which is held at Hancock Elementary.
The town had reached out to the YMCA to address the pressing need to provide an affordable after-school program to local families.
The grant funds will enable the YMCA to provide a subsidy for families according to their household income on a sliding scale. It also ensures the program remains affordable to Hancock residents.
According to a news release, the YMCA after-school enrichment program provides a high quality licensed program that serves as an extension of the school day with curriculum designed to enhance the learning and development of students.
The YMCA after-school program is open from dismissal until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, providing care for students in Pre-K through fifth grade.
It offers students homework assistance, snacks, crafts, games, and outdoor play, said YMCA Senior Program Director for Youth Development D.J. Stouffer.
Right now, there are 15 children in the program and a goal of 45 children by the end of the year.
“The fee for the program is on a sliding scale ranging from $50 a month to $125 a month,” Stouffer said.
Everyone fills out a scholarship form and base the fee around that information, he added.