SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The new year for Springfield Public Schools starts with revised start times for many kids.
In recent weeks, preparations have been underway for the new SHINE before and after school program, which helps parents and kids impacted by the changes. It is launching with a few vacancies to fill.
“We were super excited to be a part of it, to be able to collaborate together, “ said Diana Ellison, School-Park Administrator for the SPARC program. “Some of the challenges that we run into are capacity as well as staffing. So, the more staff we have on, the more students we are able to serve.”
SPARC, one of the SHINE partner programs launching next week, says it has plenty of kids, but not enough workers.
It needs at least 25 more. The Boys and Girls Club says it is in the same boat.
Jeff Long, Director of Operations at the Boys and Girls Club, stated, ‘Honestly, though, while our attendance is good for our clubs, we could serve even more if we have more staff.” He added, “But, here is the key- we have a real organized onboarding system and we are not just looking for warm bodies. This has to be someone who is passionate about working with kids and wants to make a difference in the kids’ lives.”
Some help could be on the way, thanks to some much older students.
“We are looking forward to the college students coming back to town as we are blessed to have some great universities here in town. Once they get settled in, maybe they are wanting to be a teacher or work with youth in general,” Long stated.
The agencies explain that the idea may be a stretch for existing employees and resources. However, they will make it work somehow, and no kid will be left out.
“In some of those areas where we are not able to expand, SPS is able to step in and help us as well with providing some additional staff after school,” Ellison stated.
“I know that we will come together and make this happen, but we are at a time that we could use some more help as far as staffing and everything,” Long said.
The Boys and Girls Club recently held a hiring fair and will be hosting another one this coming Wednesday, August 25th. SPARC is also trying to recruit new workers by taking out radio ads and conducting other outreach efforts to attract additional help.