SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Earlier this summer, Springfield Public Schools announced updated start times coinciding with an expanded bussing program. Realizing the change could impact parents, the district expanded the SHINE program to help. As of Thursday, SPS says 1,500 students have signed up for the program.
“It is a very busy time right now. We have been going through all of our areas and taking everything out and deep cleaning everything,” stated Courtney Simpkins, Director of the Boys and Girls Club Stalnaker Unit.
Several organizations, including The Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Dream Center, Springfield Parks, and Recreation SPARC project, are partnering with Springfield Public Schools for the SHINE expansion.
The before and after school options will help families impacted by the new school day start and stop times.
To meet the anticipated need, the Boys and Girls club has expanded from five to eight locations.
Now we are actually going to be on-site,” said Jeff Long, Director of Operations at the Boys and Girls Club. We think we are going to be able to serve more kids there that way. Also, we reduce any transportation barriers for parents.”
New funding has been able to hire academic coordinators and purchase materials for each of the new spots. Furthermore, the agency is in the process of hiring even more employees.
Simpkins explained, “They are going to be spending time one on one with our members or in group settings to help get them back to where they need to be, bridging that gap, in math and reading. so being able to have that is going to be excellent for our members.”