BOLIVAR, Mo. – Construction is currently underway at a Bolivar church to help meet the community’s needs.

The Heights Church will soon be opening an after-school program for students to receive care, tutoring, and Christian mentoring. Church leaders said it comes after hearing from the community about the need for more care options.

“I think the bigger issue for a lot of families is the lack of resources in smaller communities,” said Pastor Matt Bunn. “It’s a lot of work to put on an after-school program. It’s expensive, takes a lot of different resources.”

For those reasons, Bunn said, there are currently very few options available. “We’ve had some in our community that had to close for various reasons,” said Bunn.

The new church program will be starting shortly. Bunn said the program will start out accepting 30 students in kindergarten through middle school ages.

“Then eventually moving to 49,” said Bunn.

Carissa Baker, a Bolivar parent, said this new program will especially help her family as she is a foster parent.

“It’s hard to find care for school-aged kids,” said Baker. “Then you add on the layer of being a foster placement, that really limits us on where we can send our kids.”

Baker said she and her husband both work full-time, so the care is needed. Church leaders said they are finishing up hiring for the program and working on transportation options.

“Here at The Heights, we believe that we’re called to make a difference,” said Bunn.

The program will run after school from about 3:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.