Delaware legislators push for afterschool enrichment program

 Del. State Rep. Valerie Longhurst unveiled legislation to launch a new statewide afterschool program initiative at Gunning Bedford Middle School near Delaware City. (Delaware House Democratic Caucus Facebook photo)

Del. State Rep. Valerie Longhurst unveiled legislation to launch a new statewide afterschool program initiative at Gunning Bedford Middle School near Delaware City. (Delaware House Democratic Caucus Facebook photo)

Delaware legislators are asking the state for $10 million to establish a network of afterschool programs at high-need schools.

A bill unveiled Wednesday by State House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, would create the Statewide Afterschool Initiative Learning (SAIL) program. Through SAIL, the state would provide grants to support programs at schools with high percentages of low-income students.

To qualify for the grant money, afterschool programs must offer three hours of programming, five days a week and have a student-teacher ratio of 10-to-1 or lower.

An estimated 26,240 Delaware kids participate in an afterschool program, according to the Afterschool Alliance. The organization said another 48,140 would participate, if a program were available to them.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Nicole Poore, D-New Castle, and Harris McDowell, D-Wilmington. Attorney General Matt Denn has also pledged his support.

The measure is slated to be filed in the House next week. 

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