Over 370 students have attended the Tornado Learning Club in Storm Lake in its first year, which points to the program's success. An average of 64 students attend per day.
Community support was evident, too, especially last week during Lights On Afterschool, a nation-wide program promoting afterschool programs. A large crowd attended for the Storm Lake celebration at the middle school, as well as for the new after-school programs at each elementary. Donna Queen, TLC director, said she looks forward to offering more family night events like that one.
"We can get families to come have a meal together and offer good activity for maybe an hour," she said. "It's something I feel is very important for us even if we only have two or three times a year."
Queen presented the annual review of TLC to the Storm Lake School Board this week. The review is required by the federal government, which administers the grant money used to support the program, which assists in academics and student support as well as fighting "latchkey kid" syndrome.
While one of the purposes of the afterschool program is to show improvements in academic achievement, Queen said many of the improvements are not necessarily reflected in the statistics.
"Teachers support the program and what it strives for with the students," Queen said.
Read the rest of this article in the 10/21 Pilot Tribune.