By Gary Sabol, Community Relations Manager
More than half of Clover Park School District (CPSD) schools now offer dinner for students in their after-school programs. Beachwood, Carter Lake, Dower, Evergreen, Hillside, Lake Louise, Oakwood, Park Lodge, Southgate, Tillicum, Tyee Park Elementary Schools and Harrison Preparatory School students benefit from the program.
“We used to provide students with a small snack,” said Kevin Scott, director of student nutrition. “We decided to implement the dinner program so students have a good meal in late afternoon. The program is simple to run and provides many benefits to students.”
Southgate Elementary has more than 100 students in its after-school program which focuses on enrichment activities like choir, sports, knitting, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) club and computer club. Students typically receive a half sandwich or wrap, fruit, vegetable and small carton of milk before they start their activities.
“If a student doesn’t want to eat an item, the food is placed into a communal basket so other students can eat it, if they’re still hungry. This way, nothing is wasted,” said Daniel Nego, site coordinator for Southgate’s after-school program, run by Communities In Schools of Lakewood.
The dinner program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Child and Adult Care Food Program” and is managed through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. To be eligible for the program, schools must have a 50 percent free or reduced student population and include an organized after-school program. Athletic programs are not eligible for the program.