NORTH HAVEN — Families in town will have the option of afterschool care soon due to a partnership between the schools and the Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club.
The afterschool program is set to begin Sept. 8. It is available at all North Haven public elementary schools and North Haven Middle School, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Conversation about afterschool programs began in summer 2019, when local residents recognized a need for more youth services. In August 2019, the Wallingford-based Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club opened a branch at Hope Church.
“We had a wait list as soon as we opened,” said club director Carlos Collazo.
The pandemic only increased the need for afterschool care, leading the club to operate on a hybrid model. About 100 students attended.
Just over 200 students are registered for the 2021-2022 afterschool program, a 100% increase in enrollment.
The program will provide tutoring, homework help, arts and crafts, athletics and theater. Before school care is provided at the Hope Church site.
“There was a need for a recreational space,” Collazo said of the club’s partnership with North Haven Health and Racquet. Students in the afterschool program, and all members of the Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club, now have access to tennis courts, gymnasiums, and a track.
First Selectman Mike Freda worked closely with Collazo and the club’s board.
“This is critically important and represents a wonderful resource for parents,” Freda said.
Previously, Freda visited the Ulbrich summer program.
“You can clearly see the wonderful impact… they are engaged and energized, well behaved and disciplined,” he said.
The partnership also received support from North Haven Superintendent of Schools Patrick Stirk.
“The partnership between NHPS and the Boys and Girls Club has grown exponentially over the past few years. The Club provides a safe and engaging environment for our students and we are excited to offer school-based after care programs at each elementary school as well as North Haven Middle School,” he said.