A small step towards before and after school programming in Morden took place at the United Way Pembina Valley granting day. 

Chair of Morden's School Age Programming Committee Grace Keeling is grateful for the injection of funds towards the project. The recently formed committee is composed of parents and community leaders dedicated to creating before and after school programming for school-age kids in the community.  

"United Way has granted us with $6650 and we're hoping that we're going to use these funds mostly to help with the startup fees to get this programming going so that staffing, equipment, and supplies."  

Chair of Morden's School Age Programming Committee Grace KeelingChair of Morden's School Age Programming Committee Grace Keeling

She said they are looking at creating a model like the Brandon YMCA.  

"Their programming is recreation oriented, so we provide children an experience before and after school. It's more to get kids exposed to different areas, such as art, exposure to firefighters. The firefighters talked about getting into sports like soccer, and basketball, and stuff like that. But even looking at other agencies to see if they want to come in and do jujitsu or something like that. Not all of the kids like the same thing, so, we're still in the stage of brainstorming and figuring out who wants to come and help out with this."  

While this was inspired by the need for childcare in the community, this program is for all school age students and goes beyond a safe place to stay. 

"Also, it serves the purpose of helping the community with their needs. Some of them are working parents and they need help with that pickup and drop off as well, but we want to make sure that we're providing kids with an experience and having some exposure to different agencies, and different physical (activities), and also art, and things of that nature.  

The project is in its early stages and still needs more community involvement. 

"So, we're looking for people who are integrated in the community and have a network where they know agencies or they know organizations like Pembina Hills Arts Council, that want to be part of this. And then, if we have even one (representative) from each school or anyone who has experience making a startup organization happen, that would really help too." 

Those looking for more information or wanting to support the Morden's School Age Programming Committee with time, ideas, or money can email: mordenschoolagecare@gmail.com