Tough financial times have knocked an after-school tutoring program off its feet in the Pen Argyl Area School District, the school board was told Tuesday night.
“The funding is not coming in,” said Frank W. Jones Jr., the director of Families First, a non-profit organization that runs the after-school tutoring and homework assistance program for middle school students.
For the first time in five years the program, which helps students struggling with reading and math studies, has not been tutoring about 30 students, three days a week, Jones said. “We’re not running right now,” he said.
Jones said the program operates on a budget of about $22,000 a year but the money dried up earlier this year when, he said, “two organizations decided they were not going to fund us this year.”
Jones said he intends to meet today with United Way officials and try to get back in its funding cycle beginning next year. Jones attributed the funding problems to the fact that “money is getting tight everywhere.”
Students in the program are taught by current and retired teachers who are paid about $37 an hour, which is less than the standard rate teachers are paid, about $44 an hour, he said. Snacks and bus transportation are also provided, he said. Jones said sponsors can call 610-863-9095 ext. 1308.