MONETT, Mo. — A nearly 2-million dollar grant is helping child care be one less concern for families in Monett who work long hours.

The money will help fund a new program in the school district.

The Cub House Program is set to start next month.

Its an enriching program that keeps kids busy with educational activities, until parents get off work.

Kourtney Brown, Central Park Elementary Site Director, said,”I’m so excited. I’m ready for it to start right now.”

With a large free and reduced and English as a second language population, the Monett School District wants to create a program that would help kids academically and provide the community with free child care.

David Williams, Monett School District After School Director, said, “It’s a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant, which is a federally funded program that is funneled through the Department of Education out here in Missouri and what it is, they provide up to 2 million dollars in funding over 5 years.”

The school district is one of 20 schools in the state of Missouri to receive the funding.

And so, the Cub House Program was created.

It’s an after school program that gives working families an educational option for kids Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 P.M.

And kids do not have to worry about being bussed anywhere.

“For grades Pre-K, 1, and 2, we’re going to have it at Monett Elementary School, which is where Pre-K 1 and 2 already is. Grades 3 and 4 get to stay in their school, which is Central Park Elementary and then for Grades 5-8, we’re actually bringing the 7th and 8th graders over to Monett Intermediate School, which is where grades 5 and 6,” said Williams

The Cub House Program Will feature a S.T.E.A.M. Curriculum, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

This new initiative will keep kids engaged and learning after the bell.

“We’re going to start with a snack and then after a snack, we’ll have recess time, so they can get a lot of that energy out and then the rest of the time, we’re going to split it up into two parts. We’ll have two exploration parts, where they’ll be with a teacher for a half hour doing some kind of hands-on activity and then they’ll switch and they’ll go to another teacher for a half hour with a hands-on activity and then to fill in the rest of that time, we’re going to have homework help,” said Brown.

This program will also focus on creating a literacy rich environment.

Kayla Roderman, Monett Elementary School Site Director, said, “We’re going to be focusing a lot on interactive read-alouds. We are trying to bring in a lot of community help, so we’re going to have awesome readers come in. We’re inviting everybody that wants to come read to our kids.”

If you would like to be a volunteer reader for the cub house program, contact Kayla Roderman at KRODERMAN@MONETTSCHOOLS.ORG or David Williams at DWILLIAMS@MONETTSCHOOLS.ORG.

The new after school program will begin January 6th and is available for all children in the Monett area Pre-K through 8th grade.

To enroll your child into the Cub House Program, contact one of the Monett Schools or sign up at the school’s office.