The Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Department is reducing its services offered at an after-school program because of funding issues.

Department Director Terry Peek said the R.D. Smith After School Program lost a $21,000 mental health grant that helped fund it. The program will be reorganized and downsized to make up for losing the grant, but it will not be completely eliminated.

“We are not closing,” Peek said. “We are having to reorganize.”

The program will have to drop available spots from 75 children to just 30 children, and Peek said there will no longer be school bus drop-offs available. The staff size will also be reduced, but the department will not charge for children to take part.

The “Just Bring It” Education Enrichment Program will be available from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. each day to offer children homework assistance and provide healthy snacks, Peek said. The youth center will then be opened up from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day to allow children to play games or use computers there. The programs will be available every weekday except for holidays and as long as space is available.

“We are downsizing,” Peek said, “but we are still offering homework help to children.”

Peek said the decision was made to downsize the program over charging fees for children to take part in it. The downsizing brings it back to the number of students when it was offered two years ago.

Anyone in need of additional information or to register a child can contact R.D. Smith Youth Center Director Carol Simpson at 985-3714 or the recreation department at 890-5429.

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