“A longtime after-school program facing shutdownwas saved just as students in East Ramapo were heading back to class this week to start a new school year.
On Wednesday, the school board approved a lease agreement keeping the Rockland After School Program at Kakiat Elementary, which helped ease concerns from parents unsure of where they’d send their children each afternoon. Earlier that day, students across East Ramapo’s 14 schools returned to class.
“We are grateful that (Superintendent Deborah) Wortham, the board and RASP were able to find a solution so it can remain open,” Triny Hertzberg, the program’s founder and director, said Thursday.
Last year, 80 children attended the East Ramapo RASP program.
For more than three decades, RASP has served thousands of children by offering them a place to spend time with friends, play games or get a jump start on homework. However, Hertzberg was uncertain what would happen in September after she was unable to pay the remaining balance of rent owed for the two rooms RASP uses at Kakiat.
Since the district began charging the program rent eight years ago, Hertzberg said they’ve paid more than $282,000 in rent, which “is a lot of money for a little tax-exempt organization to come up with.”
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