BENNINGTON -- The MOSAIC program will continue at Mount Anthony Union Middle School this summer, despite the supervisory union not receiving the 21st Century Learning grant that has funded the program in the past.
Thanks to the efforts of principal Tim Payne and program director Chris Maguire, the program will return this year, beginning on July 7. It will then run for four weeks, from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. The cost is $40 for enrollment in one of the two-week programs, and $20 for enrollment in a one-week program. However, families can apply for waivers to reduce of eliminate the fees.
"We don't like to turn anyone away," said Maguire.
Last year, MOSAIC ran 29 programs. Due to the decrease in funding, the school was forced to reduce its offering to 15 this year. Some of those, said Maguire, have already filled up, including the Minecraft, Woodworking, and Airbrushing programs. Most of the programs are capped between 10 and 15 students, so Maguire encourages parents to submit their registration forms as soon as possible, in order to ensure their children placement in the programs that most interest them. The programs are open to all current and future middle school students.
Other programs available to students are fencing, healthy living, stained glass, cheerleading and gymnastics, volunteers, sign language, ceramics, basketball, animal care, dance and hip hop, smart food cooking, and soccer. Breakfast and lunch is included each day. Additionally, the school is teaming up with Green Mountain Express to provide rides from school to pick-up locations around Bennington and Pownal. Buses will leave the middle school at noon, and will drop students off at Bennington Potters, Friendly's on South Street, Benmont Avenue, Willowbrook, Applegate, Henry's Market, the County Street Bridge, and the Village Market and Winchester's in Pownal.
Maguire, who has run the program for five years, said he will personally work with parents who need financial assistance, or who signed up for programs that are full, to find the best course of action.
"We want these programs to fill up," he said, "Free breakfast and lunch, you can't beat that."
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB