Youngstown students extend learning with new after-school program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Youngstown City School District started a new after-school program this week, continuing the students’ education through a new computer program.

The computer program, i-Ready, allows students to extend the school day by playing games that test their skills. Teachers say most of their students are taking part in and enjoying the program.

Pauline Cunningham has been teaching with Youngstown City Schools for six years. She says the district’s new after-school program, only on its second day, is already helping her during the school day in her second grade classroom.

“I asked in class about cause and effect and yesterday, they were playing a game on cause and effect, and they were able to go ahead and relate that.”

The schools are using i-Ready to help kids learn math and English skills at their grade level. Kids seem to love it.

“It’s teaching me hundreds and hundreds of math!” one student said. Another was happy to be able to play on the computers.

The i-Ready program tracks all of the students’ progress. Teachers who work the after-school program can send each student’s results to their regular teacher.

More than 900 Youngstown City School students are involved in the new program. There are over 90 Youngstown State University tutors and Youngstown City teachers helping out.

“Our teachers are awesome, and they are going above and beyond the call of duty to help our students learn and grow,” said Director of Transformation Kelly Weeks.

Ten of the district’s schools currently have the after-school program, which runs Monday through Thursday. The hours depend on the school and grade level.

The district is encouraging students who need additional help to participate.

“Our students sometimes need some extra help with reading and math,” Weeks said. “This is providing that extra instruction they may not be able to get during the school day and it’s very individualized for them.”

Students get a snack and dinner before being bused home.

Monday night, between 20 and 30 students arrived home late because their address was not up-to-date or no one was home when the bus came by. On Tuesday, five students from two different families experienced busing issues because the district didn’t have the right address.

School officials are working to resolve busing issues by checking addresses so each child can be taken directly to their home.