An after school program is working to make a difference for families in Roanoke.
Roanoke students head back to school tomorrow and teachers and parents are making last minute preparations, and so is an after school program that more than one hundred fifty children take part in.
It's a resource for parents who may not get off work in time to pick their children up from school and it's a great way for kids to get one on one tutoring for a low cost.
A safe place to play and meet other kids their own age. A place to learn and get one on one help with homework. Roanoke City Recreation Coordinator Melida McKee says these programs go above and beyond your typical after school program. McKee says it's a better option for many Roanoke City kids than the alternative.
"The other option would be to go home by themselves or go home and have nothing to do," McKee said. "So here we are helping them with homework so the parents when they get home aren't necessarily having to spend a lot of time when they get home. They can focus on making dinner and family time."
McKee says one of the programs that's really making a difference is the Eureka Center at the heart of Melrose. There children who need it the most are getting the attention they need and guidance for the future.
Of the four centers across Roanoke, Eureka has one of the larger attendances.
Recreation Specialist Vickie Briggs has been working one on one with students at the center for years. She says its a vital opportunity for these youth that focuses on the importance of education.
"A lot of children who come here, they don't have that sometimes," McKee said. " Some of the parents need help. That's where we get involved to give them that assistance, as well as we try to keep our price low so these children can get involved and learn those things."
The price per week: only $25.
Briggs has high hopes for the children in her program.
"They may be the next president of the United States," McKee said.
The program aims to keep a 10 to 1 student per volunteer ratio and they are currently searching for volunteers.
Volunteers can be in any profession and must be able to pass a background check.
For more information about volunteering or signing your child up for the center call 853-2236.