The floundering program in local schools has just gotten a big boost.

After two scoreboards were auctioned off during the winter, raising over $1,300 for the Wellington After School Program, middle school Reading and Math Teacher, Cindy Tracy had this to say: "This is just a dream come true. It will really help our kids, but we need a lot more help."

Help has arrived.

Today, Tracy announced that the local after school program has received a five-year, $450,000 grant from the 21st Century Community Learning Center.

"[It's going to make a] tremendous impact," Tracy said on Wednesday. "We were at the point where we were going to have to quit having the program with the way school finances are." This funding will provide stability to the programs at each Wellington elementary school, and the middle school.

"The sale of the scoreboards helped us a little bit, but we were still in a desperate need," Tracy said. At the middle school program alone, about 50 kids are there each night. With the added funding, local students will get added opportunities with the after school program.

"The kids will get to do...field trips to enhance their education, not only with their homework, but in the arts," Tracy said. As far as more grants being applied for in the future, it's a game of wait-and-see.

"This was my first attempt at a grant," Tracy said. "It was a lot of work, but when I found out that we could do this, we need to pursue what happens after five years."

For more information about the after school program in Wellington, contact Tracy at the middle school, 326-4320, or e-mail For the next five years, and hopefully beyond, the after school program will continue to provide students with the tools and resources they need.

"I'm so excited," Tracy said.