Longer Summer Break for Students; Parents and Programs Adjust

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By CBS-8 Reporter

Normally, children return home from their first day of school around this time and day. But recent legislation requires schools to start no earlier than two weeks before Labor Day, and the new date is causing some problems.

Schools won't start for another two weeks. While many children are loving the longer break, some summer programs have had to make adjustments, and it's costing them a pretty penny.

Ask any child, and they'll give you the same answer.

"I'm excited to start later, because I get to come here and have fun with my friends," says student Andrea Blowe.

Recently, lawmakers have tacked on two weeks to summer break in hopes families will squeeze in one last vacation bringing more money into the state.
This year instead of starting on August 6, students won't be back in the classroom until August 20.

For summer programs like the one offered at the Boys and Girls Club of the River Region in Montgomery, it means two extra weeks, the club will have to offer summer hours.

"Normally this time, you would have about 170 [members]. Now this time we have about 245, and that's expensive. Very expensive," says Executive Director Rick Jackson.

Jackson says that's 10 days, they weren't expecting to pay an entire staff and watch over an additional 75 kids.

"We were a little prepared, but not this many. We adjusted. The staff pulling longer hours. Anything to make a difference in these kids lives," he says.

And while a longer break means more money for Boys and Girls Club employees.

"A little extra cash. Yes, it's great. Get to spend more," says employee Javonda Young.

Parents like Michelle Fields say the longer break means her wallet will take a hit.

"Spend a little extra money on activities. Trying to keep them busy and get them ready for school," she says.

If you would like to help out the Boys and Girls Club, employees say just give them a call at (334) 832-4288.

Lawmakers say another reason they've extended summer break is because they'll save money. They say running a school during the heat of summer drives energy costs.

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Christina Harris said on Monday, Aug 6 at 7:26 PM

I love it. Summer vacation used to Mean Summer. We got out of school the first Friday in June and went back the Wednesday or first Monday after Labor Day...End of Summer...

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