JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Wednesday visited Pinedale Elementary School in the city's Lackawanna area to see the after-school program in action.
They mayor's visit came just weeks after the city invested extra funding, totaling nearly $13 million, so that more than 8,000 Jacksonville children have some place positive to go when school lets out.
Curry described the hard-working educators providing vital after-school programs for local kids as "the real people who are actually getting it done."
He saw for himself how the extra funding from the city of Jacksonville is making it possible for students to continue to learn after school gets out. Curry also heard from the educators who are making it happen.
"The students actually receive an extension of the school day in those skills that they are primarily showing some areas of weakness, or concern, so academic hour is based on their needs," said Pinedale Elementary School Principal Alicia Hinson.
While touring the school, Curry also noticed the relationships, discipline and focus mirrored some school nights in his own home.
"This is interesting. So my daughter is in fifth grade. She was working on science, and she was asking me questions about problems," Curry said. "She was working on that last night, and it's cool to see it happening here."
The extra funding now makes after-school activities possible for more thousands of Jacksonville students, which is just as exciting for the educators.
"It brings me much joy. I've seen a lot of the students graduate and promote on to grade levels over time. They get that academic hour. They get the enrichment," said Enrichment Program Director Shakyla Mayo.
Curry said the additional funding for after-school programs will help the city in meeting his goal of keeping children out of gangs.