Orange Beach announces $500K after-school program to boost student performance


The city of Orange Beach is close to having its own middle and high school facility after sharing with Gulf Shores for years and it intends to add a significant after-school program as well.

Educators say the "Expect Excellence" after-school program aims to provide students extra development in academics, arts, athletics and more.

The city of Orange Beach will soon welcome its first ever middle and high school student class and waiting for the kids will be an extensive after school program in full swing.

Tony Kennon, Orange Beach Mayor, said the program will be bursting at the seams with activities.

"Our after school program will be academics, performing arts, visual arts and athletics," said Mayor Kennon.

Mayor Kennon outlined the city's plans to a packed crowd inside the city council chambers on Thursday.

Kennon said the program will be available as early as March with each program offering specialty teachers, instructors and coaches.

Some of these staff members will be paid and some will be volunteers.

It'll likely cost of half a million dollars, which Kennon says is worth it.

"We want every child to reach their maximum potential for the gifts the good lord gave them. It's being the best you can be based on your work ethic, and discipline and preparing you for life," Mayor Kennon said.

NBC 15 spoke to parents who attended the meeting and many agreed with Mayor Kennon.

"It's available for everyone and it's a community effort and partnership with our school system," said Jennifer Cardwell, whose son attends school in Orange Beach.

Matt Fetner has several young children who will attend an Orange Beach middle and high school once it's built in 2019.

"Not only will the programs help them athletically, academically and through the arts, but having schools in the city you're born and raised in will be great to have a sense of community and pride," Fetner said.

There will be a base cost for students participating but the price has not been determined at this time.

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