After the Bell Program

A free opportunity for middle school youth to participate in enrichment activities through the support of individuals, community organizations, businesses, Merrill Area Public Schools and Lincoln County UW-Extension 4-H Youth Development.

Many young people find themselves without supervision on weekdays between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.  Afterschool programs not only keep kids safe, they also help improve students’ academic performance, school attendance, behavior and health, and support working families.  Overall, the research shows that children who are supervised and engaged in structured activities are less likely to participate in high risk activities.  For middle school students, being supervised after-school reduces by half the risk that they will smoke, drink, or abuse drugs.  At a time when families and communities are struggling financially and kids are falling behind academically, afterschool programs are needed now more than ever.

Cooking Day

This is why the “After the Bell” program was created and has provided 591 different youth a place to go during the after school hours for the past twelve years.  Many of the youth who have participated have come to the program for all three years they attended the middle school.  Past participants have indicated that the “After the Bell” program provides them with a safe place to go after school where they felt a sense of belonging, provided them with opportunities to learn new skills, develop more independence, and allowed them to participate in service opportunities.  Youth indicate they have fun while learning new things to do.

For the 2016-17 school year, the “After the Bell” program will begin on Monday, September 12, 2016.  This program is available for all middle school students whether they attend public or parochial school from 3:05 – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday in Room 118 (enter the school through Door 14) at the Prairie River Middle School on regular school days.  The program offers participants a safe, easily accessible place to go after school where they have the opportunity to participate in positive enrichment activities and learn new skills.  Participants are supervised by an adult supervisor along with community volunteers as needed and available.  Each day the program offers students a place to choose to participate in enrichment activities, do their homework, play board games, visit with friends and/or have a snack.   Students do not need to attend the program every day but can choose which days they wish to attend.

If students are interested in participating, they can pick up information and required forms in the Prairie River Middle School office, T.B. Scott Library, the UW-Extension office or the first day they attend the program.  Forms are also available below.  Completed forms must be turned in the second time you attend the program.

Program Information and Forms:Jr Reporters Activity

2016-17 After the Bell Information Letter

2016-17 After the Bell Permission and Health Form

Interested in Supporting the Program:

Volunteer Opportunities — In trying to keep our budget low, we are seeking volunteers to help supervise or lead enrichment activities for participants, whether a one-time or a regular basis.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Ann Stoeckmann, Program Coordinator at astoeckmann@gmail.com or (715) 536-3016 or Debbie Moellendorf at the Lincoln County UW-Extension office at (715) 539-1077 or via e-mail at deborah.moellendorf@ces.uwex.edu.

Financial Support – To  keep the cost of the program free to participants, the program relies on the generosity and support of the local community to fund the program expenses.  Funds are needed for supplies and paying staff who provide daily supervision of the program.  If you are interested in making a donation to the “After the Bell” 2016-2017 school year program, please contact Debbie Moellendorf at the Lincoln County UW-Extension office at (715) 539-1077 or via e-mail at deborah.moellendorf@ces.uwex.edu.

After the Bell Funding Proposal for 2016-17

Thank you to the following individuals, businesses and organizations who donated and are making the 2016-17 program possible:

  • Church Mutual Employees through Christmas Is Committee
  • Eagles Aerie 584
  • Hugo’s
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Lincoln County Safe and Stable Families grant
  • Lise Skofronick
  • Optimist Club of Merrill
  • T.B. Scott Library Board
  • T.B. Scott Library Staff through their “Casual Friday fund”
  • Turtle Lake Forestry, LLC

ATB Program in the News:

Help for After the Bell – Merril Focus – February 10 2017

Church Mutual Christmas Is Committee Donates to After the Bell – Merrill Foto News – January 25 2017

Church Mutual Christmas Is Committee Donates to After the Bell – Merrill Courier – January 20 2017

Local financial support continues for ‘After the Bell’ program-Merrill Courier-November 4 2016

Local financial support continues for ‘After the Bell’ Program – Merrill Foto News – November 2 2016

Local financial support continues to make After the Bell program possible-Merrill Foto News-October 26 2016

Local financial support continues to make After the Bell program possible – Merrill Courier – October 14 2016

After the Bell program to start next Monday-Merrill Foto News-September 7 2016

After the Bell program to start on Monday – Merrill Courier September 9 2016

Merrill’s free after-school program relies on donations – Merrill Focus – March 11 2016

Local financial support continues to make the After the Bell program possible – Merrill Courier March 4 2016

Optimist of Merrill Donation – Foto News March 2 2016

Middle schoolers invited to participate in ‘After the Bell’ program – Merrill Courier – October 30 2015

Donationa make program possible – Merrill Focus October 23 2015

Local financial support makes the After the Bell program possible – Merrill Courier – October 9 2015

After the Bell program to start Sept 8 – Merrill Focus – August 28 2015

After the Bell program to start Sept 8 – Merrill Courier – August 21 2015

After the Bell program to start Sept. 8 – Merrill Foto News – August 19 2015

Merrill Knights donate $1,000 – Merrill Focus – July 10 2015

Knights of Columbus Donation – Merrill Courier – July 3 2015

Knights of Columbus Donation – Merrill Foto News – July 1 2015

T.B. Scott Library Staff Donation Photo and Recognition of all 2014-15 Supporters – Merrill Courier – April 10 2015

T.B. Scott Library Staff Donation Photo and Recognition of all 2014-15 Supporters – Foto News – April 8 2015

 

Impact of After School Programs:

School’s Out! Out-of-School Time Key to Children’s Success – Wiskids Policy Brief Fall 2006

More than Fun & Games – WisKids Count Issue Brief Summer 2008

Wisconsin 4-H Afterschool Program Impact Report (January 2011)