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Georgia College afterschool program earns continued funding

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Georgia College’s Office of Afterschool Achievement has received five years of continued funding for its Youth EnrichmentGeorgia College’s Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program receives continued funding to support academic and enrichment projects at five Baldwin County schools.Georgia College’s Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program receives continued funding to support academic and enrichment projects at five Baldwin County schools. Services (YES) Program — Baldwin County’s only free afterschool program.

The Georgia Department of Education’s 21st Century Learning Community Center Programs granted the YES Program five-year renewal awards to support in-school afterschool projects at four local schools: Baldwin High School, Blandy Hills Elementary School, Midway Elementary School and Oak Hill Middle School.

The renewal awards are significant, said Linda Watson Kaufman, director of Afterschool Achievement at Georgia College.

“Only 30 programs out of 181 in the state received new funding,” Watson Kaufman said, “and the YES Program earned four of those 30 awards.”

During this first year, the federally funded awards total $1,098,739 to support academic and enrichment programming for third- through 12th-grade students. The awards will provide $5,164,090 during the five-year project period.

YES also provides afterschool programming at Eagle Ridge Elementary School, which also earned continued funding through a three-year $811,221 award by the Georgia Department of Education. The school enters its second year of this award.

The YES Program launched during 2007 and previously secured more than $7.7 million to support afterschool programs at the five schools.

Throughout the week, students receive help with homework, individual tutoring and academic enrichment. They participate in activities such as violin lessons; drumming; art; chorus; science; technology; math and science clubs; journalism; radio programming; entrepreneurial projects; physical education and wellness; martial arts; and disc golf. 

YES also provides free transportation for students.

“During afterschool hours, students are in a safe and productive environment where they can explore fun activities that relate to their coursework,” said Watson Kaufman. “Students also engage in activities they may not have been able to do before.”

The program is a collaborative project between Georgia College, Baldwin County Schools, Baldwin County Parks and Recreation, community volunteers and local businesses.

With new funding, YES will impact hundreds of local students throughout the academic year:

  • Baldwin High School: 200 students (100 during the academic year and 100 during the summer);
  • Blandy Hills Elementary School: 150 students;
  • Midway Elementary School: 150 students;
  • Oak Hill Middle School: 150 students; and
  • Eagle Ridge Elementary School: 144 students. 

This year’s YES program begins Tuesday, Sept. 4.

“We’re thrilled to continue to offer these opportunities to the children and families of Baldwin County for another five years and to continue our partnerships with the local community,” said Watson Kaufman. “The program gives our local students another chance to become successful in school and life.”

For more information about this program, contact Linda Watson Kaufman at 478-445-0145 or

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.