When the School Day Ends, These Programs Keep Youth Active and Engaged

The programs are run by recreation leaders hired by the City of Burien who have experience working with youth in a recreation setting. Many of the recreation leaders were participants in the same afterschool programs when they were students.

During the school year, the City of Burien’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PaRCS) Department offers five afterschool programs at select Highline Public Schools. The City also partners with other organizations, including ArtsCorps, RopeWorks, Y.E.T.I., and Krownless Kings to support other programs in schools.

The programs provide a safe and fun place for youth to be after school, making up a critical component of the childcare system that allows caregivers to work. Studies of similar programs have demonstrated links to increased school attendance and academic success. They are also an important element of the social and emotional support system our youth need to engage in healthy and safe behaviors.

“These programs help build confidence in our kids, and we see them as an important support for their mental health,” said Zach Wenman, Recreation Supervisor. “The kids who participate see there are adults, outside their family, who care about them.”

The programs are run by recreation leaders hired by the City of Burien who have experience working with youth in a recreation setting. Many of the recreation leaders were participants in the same afterschool programs when they were students.

“We hear from folks who come back to work for us later in life about how much the program meant to them,” said Casey Stanley, PaRCS Director.

Financial support for the Cedarhurst B.E.A.R. Club and Glacier Middle School programs is provided through the City budget, and Highline Public Schools provides support for the programs at Sylvester Middle School, Hazel Valley, and Seahurst Elementary from their federal COVID relief funding (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, or ESSER). All of the programs are either low cost or free.

“These programs are investments in the youth of our community and offer high-quality jobs for young adults,” Stanley explained. “With more funding, we could expand these programs into more schools”.

Smiling student gets into inflatable costume while classmates and staff watch and laugh.
Students enjoy a Halloween costume contest during the Glacier Middle School afterschool program. Credit: City of Burien

If you are interested in any of these programs, email parksinfo@burienwa.gov to request a registration packet for the program. Students must be enrolled at the school to qualify.

Art Class at Hazel Valley Elementary

Afterschool art program at Hazel Valley Elementary.

Location: Hazel Valley Elementary
Schedule: Monday-Friday until 6 p.m.
Cost: $322 per month (sliding scale – $20-$161)

B.E.A.R. Club at Cedarhurst Elementary

This elementary afterschool program offers a variety of activities including drama, sports, education, and arts. Snacks are provided. The program is only available to students at Cedarhurst Elementary School.

Location: Cedarhurst Elementary
Schedule: Monday-Friday until 6 p.m.
Cost: $322 per month (sliding scale – $20-$161)

Glacier Afterschool Program

This middle school afterschool program offers a variety of planned activities including sports and art projects. Outside organizations partner with the City of Burien to offer enrichment opportunities. The program is only available to students at Glacier Middle School.

Location: Glacier Middle School
Schedule: Monday-Thursday until 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Sylvester Afterschool Program

This middle school afterschool program offers physical activities along with board games and art projects. Outside organizations partner with the City of Burien to offer enrichment opportunities. Snacks are provided. The program is only available to students at Sylvester Middle School.

Location: Sylvester Middle School
Schedule: Monday-Thursday until 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Seahurst Afterschool Program

This elementary school afterschool program offers arts, sports, dance, and other activities. Snacks are provided. The program is only available to students at Seahurst Elementary School.

Location: Seahurst Elementary School
Schedule: Tuesday-Thursday until 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Emily Inlow-Hood
Communications & Public Engagement Manager at | More posts
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