An after-school program serving approximately 70 children in the north end of Middletown will close at the end of the fall semester.
The Green Street Teaching and Learning Center has served the community the past 12 years, providing an after-school program, enrichment classes in arts and sciences and private music lessons.
Wesleyan University runs the program and said the closure was necessary for financial reasons. In a statement university officials said:
“The plan was that over time the programs would become self-sustaining through private and foundation support. Despite the best efforts of the University and the Green Street staff, sustainability has proven elusive. Wesleyan has spent more than $4 million on these programs, a significant percentage of which has gone to overhead expenses. While Green Street contributes to the community in many important ways, we believe we need a new model for supporting the community engagement of our students.”
But several community members say they are devastated hearing about the impending closure.
“It’s really bad because it’s a great program. It keeps kids out of trouble. And they help mad families, like a lot of families with their after school childcare,” said Iris De la Cruz, a Middletown mother whose daughter went to the after-school program.
The North End Action Team has been started hosting community meetings to discuss the closure. The next meeting is Wednesday August 16, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center. Childcare and food will be provided.
“I think this is an opportunity for the community to come together and say what do we want this space to now be,” said Precious Price, the community director of North End Action Team.