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Published November 15 2010

Hendrum school program honored

Norman County West School District has been recognized for its after-school program that aims to advance children’s potential while keeping them out of trouble as they wait for their parents to come home from work.

The All Stars Program at Hendrum, Minn., Elementary School serves about 45 students – or one-third of the school’s population – each weekday afternoon during the school year.

Hendrum is about 30 miles north of Moorhead.

In recognition of the effort, the school district recently received the Exemplary Program Award from the Minnesota Rural Education Association’s annual Profiles of Excellence Competition.

Superintendent and District Principal Ollen Church called the honor “something to be proud of and shows what kind of job we’re doing here.”

Between about 3:20 and 5:15 p.m. each weekday, children from kindergarten through sixth grade can get help completing their homework, participate in physical fitness activities and learn beneficial nutrition habits.

Church said children can be most likely to engage in troublesome activity during the after-school hours when their parents are still at work.

“The main thing is it’s a safe environment,” he said of the All Stars Program. “It really does help these kids that might be going home to an empty house.”

But, Church added, “really, any parent that wants their kid as part of the program, we make sure there’s an opening for them.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541