SPARK - After School Program

Supporting Participation in Academics and Recreation for Kids

The following information was obtained from the Glenn County Office of Education, for more information please contact the Educational Services Department at 530.865.1267

The After School Program in Glenn County is known as SPARK. SPARK stands for Supporting Participation in Academics and Recreation for Kids. SPARK is available to kindergarten through eighth grade students in Glenn County. The program begins at the close of each regular school day and runs until 6:00 p.m.
SPARK is designed to provide a safe, engaging, and fun environment for students, and to motivate and inspire learning outside the regular school day. The program provides:

  • academics
  • enrichment
  • homework assistance
  • recreation
  • social skill development
  • prevention activities
  • youth development
  • nutritious snacks

Recent local evaluations indicate that students involved in the after school program:

  • demonstrate positive attitudes toward school, enhanced self-concept, and increased educational aspirations
  • show improved social skills and behavior as well as reduced disciplinary incidents suspensions at school
  • demonstrate an increase in standardized test scores
  • have an increase in regular school day attendance, which leads to improved academic
  • achievement
  • show large improvements in achievement among the most high-risk students

SPARK is run under the auspices of the Glenn County Office of Education (GCOE). SPARK programs are currently funded by federal and state grants, as well as community donations.

Program Q&A

Here are questions and answers about the SPARK program for parents, guardians, and other interested persons.    

Who can attend SPARK?   
Enrollment in SPARK is open to all kindergarten through eighth grade students in a SPARK school, provided that the program can meet the needs of the child. Enrollment is limited to a certain number of students, students are not accepted on a first-come first-served basis. If enrollment exceeds capacity, a waiting list will be available.    

What kinds of activities are offered to SPARK students?    

  • Academics: Homework help, tutoring in reading and math, academic games and activities.
  • Enrichment: Hands-on learning in science,  prevention activities, field trips, guest speakers, theme areas, clubs, arts & crafts, music, drama, cooking, karate, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and more.
  • Recreation: Physical and recreational activities, basketball, soccer, freeze tag and freeze football, and free play on play ground.
  • Afternoon snack: A nutritious snack is provided for each SPARK session.
  • Service learning/community service: Special events for senior citizens, special school projects, and youth development.
  • Special events: There will be a variety of special events at the sites. Click here to find out about special events at your school site.

When does the program operate? 
SPARK operates each day that school is in session.
On regular days, the program is open for three hours after school is dismissed—the doors close at 6:00 p.m.
On minimum days, the program begins when classes are dismissed—the doors close at 6:00 p.m.
Parents whose children remain past the closing time will be charged an overtime fee.     

Where do students attend SPARK?    
Students typically attend SPARK programs at their own schools because SPARK programs are tailored to meet the unique needs of each school. But students can also attend programs at other schools.
SPARK programs operate at ten different school sites throughout Glenn County. (Those marked with an * began March 1, 2005; the others begin later.)

  •     Hamilton City Elementary*
  •     Mill Street Elementary School*
  •     Fairview Elementary School*
  •     C.K. Price Middle School*
  •     Lake School
  •     Plaza School
  •     Murdock Elementary School
  •     Willows Intermediate School
  •     Princeton Elementary School
  •     Elk Creek Elementary School
  •     Capay Elementary School

What does it cost?     
Due to budget cuts from the State and Federal government the SPARK program will be charging the following fee: $35 enrollment fee per child. Plaza and Lake students are charged $90 per student or $100 per family total per semester to help with costs of snack.     

Are there attendance requirements?   
Enrolled students should attend all scheduled SPARK sessions for the full time, unless students are excused. A “Monthly Attendance Sheet” will be kept on all children who attend the program. Each child is required to be signed in and out each day by the parent or other authorized person. To report an absence, call the school site; for phone numbers of the schools, click here.    

Who provides transportation?
Transportation to and from the SPARK program sites is the responsibility of the parent, unless an alternative is noted. When transportation is needed for field trips, public and/or contracted transportation, or school district transportation will be used.    

Who is on the SPARK staff?    
The program hires trained certified and classified staff who meets program requirements. The staff is trained to meet children’s social and emotional needs. They follow strict guidelines to follow a high-quality program and to ensure children’s health and safety.
Academic Alignment Teacher:  Each SPARK site has one Academic Alignment Teacher who oversees the program and works closely with school personnel, parents, and students.
Activities Assistant:  The Assistant works directly with students with a maximum ratio of 1 Assistant to 20 students. A Substitute Activities Assistant fills in when there is an absence.

Can parents become involved in SPARK?    
Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and high school relatives are strongly encouraged to observe, visit, and participate as a volunteer in the program.
If you have special talents or are willing to have a student read to you or can help with homework or other activities, please let the SPARK staff know.    

How do I sign a student up for SPARK?    
An application must be on file before a student attends the SPARK program. There are several ways to sign a student up for SPARK:

  • Visit your school office and pick up a SPARK application.
  • Call your school office.
  • Call the SPARK Coordinator, Philip James at 530.865.1267, ext. 2214

Where can I get more information about SPARK?   
Parent Handbooks explain about the SPARK program: