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Frazee brings back Latch Key program

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

After years of being on hiatus, Frazee is bringing back the Latch Key program, offering parents another option for their children after school.

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“I know how important it is for kids, especially elementary kids,” Frazee Community Education Director Kitti Kivi Lex said.

While working with the Detroit Lakes Community Education program for years, Kivi Lex said that she utilized the Latch Key program and saw firsthand its importance. When she got to Frazee, she asked if the district would be receptive to bringing back the program. It was.

Sandi Westrum runs the program in Detroit Lakes and “runs a phenomenal program. She’s been a great mentor for me,” Kivi Lex said.

Latch Key provides elementary aged kids a safe place to hang out after school from 3:15 to 6 p.m. They can do homework, play on the playground, do arts and crafts (which are provided), read or whatever other activities are available. The kids also get a snack.

“You don’t have to worry about them,” she said.

Holding a spot in daycare for after school kids can be difficult and expensive, she said. The Latch Key program is $40 a week per child.

Kivi Lex said that the program is funded solely by parents and no K-12 dollars are used for it. There will be two staff people to begin with, so one can be inside with kids and one outside if kids want to play outside.

The state dictates guidelines for the program, and there can be up to 15 kids with the two staff members. For now, there needs to be 10-15 kids in Latch Key “to make ends meet,” she said.

“At this point, we’re just starting out and we need to cover expenses.”

The cost of the program will be evaluated in the future, she said, once it’s up and running and has plenty of kids involved.

If enrollment in the program grows past 15 kids, more staff will be hired to accommodate.

“We just have to get the word out,” she said of getting kids signed up.

For more information on the Latch Key program or to register your child, contact Frazee Community Education at 334-3181 ext. 3.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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