After-school enrichment program providing kids with safe environment in Columbus

After-school enrichment program providing kids with safe environment in Columbus

The Capital Kids program is provided to CCS students from September until the end of the school year.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Every day after school, some Columbus City School students walk back into a building — not for class but for an after-school enrichment program. And so does sixth-grade student Stephon Gardner.

“I would recommend coming here,” he said.

He enjoys playing video games just like every other 11-year-old. But he’s found a love and appreciation within the Capital Kids after-school enrichment program.

It’s provided to Columbus City School students from September through the school year.

The program is held at the Beatty, Fredderson, Marion Franklin and Sullivant Gardens community centers.

Gardner said he liked the program because he made new friends and got help with his homework.

“First, I was like, I don't want to do this, then my first time walking in here, everyone was so nice,” he said. “I used to have an F in my science, and then like a couple of weeks later from being here, I got a C+,” said Gardner.

The program’s director Sheri-Lynn Wynn said it’s serving a greater purpose — keeping kids away from gun violence.

“Right now, the hours between 3 and 7 pm are the hours that young people get into the most trouble. They get into drugs, alcohol and violence,” she said.

Wynn has been the director since 2010. She said the program, under the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, started in 2000 and has helped more than 4,000 kids graduate.

“It is so critical that young people are in a structured program and a safe environment,” said Gardner.


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