Moving Ahead Program Finds New Funding
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Housing Authority’s Moving Ahead program will lose half of its funding when the school year starts.
But the program will continue to provide after-school educational support to over 40 kids who rely on the program.
Housed at the J.W. Blind Boone Community Center on Providence Road, the seven-year-old program runs on a $700,000 budget. Two grants from the city of Columbia expire in September, but organizers say they have funding from other grants and fundraising efforts to take up the shortfall.
"We're not afraid of closing the program down in any way, shape or form," said Phil Steinhaus, C.E.O. of the Columbia Public Authority.
When the school year starts, Tracey Edwards, like other kids, receive help with their homework. Edwards says without the support it would take a lot out of him to get his homework done. "It would be really hard to think about it but when I come here it's really easy," the rising 6th-grader said.
Program director Carroll Zu-Bolton added that the program not only helps the student but the larger community as well. "We are a family oriented program and care about the whole family not just the child enrolled in the program," said Zu-Bolton. "Our hope is that the information we get to the children carries over to the household."