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January 22, 2014

CASP reaching 40 years

NORMAN — Today, a majority of households are two-income households, and stay-at-home moms are decreasing in number. How does one manage a household when the school bell rings at 3 p.m., but work beckons for more time at the office?

This is the question parents tried to answer with after-school programming in the ’70s. Almost 40 years have passed since the Community After School Program opened its doors in Norman, yet the demand for after-school child care is greater than ever.

To kick off a 40-day countdown to Community After School Program’s 40-year celebration, community members were invited to an open house Tuesday morning. Board members and staff were available to answer questions, while attendees could browse a historical documents display chronicling the organization and a student art display titled “What I Like About CASP.”

The Community After School Program began in 1974 after a concerned group of parents decided there should be an affordable after-school program option for their children.

CASP is a nonprofit that partners with and receives funding from several organizations, including AmeriCorps, the United Way of Norman and the city of Norman.

Currently, the Community After School Program has 100 staff members, including administration, and serves a little more than 650 students from all Norman schools. All-day programming also is offered on holidays and during the summer.

Terri Craig, CASP executive director, said this year, the organization is looking to enrich the quality of their programs.

“We would really like to continue to add educational activities,” Craig said.

The organization offers a Be Fit program — which began in 2007 — at nine Norman Public Schools and a Be Smart program — which began in 2008 — at all 17 Norman Public Schools.

The Be Fit program focuses on health and nutrition and provides weekly nutrition lessons and 30 minutes daily of physical, non-competitive activity and a healthy snack.

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