SC AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM GETS $2.5 MILLION GRANT

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By Alicia Barnes

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ An after-school program started in Charleston to help children control their tempers and make good choices has received a $2.5 million grant to expand to other communities.

WINGS for Kids started in Charleston 17 years ago. Organizers say it is the only program teaching emotional skills to children in an after-school setting. It's now offered in four Charleston-area schools and two in Atlanta.

WINGS plans to use the grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation to expand to 16 schools in four communities during the next three years.

At the end of the school day, children report to WINGS to work in small groups with college-age mentors for two and a half hours. The children learn such skills as controlling their emotions, empathizing with others and avoiding peer pressure.

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