Tahoe Elementary Students Play, Learn in New After School Program

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TAHOE PARK --

Twenty students at Tahoe Elementary are getting the opportunity to participate in a new after school program that will help them build character, play sports and learn how to read.

"I like it because it's like very fun and it makes stuff like reading much more easier," a young student named Monika said.

The program is called Playmakers: "Let's Go, Learn," and it was created by former Oakland Raider Greg Roezsler.

"These kids could be doing many other things in the afternoon, but they choose to come work on reading, chose to come work on core values and academics, and to be part of something special. This is the foundation that's gonna be crucial for them later in life," Roezsler said.

This year, the program was expanded within the school with the help of non-profit Optimists International and the Rotary Club.

"If they aren't successful when they first start reading, they reject it and as long as they keep rejecting they get farther and farther behind," James Halderman with Optimists international said.

Sacramento City Council member Eric Guerra came to the ribbon cutting ceremony on the campus Friday.

"English was my second language and if it wasn't for the support of after school programs, librarians and support from folks like the Optimists, I don't think I would have learned English," Guerra said.

Roezsler said each Playmakers program costs about $25,000 per year to run. They are often funded with the help of community organizations.

"Well I feel happy that we're all together in this program, and working together as a team," A student named Antonio said.