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Cops 'n' Kids benched?

Paperwork snafu puts program at risk

SOUTHBRIDGE — Gareth Mannioa, 9, of Southbridge, tried a free throw during a Cops ‘n’ Kids basketball game in February 2007. Shawn Kelley. (click for larger version)
July 06, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — For several years, boys, girls and the "boys in blue" have gotten together for the Cops 'n' Kids program. In the evenings after school, the Community Center has rung with the sounds of basketball and other games alongside quieter conversation about homework or even the children's personal lives.

But whether that will continue is uncertain.

"We didn't get an extension on the funding we need, … but we're still trying to get that extension," said Police Chief Daniel Charette.

For the last three years, the money has come from what's now called the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, but Southbridge has run Cops 'n' Kids, also known as Beyond the Bells, for more than 10 years, he said.

"Over the years, it has been funded in different ways," he said. "… With this grant, the extension has to be requested through the school department. I can't do it."

See Monday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage.

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