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GAP, Community Ed. construct partnership

Budget cuts create Guided Afterschool Program

August 25, 2010 - It started with money-saving ideas and ended with two well-known Lake Orion School entities joining forces to now offer Guided Afterschool Programs (GAP).

No, not Guided Activities Programs, or the old GAP. That department and Community Education joined up to form the new GAP.

"It's a combination of two awesome brands that have been around for so many years," said Ben Gerdeman. He's been heading the old GAP since it evolved out of the high school's intramural program.

He said when looming budget cuts meant a 60 percent reduction in funding for his work, he and Enrichment Supervisor Sally Peterson saw the writing on the wall as an opportunity to combine the two departments, save some money, and keep Gerdeman employed.

"You're doing programming over there, we're doing programming over here it's just putting them all in the same place," said Peterson.

What does the change mean for the community?

Even more classes and programming, say the pair, as well as streamlined services, like one-time fee payment and online registration.

Plans to combine the old GAP and Community Ed. started forming a few years ago when the two entities started collaborating more on programming, said Gerdeman. The last piece fell into place, with Peterson planning to retire this December.

The combination of Peterson retiring and Gerdeman heading up the new GAP will end up saving his department around $35,000, says Peterson.

And she says, hopefully they'll see an increase in revenue with the increase in programming.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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