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Building Blocks to close after years of helping troubled kids

NOW: Building Blocks to close after years of helping troubled kids

ELKHART, Ind.-- Building blocks helps about 10 kindergarten age students each year at Child and Parent Services, but after this school year, the funding is going to be spent on other programs that officials say will impact more students.

"They help me with my math and stuff and being better," said 6-year-old building blocks student, Walter Thomas. 

Helping kids be better was the goal of building blocks. It's a program offered by CAPS and Elkhart Community Schools as away to help troubled and at risk kids get back on track.

“for ten of their kindergartners that are having problems with behaviors that keeps them from being successful in their traditional classroom setting," said CAPS CEO, Melinda Konrath-Felding.

Tiffany Thomas’ 6-year-old son Walter was chosen by his school to enroll.

Thomas says because of the program, she’s seen major improvements.

“How he behaves now determines everything. Before my son was aggressive, shy and confused. Now he's confident, he's happy and he's better all around," said Walter's mother, Tiffany Thomas.

All that comes at a price. About $30,000 dollars per child to be exact.

$18,000 thousand is reimbursed by Elkhart Community Schools.    

CAPS is left to pay about $12,000 per student. That’s about $120,000 dollars CAPS believes could be allocated elsewhere to impact more people.

“We have a four to one student to teacher ratio. That’s extremely expensive to operate but we also had to look at our programs. We’re constantly assessing our programs and the ability for our program to fulfill our mission," said Konrath-Felding.

The program is set to end with the school year.

Tiffany believes the impact of not having the program is going to reach other students in the classroom.

“My son absolutely distracted the classrooms. His school has a room. I understand their efforts. It’s a room where the kids who distract the classroom go. This is therapy, Building Blocks is therapy," said Tiffany.

"I'm just going to miss them," said Walter.

Although CAPS will not be partnering with Elkhart Community Schools to host the program anymore, that doesn’t mean other interested groups can't step in and take up that partnership.


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