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After-School Program Inspires More Library Initiatives In Budget Proposal

Students have used an after-school study program at San Diego libraries more than 36,000 times since its inception in November 2014, the mayor's office reported Thursday.

The popularity of the program prompted Mayor Kevin Faulconer to bolster the program and add some new library initiatives in his budget proposal for the city's fiscal year that starts July 1.

The program provides one-on-one assistance to children in grades kindergarten-8 for school-assigned homework, with the help of a learning coordinator, computers and an online tutoring program.

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The program takes place at libraries near schools trying to improve student achievement.

"We all know that libraries are full of books and computers, but today's libraries must be much more," Faulconer said. "I believe modern libraries can serve as a community hub that fosters innovation, civic engagement and education, which is why I'm proposing programs, staff and initiatives in my budget that will help take San Diego libraries into the future."

He said his budget proposal adds $200,000 for the program to add more hourly instructional aides.

Separately, his spending plan also includes $175,000 to hire two employees to handle community engagement programs, and around $215,000 for study rooms, computers — including a computer for learning elements of design and engineering, and a recording studio at the Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library.

The City Council is in the midst of four days of public hearings on the budget proposal. The Library Department is scheduled to be discussed at Monday morning's meeting.