It was an evening of celebration on Feb. 17 as Bester Elementary School received the National AfterSchool Association Accreditation for its YMCA Before and After School Program.
More than 40 people attended the dinner in the school cafeteria. B.J. Lushbaugh, site director for the program, presented awards to all of the students in the program. Staff awards were presented by D.J. Stouffer, Hagerstown YMCA School Age director.
The program is a partnership between the Washington County Board of Education and the Hagerstown YMCA, with 10 after-school sites in Washington County, Lushbaugh said. Bester's program started in 1988 and was the first site.
Bester's program serves 35 students and two staff members - Lushbaugh and assistant Dorothy Atha.
To earn accreditation with the NAA, the program goes through a process of review, improvement and evaluation, with an accreditation team of school, YMCA and community representatives, Lushbaugh said.
"As an accredited program, our standards of daily operation not only meet state licensing requirements, but go above and beyond in all areas of Before and After School care," Lushbaugh wrote in an e-mail.