The Student News Site of South Windsor High School

The Bobcat Prowl

The Bobcat Prowl

The Student News Site of South Windsor High School

The Bobcat Prowl

Connecting the Students of South Windsor

Shelby Kosa
South Windsor’s 4th R staff training for the 2023-2024 school year.

The 4th “R” program at the South Windsor Elementary Schools is a before and after-school program that provides elementary school students a place to go before and after-school hours while their parents work, or can’t get them home during regular school hours. 

4th “R” originated in the 2007-2008 school year. Starting with less than 100 participants across the then 5 elementary schools. The 2023-2024 school year has over 250 registered participants across only 4 elementary schools. 

This after school program, run by the South Windsor Parks & Recreation department, is beneficial for elementary students, high school students, and the parents of South Windsor.  It provides high school students of South Windsor High School job opportunities as well, as it fits well with their busy school schedules.  “It’s a very reliable job and allows me to be able to work everyday,” commented junior Aida Abaza.

It’s a very reliable job and allows me to be able to work everyday

— Aida Abaza

Finding jobs locally that accommodate a busy high schooler’s schedule are difficult to find, but with 4th “R”, it makes jobs that are easier and more accessible for students. 

As stated on the 4th “R” website, “as a supplement to the three basic “R’s” (reading, writing and arithmetic) that students receive during the school day, we provide what we feel is the 4th critical “R” – Recreation – before and after their academic day.”  Recreation is usually defined as enjoyment in an activity when one is not working, which is what 4th “R” is for young kids of South Windsor, as well as high school students. This program isn’t just a job opportunity, but also a bonding experience for students and kids. 

“It allows kids to form friends after school and be able to have a relaxed day before going home,” said Abaza.  Sometimes making friends or feeling comfortable at school is hard to do, especially for young kids, but having a close knit group after or before school everyday can help boost a child’s confidence in making friends and enjoying the atmosphere at school easier. 

“We’ve seen firsthand that the connections made at 4th “R” can last far beyond 4th “R!”” said Parks and Recreation Recreation Supervisor Shelby Kosa. Making these connections can last a lifetime, or even just through their k-12 experience growing up. Kosa is one of the main components of the magic at 4th “R”. Her position as Recreation Supervisor is to recruit, hire, train staff members of 4th “R”, set policies, register participants in the program, and various logistics regarding budget and space availability. 

Kosa believes that “we create a space for the participants to be themselves and to have FUN!”

We create a space for the participants to be themselves and to have FUN!

— Shelby Kosa

Having fun in your recreation can make young, impressionable students enjoy school that much more, which is the essential goal of the 4th “R” program. Kosa began her journey in the program personally in fall of 2010 as a Site Director. She continued this role until about fall of 2014, when she then started a full-time job. After two years during the summer of 2016, she applied for her current position, Recreation Supervisor, and has retained the position ever since. 

Running the program isn’t always easy, and it isn’t easy for the student-employees either, but at the end of the day creating a safe, fun, and relaxed environment for elementary students makes it all worthwhile. The continuation of 4th “R” will be greatly appreciated and essential to future families in the following South Windsor school years. 


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About the Contributor
Emma Cherubini
Emma Cherubini, Copy Editor
Emma Cherubini is the Copy Editor of The Bobcat Prowl newspaper at South Windsor High School. She can help Staff Writers around the paper correct, tweak, and perfect their articles as well as overviewing articles before they get published to the public site. She wants to major in Journalism when she is older and hopes to go into combat or Political Journalism in the future. During her freetime she can be seen playing soccer for South Windsor High School, walking her dogs outside, working at the pool as a lifeguard, or shopping with friends.