ESP and REAL Program

The Extended School Program (ESP) and the Recreation Enrichment and Learning Program (REAL) are both fully-licensed after-school programs that offer affordable, high-quality childcare. Admission to both is on a first-come, first-served basis. Each year students must reapply to be accepted into the programs.  

A limited number of scholarships are available per site. Fill out and return the income eligibility form on Parks policies page to apply for a scholarship.

Open registration for the 2018 – 19 school year for both ESP and REAL will begin in July 2018. 

New school for 2018 – 2019

Parks & Recreation is happy to announce the addition of The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary to our ESP program. Parks is accepting applications for this new site for the 2018 – 2019 school year now. Registration is first-come, first-served in available grade openings.

After school programs on waitlist:

  • Athens-Chilesburg Elementary
  • Stonewall Elementary
  • Garrett Morgan Elementary
  • Maxwell Elementary
  • Julius Marks Elementary
  • Coventry Oak Elementary

Extended School Program (ESP)

The Extended School Program is a fully-licensed after-school program that offers affordable, high-quality childcare for elementary school students. ESP is currently offered at the following elementary schools: Athens-Chilesburg, Coventry Oak, Garrett Morgan, Julius Marks, Maxwell, Northern, Stonewall and William Wells Brown.

Each ESP site is managed by a site coordinator and maintains a staff-to-student ratio of no more than 1:15. All site personnel receive in-service training and all staff must receive required health tests and pass criminal background checks.

Staff at each site plan daily activities for students and coordinate curriculum with each school’s principals and teachers. Some of the many activities offered through ESP include homework supervision, tutoring, games, arts and crafts, reading, nature projects and more.

    Recreation Enrichment and Learning Program (REAL)

    The Recreation Enrichment and Learning Program is a fully-licensed after-school program for middle-school students. The program is currently offered at the following middle schools:  Edith J. Hayes and Jessie Clark.

    Like ESP, the REAL program is affordable, maintains a low staff-to-student ratio and offers a range of both recreational and educational activities for students. Also, REAL program staff must receive training, required health tests and a criminal background check. 

    Both the ESP and the REAL program are partnerships between the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and the Fayette County Public School system.

    Holidays and other closings

    ESP and REAL will be closed on all holidays observed by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and will not prorate for federal holidays. The program is closed on the following days:

    • New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (as observed by the LFUCG calendar)
    • Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
    • President's Day 
    • Labor Day
    • Memorial Day 
    • Fourth of July 
    • Thanksgiving holidays (including the day before and after Thanksgiving) 
    • Dec. 23 and 24 (as reflected by the LFUCG calendar) 
    • Christmas Day (as observed by the LFUCG calendar)

    Other closings

    The programs will be closed between the end of the school calendar and the start of summer camp for employee training.

    ESP Full day, winter and spring break programming is offered at select sites. Full day registration is the responsibility of the family. Advance registration is required for all full day programming. 

    The REAL Program does not offer full day programming.

    Cost and payment information

    Registration Fees

    A $20 registration fee is due with each child's application for the school year. The maximum registration fee per family is $40. 

    Weekly fees (per student)

    • Full-time (3 – 5 days/week) $55 – 2:35/3:15 p.m. dismissal
    • Part-time (1 – 2 days/week) $30 – 2:35/3:15 p.m. dismissal
    • Full day when added to the weekly fee is $15 (this includes activity fee) 
    • Full day when weekly fee is not charged is $26 (this includes activity fee)


    ESP does not accept cash. All weekly fees are charged each Monday. We accept personal checks and money orders (payable to Parks & Recreation) for tuition payments at the sites, credit cards are accepted at the main office in person or over the phone. Please give your payments to the ESP site director or program assistant.

    A late fee of $15 will be assessed to all accounts where payment is not received by 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

    Any child picked up after 6 p.m. will have a late charge added to the account. Therefore, at 6:05 p.m., $5 will be charged with another $5 charged for every five minutes after that. By 7 p.m., the Lexington Police Department will be notified. Please keep your weekly fees current. Your child will lose their spot in the program due to a delinquent account.

    If withdrawing from the program, a written notice must be submitted to the ESP site two weeks prior to a child’s last day of attendance. Re-entry into the program at a later time will be available only if space permits. If you drop the program without adequate notice, your account will be charged accordingly and you will not be able to re-enroll until this is paid. Any check returned for insufficient funds will be handled by the LFUCG legal department and will include additional fees.

    There will be an additional cost for full day sessions (records, conference, and snow days) for all schools. This fee includes breakfast and snack. This charge will cover costs associated with field trip transportation and admission. Spring break camps will be offered during the break. Enrollment in the full days is optional. Parents will receive information on each full day program and camps (at minimum) two weeks in advance of the full day. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to find out and sign your child up for the full days. The weekly fee will not be pro-rated due to non-attendance of a full day. There is no daily rate or drop in rate.

    ESP Summer Fun Camp

    The Extended School Program (ESP) Summer Fun Camp is a fun and exciting program designed to provide opportunities in recreation, leisure activities, educational components and positive social interaction.

    REAL Summer Fun Camp

    The Recreation Enrichment and Learning (REAL) Summer Fun Camp is a cooperative venture between Fayette County Public Schools and Lexington Parks & Recreation to offer summer programming to middle-school-aged children.

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