After-The-Bell is sponsored by the Kennett After-School Association

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Kennett After-School Association Founders

Our founders were people who identified a challenge and rose to meet it.
In 1997, The Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square presented the results of A Time to Listen to the Kennett Community. This report was the result of a community listening study that focused on the quality of life in Kennett Square. Over one-hundred community members were interviewed. The study identified a need for after-school programming for middle-school-aged students. John Wood, Denise Wood, and Marshall Newton led the effort to create the Kennett After-School Association, founded in 1998,to fill this need. The result of their hard work, dedication, and love for the youth of the Kennett Square community is a unique program called After-The-Bell. The program name was created by a middle school student.
John, Denise and Marshall have all passed on and the Board of Directors is committed to continuing their extraordinary vision in their memory. In 2013, the Board created a dedicated Founders’ Fund to ensure the long-term sustainability and growth the After-The-Bell and ensure that the program remains a permanent resource for youth in the community.


Kennett After-School Association (KASA) Founders: John Wood, Denise Wood, and Marshall Newton


“The Gang of Three” was the title of an article featured in Time magazine (December 14, 1998), and told the story of how the founders, John and Denise Wood, both 81 at the time, and Marshall Newton, 66, formed the non-profit Kennett After-School Association (KASA) which runs After-The-Bell.

“It is your hearts, heads, and hands which bring new experiences to these young people at a crucial stage of their lives.” John Wood expressing his heartfelt gratitude to the After-The-Bell volunteers – May 2009


In October 2013, After-The-Bell celebrated its 15th Anniversary with founder, John Wood (seated.) Standing left to right are KASA President Dr. Rudy Karkosak, Former Executive Director Kathy Hrenko, Peggy Newton (wife of late co-founder Marshall Newton), Kennett Consolidated School District Superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti, and former Superintendent Dr. Larry Bosley. Dr. Bosley and Dr. Karkosak, who also served as a KCSD Superintendent, provided strong district assistance to the founders as they established the After-The-Bell program in the late 1990s.


  • Dr. Karkosak shared a copy of the original Time magazine article featuring the After-The-Bell founders.