A Westport after-school program giving seventh- and eighth-grade students the opportunity to learn leadership skills is scheduled to begin in March at Toquet Hall.

The Toquet Hall Leadership Club will meet on four consecutive Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. It begins March 24 and concludes April 14.

Students who would like to be considered for the program must attend one of two information sessions, March 2 or 3 from 4 to 5 p.m. at Toquet Hall.

Barbara Butler, the town's human services director, said the program is free and will focus on ledership skills in a structured yet relaxed atmosphere. Refreshments will be served at each meeting.

She said human services staff have developed a program that incorporates a variety of curriculums to foster communication skills, build self-esteem and enhance leadership ability in middle school students.

"Through team building activities, self-exploration and teen dialogue, participating students will have a chance to work together to address issues affecting teens in their community," Butler said.

After-school bus service to downtown is available from Bedford Middle School at 2:45 p.m. and from Coleytown Middle School at 2:50 p.m., arriving at the YMCA at 3:50 p.m.

Applications must be returned no later than March 11. Applications are available at the middle school counseling offices, online at www.toquethall.org, or by contacting Kevin Godburn 203-341-1155 or Elaine Daignault at 203-341-1165.