Some people might think that staying after school is a sign of bad behavior. But for the more than 15 million children in the U.S. who find themselves unsupervised when the school day ends, staying after school can be a key to a brighter future.
It’s hard to imagine that today’s after school hours have become a “danger zone” for many children. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during an average school week, juvenile crime rates are proven to triple. It’s also a peak time for young people to experiment with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. A study from the Journal of Marriage and Family suggests that working parents with unsupervised school-aged children can suffer from “parental after-school stress” which harms families and is likely to reduce productivity and increased absences at work.
To ease the burden on students and their families, Bright House Networks is proud to support the Afterschool Alliance and its work to turn after school danger zones into safe places for fun and learning. Bright House, the Afterschool Alliance and the Florida Afterschool Network work together each year to ensure that children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs.
In these programs, students get help with homework and time to bond with caring adults and mentors. They do science experiments and learn to paint, play musical instruments, program computers and build robots. They play softball or soccer or learn to dance. Whether teaming up to produce a film, create a community garden or help the elderly, they are developing skills they will need to succeed in today’s workforce.
How can you support afterschool programs? Feel free to share your ideas below with us, or check out what our friends at the Afterschool Alliance have to say on how to Lend a Hand.
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