Syracuse Police Chief Makes Push for More After School Programs
By Ellen Abbott
Fri October 17, 2014
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler is helping an organization that’s advocating for more after school programs.
The highest profile member of the Afterschool Alliance is former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“After school programs are between three and six o’clock, which is the danger zone for our kids,” Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger led the way for California to have the most after school programs of any state in the nation. He says it’s not just for academics and fitness, but to create safety for kids who often find themselves home alone after school.
Fowler says he’s seen the effect a lack of after school programs can have, from his days as a narcotics detective who would go into houses where kids were unsupervised.
“Now I see these very same young people that were inside these households, and they’re the ones we are arresting now,” Fowler said. “They’re the ones who are dealing drugs now. These children were doomed from the start, because they didn’t have a strong support system behind them.”
The police chief says he has also seen what good after school programs can do for children who have the opportunity to go.
“I attend every high school graduation in the city of Syracuse,” Fowler explained. “And the kids that come across the stage, and the hands that I shake, are those involved in after school programs, in athletic programs, not the ones I remember from my days in narcotics.”
The latest survey from the Afterschool Alliance shows that low-income and African-American and Hispanic children need these programs the most.Â Fowler and others say governments need to come up with more support for these programs.
In New York state, 21 percent of children are in after school programs, slightly higher than the national average.
But Fowler says that is not enough.
“We need more programs, quality after school programs to serve more children in our community,” Fowler said. “And as I often put it, we can pay now, or we can pay later.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Caring for Children After School -- Louisiana Parents, What's Your Approach?
By Diana Samuels, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on October 16, 2014 at 3:44 PM
If you're a working parent in Louisiana, what does your child do after school?
A new study was released Thursday, providing some interesting data about participation in after-school programs nationwide.
Overall, about 23 percent of students nationwide are part of an afterschool program. The number is lower in Louisiana, at about 15 percent. If that number seems low, it does include high schoolers who are likely going home on their own.
But even some elementary and middle school students are looking after themselves after school -- according to the report, three percent of elementary school-aged children and 19 percent of middle schoolers are caring for themselves.
The study, America After 3PM, is promoting more funding for afterschool programs.
We're interested in hearing from readers. What do your children do after school? At what age would you let them go home by themselves? Tell us in the comments below.
Oregon Ranked 7th for Its After-School Programs
Queenie Wong, Statesman Journal
5:58 p.m. PDT October 16, 2014
Oregon parents are satisfied with the quality of their child's after-school programs, but the percentage of children who are unsupervised after school is slightly above the national average.
The Afterschool Alliance in Washington D.C. contracted with Shugoll Research to conduct a national survey about how children spend their time between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Overall, the nonprofit ranked Oregon seventh for its after-school programs.
The top state for its after-school programs was California followed by the District of Columbia, Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon, Nebraska, Tennessee and Hawaii.
In Oregon, 215 households and 773 children participated in the "America After 3 PM" study, which was released on Thursday.
The survey found that 93 percent of Oregon parents are satisfied with their child's after-school program.
But about 22 percent of Oregon's children are alone and unsupervised between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., which is higher than the national average, according to the survey.
"Oregon has made great progress creating after-school opportunities for its children, and can be proud of that," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant in a statement. "But there's no question that more work remains. Most parents in the state who want their child in a program can't find one that works for them, and that needs to change."
Parents cited a lack of a safe way to get their child to an after-school program and back home and a preference for alternative activities as challenges they faced when enrolling their child in an after-school program.
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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Posted: 3:48 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014
Report: Georgia Falling Behind in After-School Care
By Eric Stirgus
A slightly smaller percentage of Georgia children are enrolled in after-school programs than in the rest of the country, according to a report released Thursday.
The Afterschool Alliance report found 16 percent of children in this state are in after-school programs. The national average is 18 percent, according to the report. The study found 11.3 million children nationwide are unsupervised between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on school days.
The alliance believes more children need access to after-school programs and wants the federal government, state governments and other organizations to provide more money to help low-income families enroll their children in them. The average Georgia family spends about $92 a week on after-school care.
“We’ve got to have more programs in every state,” said actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a self-described “fanatic” for after-school programs.
Federal funding for after-school programs has remained largely flat over the past five years. In 2009, the contribution was $1.13 billion, the report said. For 2014, the federal contribution was $1.15 billion.
Idaho Lags Behind in Afterschool Programs
By Statesman staff
October 17, 2014Â
Demand for after-school programs for Idaho students far exceeds the supply, according to a survey by the Afterschool Alliance.
Only 8 percent of Idaho children are enrolled in after-school programs, virtually unchanged since 2004, says the alliance, a Washington D.C. group that advocates for more accessibility to after-school programs.
Nationally, enrollment in after-school programs is at 18 percent, up from 15 percent in 2009 and 11 percent is 2004, the report says.
About 23,000 Idaho children are enrolled in after-school programs. The parents of more than 100,000 students say they would enroll if a program was available. More than 50,000 students are unsupervised after school, according to the alliance's America After 3PM report.
"Every child who is unsupervised after school is a child potentially at risk,” said Jodi Grant, alliance executive director. “Quality after-school programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and help working families.”
Idaho is falling behind and needs to do more, said Judith McShane, program specialist for University of Idaho 4-H Youth Development. “This will require committing the resources necessary to create new opportunities for programs to serve Idaho children during out-of-school time."
Tacoma News Tribune
Demand outstrips availability of afterschool programs in Washington state
By Debbie Cafazzo
October 16, 2014Â
Washington state lags behind the rest of nation on afterschool program participation, according to a new household survey commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance. The 2014 edition of a report titled “America After 3PM” found that demand for afterschool programs exceeds supply in the state.
The household survey also found that the majority of parents of children in afterschool programs in Washington report significant benefits from their children’s participation.
The survey included 30,000 American households and 293 in-depth interviews in Washington. It found that 17 percent of Washington students -- 183,099 children in all -- are enrolled in afterschool programs, up from 12 percent in 2009, when the survey was last conducted.
The national and Washington “America After 3PM” reports, and accompanying data, are available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.