Afterschool programs fill void for many kids

The Lincoln Recreation Center staff is preparing for 140 school kids to come barreling through our doors on Thursday, brimming with excitement and wonderment. At first, you might think they are just glad school is out for the day and it’s time for the fun to begin.

Not so fast — they actually have to do homework first. The funfest comes later.

Thousands of youth development organizations across the country will recognize those who support and contribute to afterschool youth care at Thursday’s annual Lights On AfterSchool event. By keeping the lights on at College Station’s Lincoln Recreation Center, many of our children have become productive and responsible club members.

Since only about 20 percent of a child’s awake time is spent in school, parents have to account for a great deal of out-of-school time. Afterschool programs are lifelines for many families that need a safe, supervised place with positive and beneficial activities for their kids.

A recent report by Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit advocacy and awareness organization, reveals some interesting facts about afterschool care:

  •  8.4 million children participate in an afterschool program.
  •  About 1 out of 4 children (more than 15 million) are alone and unsupervised after school.
  •  The parents of 18 million kids would enroll their children in an afterschool program if it were available.
  •  Juvenile crime and mischief is most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

If you get a chance on Thursday, stop by the Lincoln Recreation Center at 1000 Eleanor St. and check us out. We’ll be celebrating Lights on Afterschool from 4-6 p.m. with free games, face painting and more. Hope to see you there!

Lance Jackson
Lance Jackson
Supervisor | Lincoln Recreation Center

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