After School Programs

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Daniel Parra
Mrs. Padgett
English IV, Period 2
7 December 2010
After School Programs
The impact that after school programs have on young children affects every aspect of their lives. Although some may feel after school programs are a waste of time and money, it has been proven that they improve children’s social and academic skills. Without these special designed programs, children may not be able to develop into the kinds of adults which will benefit society in the future. It is important that society understand the importance of after school programs. To cut back on after school programs to better the economy is only taking away from the children and opening new doors to them, which can ultimately lead them to jail or possibly death. After school programs not only teach kids important skills but give them a place to go during after school hours. “According to National Youth Violence Prevention Resource, nine out of ten Americans think that children should have access to after school programs but two out of three of parents say they have trouble finding local programs” (Keeping). After school programs benefit young children because they give them a social outlet, academic help, and organized recreation.

“After school, 14 million kids have no where to go because their school nor community can afford after school programs” (Keeping). One of the most important attributes of after school programs is that it provides a safe and friendly atmosphere for kids who have nowhere to go. Providing kids with a safe place to go will keep them away from drugs, crime and gangs. It has been proven that most juvenile crimes happen during after school hours. Instead of letting kids roam the streets after school, it is essential to provided them with special programs that improve their lives in all areas. “NYVPRC found that children who do not spend any time in after school activities are forty nine percent more likely to have used drugs and thirty seven percent are more likely to become a teen parent” (Keeping). Instead of letting the youth corrupt their lives with drugs and crime, the government needs to provide each student with an after school program that will lead them down the path of success. The state already loses money by keeping delinquent children in juvenile facilities. Therefore cutting back on after school programs will only lead to more felonies and more children locked up. It costs money to fund programs like this, but it will not only benefit the children for the time being; it will benefit them in the future. Children who are growing up in neighborhoods where gangs, drugs, and violence surround them need a place to go where they can be safe, and just escape the problems they are having at home. “Children attending LA’s BEST after school program are thirty percent less likely to participate in criminal activities than their peers who do not attend the program. Researchers estimate that every dollar invested in the LA’s BEST program saves the city two dollars and fifty cents in criminal related costs” (After School). It has been proven that after school programs create a safe haven for children during after school hours.

One important skill any child can learn from these programs is how to communicate with their fellow peers. Communication is a key skill for any successful person. It is used in countless ways, but it is the way people express themselves. Many children do not have the confidence nor vocabulary to converse with others their age or adults. This is probably the most important skill because they will have to communicate with many different people throughout their lives. Without it, they will only lessen their chance of success because they wont be able to get their point across. After school programs provide children with an environment that encourages interaction amongst those involved. Children will learn and develop their skills by practicing and constantly being involved....
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