From Backpacks to Briefcases:
By Vincent Lyles
President & CEO Milwaukee Boys & Girls Club
More than 15 million U.S. school-age children – or more than one in four – are unsupervised when the school day ends, and according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, violent crime by juveniles spikes in the hours immediately following the end of the school day.
For busy parents and their school-age children, an after-school program can be a great resource that provides safety and access to opportunities.
After-school programs are defined as safe places that offer regular, structured activities, give students access to opportunities and are often designed to fit the schedules of working parents. Studies have shown that after-school programs positively influence children’s academic achievements, behaviors (including discipline and avoiding risks) and school attendance.
After-school programs also provide educational support and access to creative activities that develop a young person’s skills and talents.
In addition, researchers have found that after school programs increase parental involvement, something that is very important to a child’s classroom success.
The Milwaukee area boasts many opportunities for children to participate in after-school activities.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee is known as one of the oldest and largest after-school program providers. We operate after-school programs at 38 locations, 29 within Milwaukee Public Schools.
Each location offers safe, structured activities that are fun and engaging, led by trained, caring adults.
At any Boys & Girls Club, the first hour after school is dedicated to “Homework Help” – a time to complete assignments.
Once homework is finished, Club members can take part in a number of activities as they rotate through program areas such as Education & Career Development, The Arts, Health & Life Skills, Character & Leadership, and Sports & Fitness.
Club members are also fed either a healthy snack or meal.
And thanks to our partnerships with more than 200 community organizations, children and teens can tap into their hidden talents through a variety of activities like taking part in a LEGO Robotics team or even learning about acting with First Stage Children’s Theater.
Boys & Girls Clubs also host family-friendly events throughout the year, giving Club members a chance to share their favorite activities with mom and dad.
After-school programs like ours give parents peace of mind knowing their son or daughter is somewhere safe, inspired to learn, and enjoying structured activities designed just for them.
If your child attends a Milwaukee Public School (MPS), he or she might be attending a school that’s home to one of its 21st Community Learning Centers (CLC).
CLCs offer after-school programs for neighborhood students through partnerships with organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, COA Youth and Family Centers, Journey House, and Neighborhood House to name a few.
Visit http://bit.ly/mpsclc for a complete listing of MPS after-school program locations.