LatinaLista — One of the major problems in the Latino community is that too many children are left to take care of themselves after school. According to the Afterschool Alliance, twenty-two percent of Hispanic children have no adult supervision after school, and are left to care for themselves during the afternoon hours.
It’s not that parents don’t want to enroll their children in afterschool programs but many times the programs are not convenient or affordable for parents to take advantage of them.
Demand for afterschool programs is great in the Hispanic community. Parents of Hispanic children not in afterschool programs are much more likely than other parents to say that they would enroll their children in quality afterschool programs, if programs were available. Forty-four percent of Hispanic parents say they would enroll their children, versus 30 percent of parents in general.
The Afterschool Alliance has long advocated for the necessity and importance of afterschool programs for those children who need a supervised structured program where the difference between being in an afterschool program or not means being influenced by gangs or other at-risk behavior.
Knowing that it is the intent of the Obama Administration to take a scalpel to dissect unnecessary programs from the federal budget, officials with Afterschool Alliance have been meeting with the Obama team and discussing how afterschool programs relate to the economic recovery package.
It only makes sense that a healthy future for this nation’s economy involves an educated population.
The future for afterschool programs looks bright within the Obama administration. Yet, because events change swiftly everyday, nothing is guaranteed.
To keep the issue of the importance of afterschool programs on the radar of Obama officials, the Afterschool Alliance has created a special card for Obama and his team.
The Afterschool Alliance is inviting the public to sign the card and tell the new president and his team why they support afterschool programs. The card will be delivered to the Obama team on February 1, 2009.
So far, over 500 people have signed the card. There are many reasons being cited by the card’s signers as to why afterschool programs should be expanded: they keep kids safe, provide an ongoing learning environment, gives kids guidance but one of the most repeated reasons is â€” afterschool programs change lives for the better.
And if they change lives, then afterschool programs are also changing the future of the country for the better as well.
Latina Lista endorses the funding and expansion of afterschool programs.