More parents than ever these days are working outside of the home. This means that when the school bell rings, many children are left unsupervised and with no where to go but an empty house with no supervision. Not only that, but some parents are also struggling to provide adequate after-school care. Either they cannot afford the monthly payments of a daycare, or the programs are just simply not available to them. (Ansell, 2004).
This however could be detrimental not only to children, but also society. Children cannot take care of themselves, and when left to their own devices, they could very easily make the wrong decision when tempted.
The U.S Department of Justice has reported that after-school hours can be the most dangerous ones for children. They say that 29 percent of all juvenile offences occur on school days between 2 and 8 p.m. They also have reported that in the hour immediately following school, the number of violent crimes committed almost doubles. (Ansell, 2004). This means that too many children are left to their own devices and are being unsupervised. However, if children had a place to go after school hours, the chances of them committing a crime would significantly lessen. After-school programs are seen as an effective way to keep children safe and supervised. They are the place children can go instead of going to the streets. Not only do these programs keep children safe and off the streets, but they also serve to enhance their academic and social skills.
In a survey conducted by the Mott Foundation and J.C. Penny, people were asked to express their feelings of after-school programs. The results show the 92 percent of the respondents believed that there should be...
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...pervised after school hours and would not have to go home everyday to an empty home. Also, these budget cuts are forcing the programs to cut their service hours, and in some cases even close their doors. (Allen, 1998).
After-school programs are a major benefit, not only for children and their families, but also for society. These programs give children a safe haven surrounded by other children their age, further their knowledge, and help enhance their social skills. They also help to reduce the amount of crime committed by juveniles and therefore make society healthier and safer. Without after-school programs, children would be missing out on very important growing experiences, and they may even make some wrong decisions along they way. However, when supervised and away from temptation, children are better off, and after-school programs are the place to go.
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