YMCA encourages importance of after school programs
One out of four students spends their time after school unsupervised for three hours every day, according to national research.
A press release by the YMCA adds that another 30 million children do not have access to after school opportunities because the need for such programs exceeds the amount available.
Local YMCAs serve more than 1000 students daily by providing an environment which combines play with academics. After school programs at the Y promote creativity, a love for learning, social and emotional development and character building.
As the nation’s largest private provider of after school programs, YMCAs actively work to meet the demand of serving more youth in communities across the nation, according to the YMCA release. A report by the YMCA of the USA, Dartmouth Medical School and the Institute for American Values titled “Hardwired to Connect: The Scientific Case for Authoritative Communities” states that surrounding children with networks of nurturing relationships helps them thrive and helps prevent them from emotional disorders and substance abuse.
In Texas, only 20 percent of children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade participate in before and after school programs, states the release. The gap between parents' work schedule and children's school schedule can be as many as 25 hours per week and research shows that unsupervised children are more likely to use alcohol, drugs and tobacco, engage in criminal and other high-risk behaviors, perform poorly in school, display increased behavior problems and drop out of school more often.
YMCA after school programs are state licensed and provide a curriculum focused on education, leadership and character development so children involved in them can grow physically, mentally and spiritually.
Offered in partnership with local school districts, YMCA After School Care is available from school dismissal until 6:30 p.m. at most elementary schools in Montgomery County.
Visit ymcahouston.org for a list of schools with available programs. Pre-registration is required for all programs. To register, call 281-367-9622.
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