Study highlights importance of afterschool programs in keeping kids safe, away from risky behavior
- The article in the Fort Smith Times Record highlights a report titled “From Risk to Opportunity: Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Safe When Juvenile crime Peaks.” The report was released by a nonpartisan law enforcement agency, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, and was conducted with the goal of showing the impact afterschool programs have on “improving public safety through reduced crime, increasing student academic performance and saving taxpayer dollars.”
- The report analyzed law enforcement data on crime rates among youth on school days in 46 states. The peak hours for juvenile crime were during the afterschool hours of 2-6 p.m., accounting for about 25 percent of all juvenile crime.
- The research in the report demonstrated the positive impact after-school programs have, keeping kids occupied in a supervised, positive environment while their parents are still at work. It also showed students in afterschool programs were less likely to use drugs and alcohol or become involved in crime.
Keeping kids out of trouble and in a positive, healthy environment is just one of the many benefits associated with high-quality afterschool programs, and the report from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is just the latest of its kind to provide verifiable data that proves that benefit. But of course, these programs are also critical for providing opportunities for improved academic performance, critical thinking, and collaboration and socialization with peers, as well as exposure to outstanding mentors and role models.
Implementing an afterschool program at your school can help you keep your students safe and give them an outlet to explore areas of interest in a supervised, structured environment.