PICS: Afterschool Programs Reduce Youth Crime, Drop Outs - WSPA.com

PICS: Afterschool Programs Reduce Youth Crime, Drop Outs

Posted: Updated:
Kids learn Zumba in a Greenville County outside-of-school program. Kids learn Zumba in a Greenville County outside-of-school program.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

Where do your kids go when they're not at school?

It's a question many working parents were struggling with Thursday and Friday as Greenville County schools were out for teacher work days.

On Friday, outside-of-school time programs from across Greenville County got together to raise awareness about the importance of keeping kids engaged outside the classroom.

Greer 7th-grader Tyrek Johnson said he was headed down the wrong path.

“I was with the wrong people. I wasn't listening to my teachers and all that," said Tyrek.

He says his afterschool program helped set him straight.

“It helped me with my grades and with my teachers. I respect them more," said Tyrek.

“Out-of-school time programs do keep kids off the streets and keep them safe and engaged in a learning environment," said Erica McCleskey, who directs BOOST, which stands for Building Opportunities in Out of School Time. It’s an initiative of United Way that supports afterschool programs in Greenville County.

McCleskey points to statistics out of Los Angeles, which show kids in afterschool programs there are 30 percent less likely to commit a crime and 20 percent less likely to drop out.

For younger kids, these programs can strengthen their reading skills and teach them how to have an active, healthy lifestyle.

Older students can learn how to do college applications, tour college campuses and get connected to mentors.

But not all afterschool programs are created equal, which is why the South Carolina House K-12 Education Subcommittee is mulling over a bill to set standards for those programs across the board.

“It sets a minimum standard, sets a minimum expectation. So when a parent drops their kid off in an afterschool program, they know they're going to get at least a basic quality afterschool program," said State House Majority Leader Rep. Bruce Bannister.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Community Psychology, afterschool programs reduce problem behaviors by 12 percent, improve attendance by 6 percent and increase test scores by 8 percent.

To find out more about afterschool options in your community, click on this link to a database of programs across the state.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Gaffney Woman Dies From Vehicle Crash Injuries

    Gaffney Woman Dies From Vehicle Crash Injuries

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:15:32 GMT
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died.The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died.
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died. Coroner Dennis Fowler says Rachel Lail Smith died Tuesday night at 10 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died. Coroner Dennis Fowler says Rachel Lail Smith died Tuesday night at 10 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
  • Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor Arrested, Accused Of Threatening Judge

    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor Arrested, Accused Of Threatening Judge

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:11:50 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
  • No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:10 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:10:32 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The governor indicated she would suspend Eichor once she got indictments against him.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The governor indicated she would suspend Eichor once she got indictments against him.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.