After school program for low income children
Organized by: Janelle John
There are some 10 million children ages 6 through 13 in the United States living in families with incomes less than 150% of the federal poverty threshold. Estimates of the percentage of these children who need after-school programs depend on one’s reasons for promoting them. A majority of low-income children need after- school programs for a practical reason— child care. In 1998, some 5.3 million low-income children between ages 6 and 12 had both parents or a single parent work- ing after school.3 One can argue further that after-school programs should be viewed as a normative developmental sup- port, available to any low-income child who is interested. Many low-income children today are too much on their own, both physically and psychologically, and could benefit from safe, protected spaces to play, an extra measure of adult attention, addi- tional help with homework, and greater opportunity to participate in art and sports activities. By that logic, virtually all low- income children need access to programs.