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California ranks first in after-school programs

CREDIT: ALISON YIN FOR EDSOURCE

CREDIT: ALISON YIN FOR EDSOURCE

In a national ranking, California is at the top in providing quality after-school programs based on the percentage of students involved, parent satisfaction and other factors, according to a survey released Thursday.

“The state’s after-school participation rate has surged over the past five years, increasing 6 percentage points from 2009 and serving more than 377,000 additional students across California,” according to “America After 3 p.m.,” a report by the Afterschool Alliance. Programs served 1.66 million students in California in 2013-14, the survey found.

After-school programs provide homework assistance and tutoring, sports and arts activities, as well as a safe place to go after school before parents arrive home from work.

“From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. is the danger zone,” said former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is honorary chair of the Afterschool Alliance and has been a champion of after-school programs. He was behind California’s successful initiative, the After School Education and Safety Program act passed in 2002, which now provides $550 million for after-school programs across the state. “Juvenile crime, teenage pregnancy, gangs, alcoholism and drugs cost society a lot of money,” he said.

Read the full story on EdSource California.

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