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College Station after-school program and time use study
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There is a growing consensus that after-school programs are needed to serve children of all ages in almost every community in the United States. A number of forces make creation of worthwhile afterschool programs, particularly during the 3:00-6:00 p.m. time period, a necessity. These forces include the increased number of working parents, the number of single-parent and low income families, the number of children who are failing at school, and the number of parents with low levels of educational attainment and/or low English language skills. After-school programs may also serve important functions such as helping to decrease opportunities for youth to be exposed to negative peer pressures, be tempted by gangs, and through boredom become involved in undesirable activities. Thus, providing a safe, enriched after-school environment can help achieve goals beyond the obvious benefits of providing children with fun, enjoyable activities. While not all of these issues have the same urgency in every community, there is at least growing recognition that communities need to take a closer look at the array, availability and quality of afterschool programs currently being provided. In response to some of these issues, the College Station Park and Recreation Department (CSPARD) and the College Station Independent School District (CSISD) began offering the Kids Klub after-school program in 1987. Currently, Kids Klub serves approximately 500 students at six sites. However, even with the number of children enrolled, the majority of College Station children are not participating in the program. With over 4,000 children in these grades in College Station, Kids Klub is servicing only about 12% of the population. While children not enrolled in Kids Klub may already have adequate after-school opportunities through other programs or through parental supervision, without a better understanding of the current pattern of childrens' after-school time use, determination of additional needed services will be difficult to ascertain. The current study sought to supply information to CSPARD and CSISD that could help in planning future efforts to meet after-school program needs in College Station. Recommendations The results provided a variety of useful information for those seeking to undertake future planning of services to meet children's after-school needs in the City of College Station. From these results, the following recommendations are made: 1)CSPARD and CSISD should seek out ways to better encourage participation in The Kids Klub from underserved segments of the College Station community, and particularly individuals from households with lower incomes and individuals from particular ethnic groups (i.e.,particularly African-Americans and Hispanics). 2)Besides improving program marketing efforts and taking a further look at how to reduce program costs to those with lower incomes, CSISD and CSPARD may wish to explore ways to encourage other youth serving organizations to do a better job of outreach to underserved segments of the College Station community. 3)CSPARD and CSISD should seek ways to make existing school-based after-school programs, (e.g., The Kids Klub) more accessible.
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Includes bibliographical references: p. 38.
Bundrick, David (1998). College Station after-school program and time use study. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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