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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: More testimony on Ohio's "anti-protest" bill; and we'll take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

Daily Newscasts

Survey: More OR Kids Fend for Themselves After School

October 22, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. - Today is "Lights On Afterschool" day, held annually to honor the people and programs that keep kids safe and learning in the afternoon hours. This year, it coincides with a new report that tracks the availability and enrollment for such programs over the past five years. About 88,000 Oregon kids spend an average of nine hours per week in organized after-school activities.

But that's only part of the story, according to the Afterschool Alliance. The data was collected before the economic downturn, and Jen Rinehart, vice president of research and policy with the Alliance says even then, the number of unsupervised children was also on the rise.

"The flip side of all of this is that twice that number, 31 percent of Oregon's kids, are responsible for taking care of themselves in the hours after school. So, that's 184,000 kids in Oregon."

The Alliance did the survey and found that in most states, government funding for after-school programs has dropped, leaving parents to pay the tab, or keep their kids out. Rinehart says fairness is a concern.

"What we don't want to see is a system where only kids who can afford after-school programs have access to them, and that's really the role of state and federal and local governments, is to ensure that some of our neediest and most at-risk kids do have a safe, enriching environment to go to in the after-school hours."

The survey found public schools are the main providers of after-school care in the state. Rinehart says budget cuts mean some programs are struggling, even with higher enrollment, while others have had to close. Most of the Oregon parents in the survey, whose kids were not in after-school programs, said they would be likely to participate, if programs were available in their communities.

The full report, "America After 3 P.M.," and locations for "Lights On Afterschool" events in your area are available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR