Grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America
The grant, funded out of the Department of Community Affairs, was presented at the Clifton Boys and Girls Club. McGreevey underscored the importance of his new initiative, New Jersey After 3, by focusing on the success of programs like Boys and Girls Clubs.
“By giving children a safe place to go after school to learn and be inspired, the work of the Boys and Girls Clubs is making a difference in the lives of thousands of children all across New Jersey,” said
Governor McGreevey focused on recent statistics demonstrating the importance of creating quality after-school programs. For example, 78% of mothers with minor children work outside the home, leaving 4 million children between the ages of 6 and 12 at home alone after school, and an additional 4 million 13 and 14 year olds home alone. Even with those statistics, 44% of families nationwide do not have any regular after-school care for their children.
Children are more likely to be victims of violent crime in the hour after the end of the school day than at any other hour of the day. Children who spend after-school hours in unsupervised activities are at an increased risk for truancy, substance abuse, and other destructive behaviors.
in cities that have enacted after-school programs,
students’ academic achievement has improved. Of the 40 schools in the citywide after-school program run by the Chicago Public Schools, 30 schools showed gains in students’ reading
scores, and 39 schools showed gains in math
scores. In NYC, 86% of parents with children
in the after-school program agreed that the
after-school activities help their children
to get their homework done, and do better in
Governor McGreevey proposed New Jersey After 3 in his State of the State address as the first state-sponsored after-school program in the nation. Under the program, state funds would be matched by other public and private sources on a 1:1 basis, which would support programs that serve 20,000 youth K-8 in Year 1. The formation of the New Jersey After-School Partnership with the corporate and foundation communities would be designed to raise private funds. The Partnership would be responsible for raising and re-granting public and private funds to program operators, quality assurance, fiscal monitoring, and training the program providers. Programs would be school based, but in partnership with community-based organizations in partnership with schools and principals. Programs would feature a low student to teacher ratio and would offer a comprehensive mix of academic, recreational, and arts-related programs.
The Governor visited the Boys and Girls Club today to deliver the grant, a line item from the FY 2004 budget, and to highlight how programs like Boys and Girls Clubs of America will be important partners in making After 3 a success.
The Boys & Girls
Clubs of America provides a safe place to learn
and grow, ongoing relationships with caring,
adult professionals, and life-enhancing programs
and character development experiences. Their
mission is to inspire and enable all young
people, especially those from disadvantaged
circumstances, to realize their full potential
as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
The Clubs provide programs in health and education,
career development, arts, character and leadership
training, and athletic and fitness activities.
The New Jersey Alliance has 25 organizations,
56 clubhouses, serving 57,643 youth across