Summer is officially in session and kids need stuff to do all summer, right? Right. But it’s bigger than just keeping them entertained.
Charlotte students spend 75% of their time outside of the classroom and 30% of juvenile crime occurs between the after school hours of 3 and 7pm. Out of school time (OST) programs scheduled during after school and summer hours are designed to keep kids engaged in positive activities and under qualified watch until their parents can supervise them.
Here in the Charlotte area we have approximately 512 OST programs operated by 76 providers and serving 60,000 children locally. Nationally, OST programs have been shown to increase school attendance and high school graduation while decreasing teen pregnancy and crime.
In 2012, the Council for Children’s Rights committed to coordinating and overseeing Charlotte’s OST efforts by:
- creating awareness and resources necessary to help parents find the right program
- providing continuing training for OST staff
- standardizing quality assessments for each program
They are the only organization in Charlotte facilitating this level of coordination for these crucial programs, and on Tuesday CFCR will lose its OST funding. Charlotte is one of the largest cities in the nation to lack a centralized organization that oversees and advocates for OST programs.
According to CFCR’s Director of Education Initiatives Greg Schermbeck, without sustained funding “Charlotte will lose momentum in continuing this work and helping place OST programs in low-income areas that need them the most.”
In its Case for Investing in Out-of-School-Time, CFCR said:
“Without an intermediary to maintain quality standards, to evaluate and rate programs against those standards, to accredit training for the professional development of OST staff, and to provide the public with information about available programs, access to quality OST programs will remain a disorganized, hit-or-miss proposition for families in our community, rather than the effective institutional public good their children need and deserve.”
Time is running out and the ask is big. CFCR needs $175,000 by Tuesday, June 30 to continue its work with the ultimate goal of finding it a sustainable home within 12 months.
For more on CFCR and its OST program and to learn how you can help, contact Greg Schermbeck at 704.943.9466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.