Amid reports of declining test scores and drops in accreditation are also concerns of safety and where children can go while parents finish out the work day. The Salvation Army offers a solution.
The Salvation Army After School Program provides a safe environment for kids ages five through 12. The program includes tutoring by college and high school students, Bible lessons, recreation and craft activities, snacks and much more.
The After School Program, beginning September 2013, is designed to provide youth a safe haven to increase academic potential, to provide quality and affordable care, to teach character and self-esteem building, as well as socialization while instilling values and serving our community’s youth and their families. It will operate under state licensing guidelines for children in grades 1 through 5 and has been created based on models used in The Salvation Army across the nation. The program is currently undergoing the licensing process.
The After School Program will be staffed with a full-time After School Program Coordinator, a Youth Activity Coordinator and Program Aides. Transportation will be provided from the local elementary campuses each weekday, allowing increased access to parents in search of affordable after school care and at-risk youth the opportunity for additional assistance.
There is a clear need for after school programming in Hampton Roads. According to a study by the Afterschool Alliance, in 2009, 24% of Virginia’s K-12 youth were responsible for the care of themselves and siblings after school. It is estimated that these 311,585 children spend an average of 9 hours unsupervised after school, leaving ample time for injury or unhealthy behaviors.
“We are excited to be able to offer a service that is certainly needed in our community. An opportunity for children to learn and grow, but also peace of mind for parents,” said Captain Brett Meredith of The Salvation Army.
The program begins September 3 and costs $40/week (or $130/month) per child. Registration forms are available at 5525 Raby Road, Norfolk, VA 23502.
For more than 130 years, The Salvation Army has provided America’s youth a chance to experience educational enrichment, life skills development, and spiritual and physical wellness. Such experiences allow at-risk children and adolescents to envision and pursue better futures for themselves and their families.