California’s After-School Programs in Jeopardy
Law enforcement and military leaders visited Oakland Military Institute to see firsthand how their after-school program is keeping kids safe, healthy
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and Vice Admiral (Ret.) Jody Breckenridge, U.S. Coast Guard, visited students in the after-school program at the Oakland Military Institute (OMI) to highlight the important public safety and national security benefits associated with California’s After School Education & Safety (ASES) program.
The safety of our streets very much depends on keeping after-school programs adequately funded.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley
Students who participate in the after-school program at OMI have access to a variety of activities with a focus on academics, physical fitness and nutrition; homework assistance and literacy sessions are streamlined with the school-day curriculum.
“We all want our children to be safe and engaged. Unfortunately, the fact is that juvenile crime increases and youth are more vulnerable to be victimized between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.” said DA O'Malley. “The after-school program at OMI, like others across the state, provides constructive alternatives for youth during this time. The safety of our streets very much depends on keeping after-school programs adequately funded.”
OMI’s after-school program serves over 100 students each day. The program operates Monday – Friday, from school dismissal until 6 p.m. Demand for the program is high and there is currently a waitlist for students wanting to join the program.
“I’m here today in support of after-school programs because I know they provide opportunities for students to realize their dreams and give back to society. Boosting attendance and graduation rates so that students will be prepared for whatever career they choose, including the military, will go a long way towards protecting our national security in the long run,” said VADM Breckenridge. “Increased funding is needed to address the rising minimum wage and maintain the quality of programs.”
California’s ASES program funds a significant portion of OMI’s after-school activities. Throughout Alameda County, 153 schools receive more than $19 million in state after-school funding to serve over 14,000 students.
Unfortunately, the ASES daily reimbursement rate has remained flat at $7.50 per student per day since 2007. Like many ASES programs throughout the state, OMI is finding it increasingly difficult to provide high-quality services and a living wage to program staff.
VADM Breckenridge and DA O'Malley joined over 100 police chief, sheriff, district attorney and crime victim members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California in calling for an increase of approximately $100 million in funding for ASES in FY 2017-18.
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