When it comes to the success of after-school programs in Black communities, many parents feel their children are missing out due to lack of money and other limited access, according to a recent survey.

The survey, commissioned by nonprofit organization Afterschool Alliance and based on responses from more than 30,000 U.S. families, including 3,774 African American families, found that the number of Black children in after-school programs has declined from 2.4 million in 2014 to just 1.5 million today, partially due to cost, access and transportation.

For every Black child currently enrolled in an after-school program, three more are waiting to get in, according to Afterschool Alliance.

“Black parents say after-school programs are doing stellar work in helping meet many of their children’s academic, social/emotional and other needs,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “But investments in after-school have not kept up with demand, and that puts millions of children and youth at risk.

“The pandemic, which is taking an especially high toll on communities of color, is exacerbating the harm,” Grant said. “Quality after-school programs are essential to student success in school and life.”

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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