By DAVID DEATON
Did you know that the habits and expectations that surround after-school time today were shaped by patterns of family life that existed in earlier eras?
The school day and school year were planned around the needs of farming families.
But, now schools release children to empty houses and neighborhoods.
Today there are nearly 40 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the United States creating a very great need for after-school care.
That is why the Boys and Girls Club of LeFlore County is in existence. We want to fill a need for families. More parents are working, and the cost of after-school day care can be expensive.
Did you know that more than 75 percent of mothers with school-age children are employed?
Public schools meet for six hours per day, 180 days per year. Most working parent’s work at least eight hours a day this causes a gap between parents and children’s schedules. A Gap that the BGCLC After-School program has filled. Currently BGCLC operates on the school campuses, children stay after school having fun learning and participating in various activities until parents pick them up after work.
A child’s well-being is so important.Without supervision kids tend to make wrong choices and some of those choices may affect the rest of their lives. Did you know that during the afternoon hours, rates of juvenile crime triple, and many unsupervised youngsters experiment with tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and sex? Police statistics also indicate that both these risky behaviors and juvenile crime increase significantly from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. FBI statistics indicate that 47 percent of violent juvenile crimes take place on weekdays between the hours of 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
So after-school programs are needed to help kids become the leaders of tomorrow. But, the BGCLC cannot do it without the support of the community. We need sponsors, donations and volunteers to keep our lights and our doors open.
One way you can support our efforts is by attending our “Affair of the Heart” Valentine Banquet with dinner, dancing and silent auction. The banquet will be Feb. 11 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Donald Reynolds Community Center in Poteau.
Tickets are $25 per person and are available at the Boys and Girls Club of LeFlore County office at 205 Dewey Avenue in Poteau, the Poteau Chamber of Commerce, the First National Bank in Heavener, Community State Bank in Poteau and all BGCLC After-school sites.
All the proceeds go to help provide quality after-school activities for club members at our four locations. For more information about the club contact the office at 918 647-7136 and be sure to check out our website www.thebgclc.org and on facebook.