THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES $93 MILLION FOR AFTER SCHOOL GRANTS
Davenport, IA -- Vice President Gore announced today $93 million to help 176 communities nationwide create or extend high quality after-school programs at their local public schools, giving thousands of children across the nation the opportunity to learn outside of regular school hours in a safe and supervised environment.
"There is nothing more important than ensuring our children are safe and get a high-quality education," said Vice President Gore. "This initiative will help meet the needs of communities and working families across the nation by providing more children with educational opportunities in the after-school hours."
The funding, provided under the 21st Century Community Learning Center programs, will enable schools to stay open longer to provide a safe haven for children, intensive tutoring in basic skills, as well as academic enrichment, drug and violence prevention counseling, and opportunities to participate in other supervised activities, such as chorus, band and the arts, technology education programs and services for children and youth with disabilities.
This is a portion of the $200 million championed by Vice President Gore and the Clinton Administration, that was enacted as part of last year's budget agreement -- a substantial increase from the $40 million enacted the previous year, and up from $1 million the year before. The Administration has proposed tripling the program, to $600 million, this year to serve nearly two million students across the nation.
At least 5 million children -- and as many as 15 million -- are left at home unsupervised each week. Experts agree that school-age children who are unsupervised after school are far more likely to use alcohol, drugs and tobacco, commit crimes, receive poor grades, and drop out of school than those who are involved in supervised, constructive after-school activities. Studies by the FBI and youth-advocacy groups have found that the peak hours for juvenile crime and victimization are from 2 to 8 p.m. -- hours when youth are most often without supervision.
In response to this year's competition, the U.S. Department of Education received more than 2,000 applications. The 176 school-community partnerships receiving new grants will serve nearly 800 public schools located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.
Additional information, including announcements of future competitions, can be obtained on the program Website < www.ed.gov/offices/OERI/21stCCLC>, by telephone (1-800-USA-LEARN), or by e-mail (21stCCLC@ed.gov).