AFTERSCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAM FOR YOUTH
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The Afterschool Recreation Program for Youth involves teachers, students, and recreation staff participating in activities designed to give middle school-aged children after school opportunities other than joining gangs or engaging in unlawful and unhealthy behaviors. In the spring of 1995, a pilot program including four schools was initiated over a two-month period and included over 500 participants. Each school project included three days of after school activity for one and a half-hours (4:00-5:30 PM). Recreational and educational activities such as sports, cultural arts, clubs, tutoring, special events, trips and excursions were available during this after school period. In 1996, the program expanded to include seven schools. Both teachers and recreation staff interact with these students through the variety of activities noted above. Teachers facilitate the tutoring, guitar lessons, and most arts and crafts. Recreation staff facilitates the sports activities, field trips and other miscellaneous activities. The intent of the program is to provide these youth options to stay safe and involved.
2. When was the program created and why?
During the summer of 1993, the City of Westminster, Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, and Adams County School District 50 embarked upon an effort to develop alternatives to after school idle time for area youth. The after school period of time posed an especially acute need for alternatives for middle school students as community members, city and recreation officials, and District 50 educators determined this to be a time when students were most likely to enter gangs and engage in unlawful and unhealthy behavior.
In response to this need, the City of Westminster, Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, and Adams County School District 50, with support of the Hyland Hills Foundation, developed an After School Recreation Program for Youth in the four middle schools of School District 50. The program provides needed transportation to students to these after school activities. Since the original program was created, an additional day has been added to meet the needs of the students, providing these services for a total of four days a week.
3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
The City conducts annual surveys of teens, parents, and administrators to measure satisfaction with the program and itís content. The satisfaction level continues to remain high. In addition, the continued high enrollment for this program demonstrates the demand by and satisfaction of those involved. Each semester begins a new session of the Afterschool Recreation Program with approximately 400 students participating.
4. How is the program financed?
The four Adams County District 50 schools receive grants from Youth Crime Prevention Intervention (YCPI), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and local Rotary Clubs. The program receives scholarships from community projects, such as the D.A.R.E. Run and Art Shows. In addition, the City of Westminster and Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District supplement the program. Also, a small fee is charged to the individuals participating but no one is turned away for lack of funds. Adams County 12 and Jefferson County R1 schools are financed by the local Rotary Clubs and supplemented by the City of Westminster. However, these programs meet only once or twice a week.
5. How is the community involved in the program, if at allHow has the community responded to the program?
The community provides the financial support to this program through such events as the D.A.R.E. Run and other fundraising events.
6. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.