Study: New York City Afterschool Participation Far Exceeds National Average, But More Than One in Five City Kids is Unsupervised in the Afternoons

Oct 20, 2010, 11:00 ET from Afterschool Alliance

Afterschool Alliance Releases 'New York City After 3PM,' Offering New Insights from Groundbreaking 'America After 3PM' Research

NEW YORK, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While more than one in four New York City schoolchildren participates in an afterschool program, more than 300,000 New York City children are without supervision after the school day ends, according to the newly released report, New York City After 3PM.  The report is based on research from America After 3PM, the most comprehensive study to explore how America's children spend their afternoons, released by the Afterschool Alliance and sponsored by JCPenney. New York City After 3PM reveals city-level data on afterschool and summer learning program participation and public support, and compares those figures with the national averages.  

According to the New York City study, 28 percent of New York City schoolchildren are in afterschool programs (an estimated 374,358 children) compared with 15 percent of schoolchildren who are in afterschool nationwide.  Participation in summer learning programs is also appreciably higher than the national average, with 40 percent of New York City children (534,798) enrolled compared with 25 percent of children nationally.  But despite those relatively strong rates of program participation, 23 percent of New York City children are unsupervised in the afternoons (307,509), compared with a national average of 26 percent.

"New York City has accomplished a lot in terms of afterschool programs," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant in releasing the study. "But there's a long way to go.  Too many kids are left alone in the afternoons, when they could instead be under the supervision of caring and trained adults, learning about everything from robotics to literature, expanding their horizons, getting exercise, and more.  Fortunately, New York City has made a strong commitment to afterschool and, as a result, the city has the building blocks in place to make further, and much needed, progress."

"Children reap tremendous benefits from afterschool programs, as do their families," agreed Lucy N. Friedman, president of TASC (The After-School Corporation).  "But there aren't nearly enough openings to meet the need, and as a result too many New York City children are missing out on hands-on science, arts and sports, and opportunities to learn from community role models.  If we care about our kids and our city, we will do better."

In addition to TASC, the report cites a number of city-funded initiatives supporting afterschool, noting the work of the Department of Youth and Community Development.  It also notes the important role that the state's Advantage After School Program plays in the City. In addition, the report notes the work of YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, Children's Aid Society programs, Jewish Community Centers, and settlement houses.  

Released last year, America After 3PM found that the number of children left alone after the school day ends has risen to more than 15 million children nationwide – an increase of 800,000 children since the 2004 edition of the study.  Last week, the Afterschool Alliance released a special report, From Big Cities to Small Towns, examining the differences and similarities between participation in afterschool programs between urban, suburban, and rural communities.  The report concludes that just about one in ten rural schoolchildren attends an afterschool program, and while more than half of rural parents struggle with availability of afterschool options, urban and suburban parents cite affordability as their major concern.

To rally public support for life-enriching afterschool programs for children in need, JCPenney is hosting "Round-Up" in its stores from Oct. 13-26. During this time, JCPenney customers will be invited to round-up their purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to local afterschool programs in their communities.

"Since 1999, JCPenney has distributed more than $100 million to help increase afterschool opportunities across the country by supporting innovative programming in more communities and making access grants available each year to families experiencing financial hardship," said Michael Theilmann, group executive vice president for JCPenney and chairman of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. "Data from the America After 3 PM study is powerful evidence that we've made progress on the afterschool issue but more resources are needed to help meet the rising demand for afterschool programs across the country."

About the Afterschool Alliance:

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at

About New York City After 3PM and From Big Cities to Small Towns

New York City After 3PM and From Big Cities to Small Towns are available online at Findings from America After 3PM are based on survey responses from approximately 30,000 parents and guardians on afterschool services during the 2008-2009 school year. RTi, a market research firm, conducted the survey and analyzed the data on behalf of the Afterschool Alliance. The entire survey was sponsored by JCPenney through its signature charity, JCPenney Afterschool.  

About JCPenney's Commitment to Afterschool:

As a leading corporate advocate for the afterschool issue, JCPenney works with afterschool organizations to increase the accessibility and affordability of afterschool programs across the country. Through its legacy of supporting youth and charitable organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Y, National 4-H, United Way and FIRST, JCPenney formalized its commitment to the afterschool issue by establishing the JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Over the last decade, more than $100 million has been distributed to afterschool programs across every JCPenney community thereby making it possible for more children to participate in life-enriching programs that inspire them to be smart, strong and socially responsible. For more information, visit

SOURCE Afterschool Alliance