Every day after school, more than 250,000 children in Colorado head home to empty houses. Studies have shown the hours between after school and when parents arrive home are the peak time for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. Kids who are home alone are also more likely to have more accidents and injuries, behavior problems and lower academic achievement.
But when kids participate in after-school programs, they are less likely to skip class, use drugs, smoke, drink alcohol or engage in sexual activity. In fact, after a Boys & Girls Club opened in Craig, Colorado, juvenile delinquency court filings there dropped by 44 percent, a decrease the district attorney directly attributed to the Club and its programs.