Omaha celebrates after school programs
What to do with kids to keep them safe and productive after they get out of school for the day is an age old problem.
Working parents have to decide to work or spend time at home with children after school lets out. That's why after school programs are important for the entire family.
"After school programs are essential for children, especially from kindergarten through middle school students, because it provides a safe place for them to go after school when parents are often working," said Megan Addison with Collective For Youth.
More than 1,000 people gathered at UNO's Sapp Field House on Saturday to celebrate Omaha's after school programs.
Called Lights On After School, 34 Omaha Public Schools and dozens of non-profits formed Collective for Youth, which serves nearly 7,400 children.
"I got to Adams, but I go to Franklin for the after school program. So, I will get off safety patrol and she would come and get me and we go there and I would be with the fourth through fifth grade. Last year we learned a whole lot of things to help us keep out of trouble and this year we're learning about creativity and encouraging us to increase our creativity," said Adams Elementary fifth grade Avery Lovelace.
Even the celebration had a goal of advancing learning.
Children were able to learn about science, the environment and just have some fun.
The end result wasn't lost on the students.
"After school, if you do something like that it can help you in your life when you grow up," Lovelace said.
The after school programs receive most of their funding from private foundations. Nearly $9 of every $10 spent goes directly to programs for kids.