After-school programs due $9.2 million in grants

State money will double funding for activities to keep teens supervised

June 30, 2000|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Maryland officials are scheduled to hand out $9.2 million in grants today to expand after-school activities as part of the state's effort to make the hours 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. less risky for teen-agers.

The awards -- to be announced by Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend at a news conference aboard the Constellation in the Inner Harbor -- will double state funding for after-school activities, creating more than 300 programs and reaching more than 7,500 children and teen-agers, according to state officials.

The money from Maryland's After School Opportunity Fund Advisory Board is aimed at reducing the number of children left unsupervised immediately after classes are dismissed, which research has found to be the peak time for juvenile crime and sexual activities leading to teen-age pregnancies.

The largest award, $1.5 million, is expected to go to Baltimore. Most of the money will expand or create programs at 36 middle and high schools in 26 neighborhoods, based on student test scores and absentee rates, teen-pregnancy rates and juvenile arrest data.

"Those were things that it was decided the city wanted to target, so the funding will go to those communities with the biggest needs," said Eric Bruns, director of research and evaluation at the Family League of Baltimore City and a research associate at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health. "That is the way to get the biggest bang for the buck."

Other scheduled awards to the local management boards in Baltimore-area jurisdictions include:

$1.26 million to Baltimore County for after-school programs in communities served by Loch Raven Academy and Woodlawn, Old Court, Middle River, Golden Ring and Lansdowne middle schools. Some money also will go for programs for children with serious emotional disturbances or disabilities.

$521,000 to Anne Arundel County to provide more middle school programs in the county and to expand services in the Hot Spot communities of Eastport, Pioneer City, Brooklyn Park and Parole.

$279,251 to Carroll County to create a Community Learning Center at New Windsor Middle School and to provide transportation, training and resource and referral services for after-school programs across the county.

$180,375 to Harford County to create a program called Learn in a Variety of Environments to serve 40 children at two locations three days a week and during the summer. Some money also will go to expand the Edgewood Hot Spot After-School Program and a Parks and Recreation program at the John Archer School for children with disabilities.

$400,750 to Howard County for several after-school programs for elementary and middle school children in the Savage and Laurel areas.

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