UCAN offers workshops that can be scheduled whenever desired by the requesting organization including after-school. Just as youth need care, direction, positive reinforcement & correction-many need chaperoning. Too many youth are simply left alone after school. For some, this might not pose as a temptation. However, it can lead to a detachment from structure, getting involved with the "wrong crowd", not using their time efficiently, sadness, pre-marital sex, drug experimentation, and worse. Basically, the common denominator is that many youth can benefit from engagement, support and creative outlets!
With proposed billion dollar budget cuts of 2017, "the proposed elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program means more than 1.1 million school children would lose critical summer and after school learning opportunities. And the proposed $143 billion reduction in student loans would jeopardize the futures of young people struggling to afford college and begin work," according to Marian Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund.
We especially offer workshops to help to give middle school students through high school, skills to reinforce and expand what they're learning at school or in the community by providing a forum to question, learn, practice, and have fun with a positive outlet. Such support can help in their aspirations to pursue college, apply for scholarship, or delve into vocational options. Nonetheless, these students can also receive supervision who otherwise would be unchaperoned at home. Why is this important?
Many problems including crime and theft occur with youth who are unchaperoned between the hours of 3:00pm and 6:00pm. Many of the thefts are committed at the malls.
"Youth do not commit sex offenses."
Adolescents are responsible for a significant number of rape and child molestation cases each year.
Sexual assaults committed by youth are a growing concern in this country. Currently, it is estimated that adolescents (ages 13 to 17) account for up to one-fifth of all rapes and one-half of all cases of child molestation committed each year (Barbaree, Hudson, and Seto, 1993). In 1995, youth were involved in 15% of all forcible rapes cleared by arrest—approximately 18 adolescents per 100,000 were arrested for forcible rape. In the same year, approximately 16,100 adolescents were arrested for sexual offenses, excluding rape and prostitution (Sickmund, Snyder, Poe-Yamagata, 1997).
The majority of these incidents of sexual abuse involve adolescent male perpetrators. However, prepubescent youths also engage in sexually abusive behaviors.
Characteristics of juvenile sex offenders:
· Juvenile sex offenders are typically between the ages of 13 and 17.
· They are generally male.
· 30-60% exhibit learning disabilities and academic dysfunction.
· Up to 80% have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.
· Many have difficulties with impulse control and judgment.
· 20-50% have histories of physical abuse.
· 40-80% have histories of sexual abuse.
(Sex Offender statistics from Center for Sex Offender Management Publication.)
Tri-State After School Care Statistics*
We must give children and youth a safe place to go and positive activities after school. Youth, parents and communities benefit from present, well-guided leadership.
1. Approximately, 1/5 of K-12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school.
2. More than ¼ of K-12 youth in self-care would likely participate in after-school programs if they were available.
3. Most parents who use after school programs, are satisfied.
4. Between ten to thirty thousand students count on U. S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, the only federal program dedicated to after-school.
5. If No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act were fully funded, we could more than double the number of after-school programs.
* Chart was created by UCAN, Inc. based upon Statistics (rounded down) from Parent Magazine, September 2007 and After-School Alliance.
Statistics presented throughout the Report find that racial disparity in the juvenile justice system is declining. For example, the black juvenile violent crime arrest rate in the late 1980s was six times the white rate-by 2003, it had fallen to four times the white rate. During the same period, the black juvenile arrest rate for drug abuse violations fell from five times to less than double the white rate.
(Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report)
There are many dynamics affecting these startling disproportionate violations that include family breakdowns, economical & environmental challenges and the legal representation system as a whole.
Part of what we do, is to advocate for our youth, families and for quality education for all. UCAN's president attends various school and community meetings, visits our state and national capitals in addition to writing and calling our legislators on various issues. Our civil rights must not be taken for granted and often it is our voices and visits that help to promote accountability and transparency in government as well as our schools. We must all work together.