Statement by the Vice President: After School Week (10/12/00)

                          Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release                    Contact: (202) 456-7035
Thursday, October 12, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT:
                               AFTER SCHOOL WEEK

     After school every day, as many as 15 million children are home alone.
Providing children appropriate care and supervision after classes are finished
and before the work day ends is one of the most difficult challenges families
face.  Their concern is deepened by the knowledge that during these after school
hours, children are especially vulnerable.  Most crimes committed by, and
against, our youth occur at this time of day.

     After school programs help ensure that our children are supervised, safe,
and learning important skills.  These programs help children learn arithmetic
and history, instead of drug use or delinquency.  The President and I have
worked to expand after school programs with funding and support.  From a $1
million demonstration project in 1997, the 21st Century Community Learning
Centers program has grown to provide after school and summer school
opportunities for 850,000 school-age children this year. For FY 2001, the
President's budget calls on Congress to more than double funding to $1 billion
and to triple the number of students served.  Last year, I launched an effort
supported by 17 federal agencies to help communities and families take advantage
of these opportunities with after school fairs around the country and the website.

     Today, in recognition of Afterschool Week, schools, community centers,
museums, libraries and parks in communities across the nation are hosting
"Lights on Afterschool" activities to educate working families about where their
children can go after school.  It is our responsibility to help ensure that
every child will find that the "lights are on" someplace safe, warm and
nurturing every day, after school.


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