Event Highlights Baldwin Stars Afterschool Program

On Thursday October 20, from 4:30pm to 6:00pm, the Baldwin Center will be hosting an open house in collaboration with a national partnership of afterschool programs.  The goal of the open-house styled event is to raise awareness about educational enrichment programming happening in Pontiac, to mobilize local community participation and support, to increase student attendance, and to create and strengthen relationships and partnerships among civic and school leaders, community organizations, parents, and interested individuals.

OU Education Program Students Read to Youth in the Baldwin Stars Afterschool Program

The after-school hours from 3pm to 6pm are the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex, according to a 2002 study. Yet in Michigan only 12% of school-aged children participate in an organized afterschool program during that time. That means 88% of our kids lack extracurricular academic enrichment, mentorship from caring adults, opportunities for community service and learning, and a safe place to play, be a kid and have fun.

In Pontiac, however, The Baldwin Center offers a program where kids can do all that. In 2010, the Baldwin Stars afterschool enrichment program enrolled 150 Pontiac youth who would have otherwise been on their own after school.  Baldwin Stars provides a meal, homework help, tutoring in math and reading, enrichment activities in science, arts, and crafts, games to increase fitness, and adult mentoring. Afterschool programs like this are critical to lowering dropout rates and instead reinforcing the importance of education and partnering children with caring adult mentorships.

Two separate studies in 2007 found that participating in afterschool enrichment programs benefited those students by “improving their personal, social and academic skills as well as their self-esteem” and helping them achieve “significant gains in standardized test scores and work habits as well as reductions in behavior problems.” By supporting quality afterschool enrichment programs like Baldwin Stars, individuals and communities do their part to ensure a better future for our youth. Won’t you help?

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