St. Louis Public Radio News
3:43 pm
Mon May 5, 2003

St. Louis Lacks After-School Programs

St. Louis, Mo. – A group that lobbies for more after school programs says the twelve counties in the St. Louis region lag behind.

St. Louis for Kids released a new report Monday that says just nine percent of children aged 5 to 13 are in some kind of after school program.

St. Louis police chief Joe Mokwa says after school programs keep children from doing something harmful or illegal. He says the report needs to spark action.

"I'm questioned frequently by people of good intentions who ask what are the police going to do about crime and disorder," Mokwa said. "Unless we invest in the infrastructure of making sure children have the right opportunities to grow in the right direction, the police aren't going to police our way out of this."

The report also says the entire region lacks adequate programs regardless of different areas' wealth.