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Keep 12,000+ Kids Safe: Save Afterschool Programs in New Jersey!

This petition had 6,767 supporters

New Jersey After 3 is a statewide network of high-quality, cost-effective afterschool programs that serves more than 12,000 students in 115 schools across urban, suburban and rural communities.  As the first public/private partnership of its kind, New Jersey After 3 supports local, community-based organizations (like Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, etc.) that deliver evidence-based afterschool programs each school day.  New Jersey After 3 programs have been cited by the NJ Attorney General's Office as an effective strategy that keeps communities safe, protects vulnerable children, and prepares students for success in high school, college and the 21st century workforce.

On February 11, 2010, Governor Christie announced the elimination of $5.2 million in public support to New Jersey After 3 for the remainder of this school year, as part of a series of mid-year budget cuts.  These reductions will result in the closure of afterschool programs in more than 100 public schools across the state by March, putting thousands of children on the streets during the most dangerous time for kids - the hours of 3 pm to 6 pm.  Without State support this year and next, New Jersey After 3 cannot sustain its network of programs, which will have a devastating effect on our 45 community-based nonprofit partners, 115 public school communities, over 1,000 afterschool educators, and the 12,000+ students and families who rely on these affordable programs. 

New Jersey After 3 was created in 2004 as a statewide public/private partnership to deliver high-quality afterschool programs, with significant State support every year.  New Jersey After 3 has successfully leveraged state funding to secure more than $34 million in outside investments, providing the State with a 40% return on its investment.  In the recent years of economic tumult, New Jersey After 3 has faced a reduction in its state allotment of 33%, resulting in cuts in programming and thousands of students placed on waiting lists.  However, at the same time, New Jersey After 3 has worked to increase outside investments by 75% in the last 2 years.  Bolstered by its impressive attendance rates and evaluation results, coupled with growing national momentum for afterschool programs as an educational reform strategy, New Jersey After 3 has raised millions of dollars in investments in New Jersey's children by corporations, foundations, the federal government, and other sources.  However, losing half of its statewide funding mid-year, with no promise of funding next year, is a devastating blow that New Jersey After 3 cannot endure.

Please write to our Governor, and request that the State fully support New Jersey After 3 for the remainder of this year, and sustain future investments in this critical asset. 

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