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After-school enrichment – Programs grow throughout U.S.

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After-school programs have expanded throughout the U.S. in recent years, spurred by $454 million in government support and a $125 million pledge by philanthropist George Soros, the Associated Press reports.

In 1998, Soros started the After-School Corporation, making his pledge to create after-school programs over five years in the nation’s largest public school district – New York City.

The group has created nearly 100 after-school programs for 26,000 children. This school year, its budget is $36 million, with $25 million coming from public and private contributions.

Operating for three hours from Monday through Friday, the program costs about $1,000 each year per child.

The programs are popular with parents, especially as the number of working mothers increases, AP reports.

During his State of the Union address in January, President Clinton said he wanted to double funding for after-school and summer-school programs to $1 billion. 

After-school programs are made possible when charitable foundations team up with community groups and the government. The programs combine learning, homework assistance and recreational activities.

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