Milwaukee Police Department statistics show that in 2015 the most dangerous time for juveniles to become victims of crime was from 4 to 5 p.m. and that 34 percent of juvenile victimization and 30 percent of juvenile arrests occurred from 3 to 7:59 p.m. With those facts as a growing concern, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM) today announced that, for the second year in a row, it will extend its summer service schedule to provide supervision and activities through the month of August. The organization also unveiled a new public awareness campaign to ensure that every family and child that needs a safe place knows there is a Boys & Girls Club available for them.
Milwaukee Chief of Police Edward Flynn, a BGCGM board member, said that after-school hours and summertime can be dangerous for the city's youth, with many exposed to drugs, gangs, and violence during that time frame. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, nationwide the rate of juvenile violence in the after school period is five times the rate of post-curfew hours on any given day. Chief Flynn added that filling these critical hours with engaging, supervised activities can help local kids avoid being caught up in trouble.
According to Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2014 Outcomes Report, high school-age club members are more likely to abstain from high-risk behaviors than their non-club counterparts.
"We know our approach is working, but we need to make more parents aware of our solution, especially as summer approaches and many Milwaukee youth have the potential to be left unsupervised or lacking productive activities," said Vincent Lyles, president & CEO of BGCGM.
"That's why it's crucial to raise awareness and announce expanded summer services now, so families can plan ahead. Summer is a time when our families need a resource like the clubs to ensure their children are safe, well-fed and continuing to learn."
BGCGM's "A Club for Every Kid" public awareness campaign will begin running May 10 and will run through fall. It's about providing inspiration, confidence, safety, and nourishment for every Milwaukee child, and showing them that with the right choices and the right effort, they can expect a lot out of life.
In conjunction with the campaign, six Boys & Girls Clubs locations will open for summer on June 13, that will result in 36 locations being open for most of June and all of July. A total of 24 locations will remain open for some or all of August through the expanded summer 2016 programming.
For more information about the summer programming and schedules, visit BoysGirlsClubs.org.