CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts announced Tuesday the Gambrell Foundation was giving $1 million to grant access to after-school programs for at-risk students.
The money would allow 600 to 1,000 middle school students an opportunity to do something positive after school. Police say the hours between 3 and 6 p.m. are dangerous for teenagers. Many of them have nothing positive to do and often find trouble.
The mayor says this will be a game changer. After school providers say providing care after school does make a difference.
"It gives children hope and courage to go to college," Greater Enrichment Program Executive Director Bronica Glover said. "It exposes them to a variety of experiences they would never get if they weren't in an after school and it keeps them safe."
The money will be used this school year for at-risk teenagers. It will be used first at Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS) middle schools that don't have an after school program.
The $1 million will also be used to offer professional development and provide micro-grants for programs that need extra money for field trips or other activities.
Mayor Roberts says more after school opportunities are needed for students, and that the $1 million gift is a step in the right direction.
There are currently about 8,000 students who are on a waiting list to get into an after school program. Roberts hopes this announcement will prompt others to give so more students can have a place to go when the school bell rings.