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October 17, 2014

About 16 percent of New Jersey students -- or 231,279 school-age children -- are enrolled in after-school programs of some sort, according to a new survey by the Washington, D.C.-based Afterschool Alliance.

But 19 percent of children are left unsupervised at home. Indeed, the survey asked parents whether they would enroll their children in after-school programs if they were available and 36 percent said they would.

The survey cited the benefits to both children and parents. It is an essential source of support for working parents, according to the study. Parents also praise the fact that after-school programs keep their children safe; teach them workforce skills such as teamwork and STEM (science, technology engineering, and mathematics) and help with homework. Girls and boys enroll at about the same rates.

Most interestingly, according to the report, parents support government-funded after-school programs regardless of their political affiliation, race, or ethnicity.

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