YMCA After School Programs focus on safety for kids

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Parents have many things to consider when it comes to keeping their kids safe. After school is another area where kids are at risk, either from getting themselves into trouble or being a victim to trouble. After school programs can play a key part in keeping kids safe.

YMCA After School Program focuses on safety for kids

The Grand Island YMCA After School Program is kid tested and mom approved and is getting high marks all around.

"I feel safer here,rather than If we are staying home alone, bad things can happen,' said 7-year-old Nick Kilzer.

"I like to play outside, swim here and sometimes we go on field trips," said Kaylie Dvorak, YMCA After School Program.

To work with the kids in the after school program workers have to pass three different background checks.

"When you are getting someone else's child you are taking over their most prized possession so we want to ensure that safety is our number one concern," said Charles Hansen, CEO, Grand Island YMCA.

Staff members also go through training before being left alone with the kids.

"I like it here at the Y, I feel safe here, way safer than if I would be home alone. This is a community where people are walking around and I know the staff would keep us safe," said 10-year-old Leah Kilzer.

And when it came to making the decision of where to send their kids, for one mom it was an easy one.

"It was my first choice, they are with a trained staff, in a familiar location and they feel comfortable and safe in their surroundings," said Jennifer Kilzer, Mom.

Along with a safe environment, the kids get unlimited play, help with homework and a variety of activities. They can drop in for the day, a week or sign up for the entire school semester.

Along with keeping kids safe, after school programs help kids make better decisions, improve work habits & grades and they have a higher graduation rate.

Eighty-eight percent of kids who regularly participate in quality after-school programs also have better social skills.