Law enforcement officers call the time between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. “the danger zone.” Those three hours between the end of the school day and the time parents return home from work are when children are most likely to be injured; experiment with drugs, alcohol, cigarettesgirl with glasses.; or engage in shoplifting, graffiti and other juvenile crimes, according to a 2002 Urban Institute report. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that more than 27 million parents of school-age children work, 23 million of them full time, leaving more than 15 million children unsupervised after school. Four million of those children are in middle school. It is not without reason that working parents say they worry most about their middle-schoolers between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

High quality afterschool programs for middle school students like those offered by Horizon Education have been shown in numerous studies to not only keep kids safe but improve scholastic achievement, homework completion, state achievement test scores, classroom behavior, social adjustment and physical fitness. Research has found that a significant boost in math and reading performance can be achieved with just 45 minutes of daily focused instruction after school.

Horizon Education Centers offer a free, high-quality, educationally-aligned afterschool program for middle-school students in Elyria, North Olmsted and North Ridgeville, Ohio. The afterschool program is available from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. While the program is free, parent registration is required. To find out more about Horizon Education Centers’ free afterschool programs for middle school students and to register your child, please call Horizon Education Centers at 440-779-1930, ext. 16.