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After School Programs Too Expensive for Many in Oklahoma

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Education officials and advocates of after-school programs say there's a rising demand for such programs in Oklahoma, but that many families can't afford them.

The Oklahoman reports that most children who aren't able to access an after-school program live in low-income communities. Some believe the growing demand for after-school programs is linked to the growing rate of children living in poverty.

A report released last year by nonprofit Afterschool Alliance says more than 230,000 children in Oklahoma would participate in an after-school program if one was available. After-school programs can provide children extra study help, dinner, shelter and supervision until their parents get off of work.

The Southern Education Foundation says about 61 percent of schoolchildren in Oklahoma are eligible for free or reduced lunch, the fourth-highest rate in the country.