March 15, 1998
Over the past decade, increasing attention has been given to nonschool hours as a vehicle for providing some of the basic supports -- caring adult attention and guidance, career development, and opportunities to engage in positive learning and enrichment activities -- that encourage positive youth development. This report examines the assumptions that youth with higher levels of support are more successful in school, work and their communities, and that youth in moderately poor urban communities lack adequate supports. Community-wide surveys completed in 1996 in three communities -- Austin, Savannah, and St. Petersburg (Florida) -- found a discouraging decline in supports and opportunities as youth get older. From 15 to 25 percent of youth 18 years and older were not engaged in any positive structured activities, had very few adults in their lives, and were not working.