A little more than 30 miles south of Washington, D.C., there is a community named Triangle, Virginia. Located in Triangle, there is a large low-income apartment complex known as Melrose Apartments.
“They also have a community center which helps children who live in the complex with tutoring and other after-school activities,” wrote a resident there since May 2012 in a recent online review of the Melrose.
The after-school program at the MCRC is just one of many that Americans Helping Americans® helps support in low-income areas. This fall, Americans Helping Americans® had the opportunity to visit the center to see the operation in action.
And, boy was it. There were young teens getting their homework completed in the late afternoon with assistance from a local volunteer ready at their beck and call. And there were younger kids all around, several playing age-appropriate learning games in the center’s computer lab.
And then there were others, who just came by to hang out with friends, in a supervised environment, and enjoying an afternoon snack, instead of being a “latch-key” kid, going home to an empty apartment waiting for their parents to get home from work – or worse.
For many kids, such as those at the Melrose, or those who attend other after-school programs supported by Americans Helping Americans® partners around the country, it’s not a place they HAVE to go to, it’s a place where they WANT to be.
For us, knowing that is just another reason why we believe those few hours in the afternoon in a healthy, safe and educational environment makes all the difference in the lives of so many children and young people.