Boiseans can find after-school programs near their homes

A new computer-based mapping program will allow parents and children to find safe, supervised after-school programs near their home.

City officials unveil After3 to Boise residents Wednesday. It's an Internet-based mapping program.

Northwest Boise at-home mom Sue Martz has three kids, including a daughter in the second grade.

Martz said next summer the service will be very useful for her 7-year-old daughter.

"I can definitely see where, especially for a working parent, it would be a good thing," said Martz, who tested the site. "It was easy to use the Web site."

Activities on the Web site include both free and fee-based programs; everything from church groups to the Girl Scouts.

Parents can plug in their home address and find activities for children in any age range within a certain distance — like all activities within a mile. The list contains location, age level, activity and contact information.

The Web site also provides information on organizations adding their program to the database.

The program is the result of the city's CLEAR initiative — City Leaders Engaged in After School Reform — created by the National League of Cities.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter's Mayor's Council on Children and Youth earlier identified two areas it would focus on; developing after-school programs and an interactive mapping system showing parents programs already available to their children.

After3 was developed from those priorities.

"An essential part of being the most livable city in the United States includes providing healthy options for our young people," Bieter said.

Doug Holloway, superintendent of recreation services, said children are more likely to get into trouble after 3 p.m.

The interactive Web site gives parents more options to keep their children busy and out of trouble, he said.

"It brings everything together in the community in one location," Holloway said.

Kathleen Kreller: 377-6418