Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasizes importance of after-school programs at USC summit

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took part in a summit at USC Wednesday, highlighting the importance of after school programs.

The Bell Gardens After-School All Stars opened with a dance routine for Schwarzenegger. The children are like millions of others who rely on after-school programs to keep them off the streets.

"We all have heard so much from law enforcement that they say that between 3 and 6 o'clock is the danger zone for kids," he said. "That's when they get involved in teenage pregnancy, juvenile crime, drugs, gangs, violence, alcohol and all of those kinds of things."

The actor said the National Afterschool Summit could not have come at a more crucial time as the Donald Trump administration proposes eliminating federal funding for after-school programs. It's a proposal his secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, supports.

"President Trump promised us that he wants to make America great again. That's not how you make America great, by taking $1.2 billion away from the children and robbing them blind," Schwarzenegger said.

Leaders in education and other government agencies also attended the summit to highlight the effectiveness of the programs and the important role they play in preparing students for college and the workforce.

"This is what it's about and it works. I'm here today to tell you that we need to protect these kinds of things in our community, in our schools, and it's just such a critical part of our education," Bell Gardens Mayor Jose Mendoza said.

Schwarzenegger said cutting federal funding for the programs would impact more than 1.6 million students.
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