At the end of each school day, 15 million of our nation’s middle and high school students leave school with no supervised place to go between the hours of 3 pm to 6 pm. Due to the lack of supervision, many of them give into the pressures of their environment, join gangs and experiment with drugs, alcohol and sex, and over 33 percent will drop out of school.

To put an end to this destructive pattern, Governor Schwarzenegger founded After-School All-Stars, a national non-profit organization and the leading after-school program provider to middle and high school students living in disadvantaged areas.

The innovative and activity-based enrichment programs offered by ASAS are designed to “Educate, Enlighten and Inspire” students while also keeping them safe and building their self-confidence. The programs take place five days a week and focus on the visual and performing arts, health and fitness and youth leadership and service-learning. Through participating in ASAS programs, students learn important academic study skills and become comfortable establishing positive relationships with adults and peers, practicing decision-making and serving as a leader.

Nationally, ASAS serves 81,000 students at 450 campuses in 13 major cities across the country. Locally, over 3,000 students in Los Angeles County participate every day at one of the 21 ASAS campuses.

The charity will hold their Third Annual “Reaching for the Stars” Gala Dinner on February 18, 2010, at the Beverly Hills Hilton, beginning at 6 pm. In the past, celebrities have graciously donated their time and supported ASAS. Currently, Kobe Bryant serves as the ASAS National Celebrity Ambassador.

The charity hopes you will be able to join them and become part of their effort to ensure that all children, in spite of where they live, are given the tools and encouragement needed to be successful. By attending, you will bring attention and notoriety to this important cause and play a critical role in making this event a success. While we face unsure economic times today, the organization can think of no better investment than our youth, who will pave the way to a better future for all of us.

For more information, please visit www.la-allstars.org or call Renee Croce at (310) 648-7246. Individual tickets are available.

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