Media Kit: Latchkey Kids Campaign

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1101 Camden Ave Salisbury, MD 21801
Amy Heckhaus- 240672419
Amina Aden- 3015233248
Colleen Gallagher- 4436022017
Cynthia Harley- 3018302705

Salisbury Latchkey Kids
FACT SHEET

1. About 14 percent of children age 12 and younger are latchkey kids.
2. A latchkey child is a child who returns from school to an empty home because his or her parent or parents are away at work.
3. Many latchkey kids come home to an empty house where they don’t eat until a parent or guardian comes home, if they come home before they fall asleep.
4. There are many effects on latchkey children; loneliness, boredom, hunger, and fear are the most common in children.
5. Teens are more susceptible to peer pressure which could possibly lead to any of these things; alcohol abuse, drug abuse, promiscuity, and smoking of any kind.
6. Being a latchkey kid could have a positive effect on the child, it’s just not as common; early development of self-reliance, and desires to succeed come early on.
7. Middle school aged children left alone for more than 3 hours a day have lower self-esteem, high risk for depression, and high risk for hyperactivity disorders.
8. Being left home alone means no one to help with homework and many children end up doing poorly in school and standardized tests compared to their peers who come home to a parent everyday.
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Latch Key Kids Backgrounder

A latchkey kid or latchkey child is a child who returns from school to an empty home because his or her parent or parents are away at work or a child who is often left at home with little or no parental supervision. These children are very prevalent all over the United States since day care is expensive, and parents must work until after children are out of schools.
The term refers to the latchkey of a door to a house. The key is often strung around the child’s neck or left hidden under a mat (or some other object) at the rear door to the house. The term is claimed to have originated from an NBC documentary in 1944, due to the phenomenon of children being left home alone becoming common during and after World War II, when one parent would be enlisted into the armed forces, so the other would have to get a job. In general, the term latchkey designates “those children between the ages of five and thirteen who care for themselves after the school day until their parents or guardians return home”.
The effects of being a latchkey child differ with age. Loneliness, boredom and fear are most common for those younger than 10 years of age. In the early teens, there is a greater susceptibility to peer pressure, potentially resulting in such behaviors as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and smoking. The behaviors might stem from “unspent energy, peer pressure to misbehave, or hostility because of the lack of appropriate adult attention.” However, some children can exude other positive effects such as an early development of self-reliance, adaptation to difficult situations, and a desire to contribute to a visible need in the household.
Our campaign is to bring awareness to these children and to help the Salisbury Community to reach out and help the unattended latch key kids in this area specifically. We want to provide entertainment, games and snacks for the children who do not have somewhere to be until their parents can get off work. We are focusing on food as well because many times these children cannot get sufficient snacks after long days at school. The main goal of our campaign is to provide a location for children to have a safe and fun environment, encourage finishing school work or simply activating their brains instead of possibly leaving the school premise to abuse alcohol or drugs. By having games and snacks provided, children will hopefully be engaged and really want to participate in our activities and they will be steered away from being a latch key kid.

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Press Release – April 1, 2014

The Salisbury University Latchkey Kids Campaign partnered with the Jaysea Gulls and the campus community for a non-perishable food and school supply drive on campus through Friday, April 4, to benefit local underprivileged kids. This drive is located at Cools Beans in the Guerrieri University Center.
Some 14 percent of children ages 5-12 in the United States – about 3.5 million – spend an average of one hour home alone after school. These items collected benefit these less fortunate latchkey kids in the Salisbury area.

“This event was a priority fundraiser of ours because it allows the college campus that makes up a large part of the Salisbury community to directly help the kids in need here,” said Amina Aden, project chair.

The Jaysea Gulls is an affiliated organization of the Salisbury Jaycees. The Latchkey Kids Campaign is comprised of four Salisbury University seniors working together to leave a lasting impression on Salisbury before graduating. For more information call 301-523-3248 or visit the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/sulatchkeykids

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