LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new report released Tuesday shows how after-school support programs in Louisville are growing, helping to set children in vulnerable neighborhoods up for success.

After school programs, like the ones at the California Community Center, provide structured and supervised activities for kids after classes are over.

In Louisville, they are called BLOCS programs, and are often for kids who may be from vulnerable groups that typically experience the largest academic achievement gaps. The programs offer learning opportunities like tutoring and homework help, mentoring, and social development to prepare students for success in college and beyond.

Louisville's programs are held at 77 sites across the city. That number has doubled since 2014. New data released Tuesday shows kids in the programs feel safer, supported and more engaged.

"Our programs that we work with are making a difference in the lives of the young people that walk through the doors every day," said TJ Delahanty, spokesman for Metro United Way. "And that's the important takeaway: the investment is worth the effort."

What officials call "zones of hope" are the Parkland, California, Newburg, Shawnee and Russell neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are targeted in an attempt to reduce violence and increase positive outcomes for young African American men.

There are 17 program sites in these zones of hope and they have served 5,000 kids so far.

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