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One Brooklyn school is trying out 12-hour school days. Here's what parents and students have to say about the experimental program.

How this Brooklyn school is helping parents alleviate child care concerns
How this Brooklyn school is helping parents alleviate child care concerns 02:04

NEW YORK - A charter school in Brooklyn is trying out a 12-hour school day. 

Brooklyn Charter School in Bedford-Stuyvesant is making the experimental move to try to alleviate parent concerns over the cost of child care. 

This is the school's first academic year with extended hours. It's a free initiative, launched by Principal Joanne Hunt after she noticed a post-pandemic drop in enrollment.

"One of the main things that we saw in pretty much all of the surveys was our families needed an extended day situation where they had aftercare," Hunt tells CBS New York's Hannah Kliger.

Extended school day called a "game-changer"

In the cafeteria, supper is served before kids go to coding class, dance or get homework help. 

Staff say nearly half of students at the school are enrolled in the extended day, giving parents the opportunity to pick their kids up any time between dismissal at 4 p.m. and the time the school closes at 7 p.m.

"Sometimes I can't understand stuff. So if I get help here, that's like really better and helps me understand more about what I'm learning," said 11-year-old Yasani Williams.

Past dismissal, dozens of students are still inside the building. Music class is in full swing, with little hands drumming to the beat. In a nearby room, kids are doing jumping jacks and push-ups.

"I especially love gym because it helps me get all of my energy out. So once I go home, I can just eat, watch Netflix or go to sleep," explained fifth grader Alijah Winfield.

Arianny Espaillat works at a hospital, and says the program has been a game-changer for her two daughters.

"When it's time to pick them up, they don't want to go home. They say, 'Mommy, why are you here?'" she said, laughing.

Emilia Guy also works in a school and has three kids. Her daughter, Chelsea, comes home tired, but fed, exercised and with her homework finished. 

"It gets us to jump back into the family dynamic of having a good time together. Sometimes they come home and if the homework is not done, that kind of breaks down the time of actually spending good quality time with their family," she said.

Principal Hunt says she's already gotten requests to expand the program for the next school year.

Have a story idea or tip in Brooklyn? Email Hannah by CLICKING HERE.

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