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DALLAS- There are big obstacles getting at-risk students home safely after school.For one North Dallas after-school program, the obstacles are now even bigger.

Before the children hit the books, many of them hit the streets.In some cases, they have to make a run for it.

One of the schools will have to walk through a pretty busy intersection and at that school, I have 13 kids and I have to haveone staff with 13 kids crossing a busy intersection. That scares me, said Neighborhood Service Council Executive Director, Shawn Ainsworth.

Ainsworth runs Neighborhood Service Council's Adventure Time program. The program operates in a high-crime area of North Dallas.

In addition to helping with homework and tutoring, it provides transportation from local elementary schools, to their neighborhood center.

Last month, one of their two vans was stolen during the first week of school and used to rob an ATM.

It's bad enough that thieves are going to steal but when they steal from an organization like this that helps the community, helps the kids, it just makes that worse, said Dallas police Lt. Elaine Barnard.

It took the Neighborhood Service Council two years to raise the $15,000 for the 15-seat passenger van.

Police recovered it, but there was so much damage to the van,it's a total loss.

All the seats were taken out of the van. We had just purchased booster seats to put the littler ones in the booster seats and so all those are gone. An organization had just given us money for them, said Ainsworth.

The program had been using a rental van to the tune of $200 per day, but may have to return it soon since it's getting so expensive.

E-mail: cflanagan@wfaa.com

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