After School Programs (Part 1)
There have been multiple studies done that show the benefits an after school program can have on a child’s personal, social, and academic life.
Today’s society has seen an increase in academic assessments and has led to many students’ success in school is frequently limited by their academic achievement. Many studies have shown that including components of social development and prevention of risky behaviors are just as important as academic achievement for examining student success.
These studies support the idea that a student’s success outside of the classroom has an effect on student success in the classroom, and a good after school program is a critical part of this. After school programs have been linked to better attitudes toward school, higher education aspirations, better scores on achievement tests, higher school attendance, and less disciplinary action in school.
These programs help kids to improve in the key areas that will cause school success (such as social and emotional development). A successful student is characterized by having participant behavior, interpersonal skills, goal setting, and leadership skills. Participating in programs after school will show a decrease in behavioral problems, improved social and communication skills, improved relationships (with peers, teachers, and parents), an increase in community involvement, and an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem.
Avoiding risky behaviors is another critical part of a child’s well-being and their success. Programs that focus on the prevention of risky behaviors will show an avoidance of drug and alcohol use, decreased delinquency and violent behavior, increased knowledge about safe sex and avoidance of sexual activity, and increased skills for dealing with peer pressure.
Children who participant in regular programs after school show an improvement in their regular school day and show higher aspirations for finishing school and going to college. The dropout rate for children in after school activities is twenty percent less than those children who do not have an after school program they are a part of. Children in these programs are also more likely to enroll in higher quality high schools than their peers who do not participate in a program. And many of these children will be promoted to tenth grade on time, which is a key predictor of high school graduation. Finally, children in after school programs are highly less likely to drop out of high school and are more like to go on to further education after high school than their peers who are not in any after school programs.