Need for After-School
After-school programs keeps kids safe, improve academic performance, promote student well-being, and help communities.
The after-school hours provide a uniquely creative time in the field of public education. High quality after school programs like After-School All-Stars leverage community resources, provide engaging learning opportunities for kids, address the major issues kids face today, and provide practical solutions for working families in under resourced communities.
The After-School Hours in America are a Critical Time
More than 15 million school-age children are on their own after school. Among them, more than 1 million are in grades K-5. (Afterschool Alliance, 2009)
The hours between 3 and 6 p.m. are the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2003)
More than 28 million parents of school-age children are employed, including 23 million who work full time. (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010)
Only 8.4 million K-12 children (15 percent) participate in after school programs. An additional 18.5 million would participate if a quality program were available in their community. (Afterschool Alliance, 2009)
After-School Programs Offer a Range of Benefits to Youth and their Families
An analysis of 68 after school studies concluded that high quality after school programs can lead to improved attendance, behavior and coursework. Students participating in a high quality after school program went to school more, behaved better, received better grades and did better on tests compared to non-participating students. (Durlak,Weissberg & Pachan, 2010)
Teens who do not participate in after school programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teens who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and are more likely to drink,smoke and engage in sexual activity. (YMCA of the USA, 2001)
After school programs are serving a high need population. The Afterschool Alliance’s 2009 America After 3PM study revealed that an average of 67 percent of kids participating in after school programs qualify for free/reduced price lunch, 14 percent are Limited English Proficient and 11 percent have special needs/disabilities.
After-School Programs Support Student Success
The Promising Afterschool Programs Study found that regular participation in high-quality after school programs is linked to significant gains in standardized test scores and work habits as well as reductions in behavior problems among disadvantaged students. (University of California at Irvine, 2007)
Annual teacher-reported performance data from 21st CCLC grantees across the country demonstrate that students attending 21st CCLC programs raise their Math grades (37 percent) and English grades (38 percent), while also improving their homework completion and class participation (72 percent) and their behavior in class (67 percent).(Learning Point Associates, 2010)Researchers at Johns Hopkins University concluded that two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth results from unequal access to summer learning opportunities. (American Sociological Review, 2007)
After-School Programs Are Seen as Critical and In Demand
A 2008 Afterschool Alliance election eve poll revealed that 3 in 4 voters (76 percent) say after school programs are “an absolute necessity” for their community.
According to a 2004 Public Agenda survey, low-income and minority parents are much more likely than higher-income and white parents to say they have trouble finding high-quality, convenient and affordable activities for their children.
According to a 2003 Fight Crime: Invest in Kids poll of working moms, despite public focus on school shootings and other violence during the school day, nearly 9 in 10 working mothers said they are most concerned about their children’s safety during the after school hours.