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After-School Programs Help Teens From Dropping Out, Report Says

After-School Programs Help Teens From Dropping Out, Report Says

When the bell rings at the end of the day, high school students will either go home, or stay in school for after-school activities or clubs. Their choices may make or break their success in school. 

According to a report by the Afterschool Alliance, about two million high school students participate in an after-school program, and these teens are more prone to stay in school, said an article on USNews.com.

The article said that the hours between 3-7 p.m. "can be risky for many high school students, as they are often alone and unsupervised", and "violent juvenile crimes occur most frequently in the hours immediately following the end of school on school days, according to federal data​."

After-school programs, USNews said, "long an option for working parents of younger children, can be an important tool in preventing at-risk teens from dropping out."

"Generally, when you think of after-school you wouldn't think of the school football team," said Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance. "Though there are programs that offer students opportunities to play sports, she says, and ​the environment is usually much less competitive.​"

Students ​who participate in after-school programs, the article said, "show higher rates of school attendance, lower dropout ​rates and improved attitudes toward school, according to a 2011 report​."

Grant said that after-school activities can be successful in dropout prevention "because they address three key indicators of students leaving school: attendance, behavior and course completion."

"You have to go to school to participate in after-school," she said. "There’s just a direct correlation."

"Besides giving students something to look forward to when coming to school, students in after-school have less opportunity ​to be involved in illegal activities, such as drug use and gang involvement, ​ during the critical hours immediately following school," said Grant. 

According to the report, teachers said students in after-school programs "improved their behavior in class.  Plus, the additional tutoring and homework help often provided in after-school programs can help students improve their grades."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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