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Study Finds Afterschool Programs Make A Difference

Study Finds Afterschool Programs Make A Difference

Learning basic curriculum in the classroom is important for any student's success, but what about what happens outside of the classroom?

Afterschool activities are just as important, according to a recent Newsweek article. At many schools, there are budget cuts that have decreased the amount of sports, music, arts and other activities, considering them "nonessential."

Afterschool program can help parents ensure that their child is getting enrichment, along with very necessary skills, such as coding and college-level mathematics prep.

“The whole point of education is to prepare our kids for the workforce,” said Jodi Grant a member of a nonprofit organization, Afterschool Alliance, in the article. The organization's main focus is to advocate for more afterschool programs. “They need academic skills, but they also need social skills, emotional skills, professional skills, confidence and collaboration—these are all things that kids can get in afterschool programs.”

Time With Others Better Than Time Alone

A report conducted by Afterschool Alliance found that 8.5 million K-12 students participate in afterschool programs for an average of 8.1 hours per week. The study also found that there are more than 14 million children left home alone after school, and that is "prime time for kids to engage in risky activities just as juvenile crime, drug use, alcohol, and sex."

“When these kids are not in school, when they’re not at home, they’re going to be learning something,” Grant said to Newsweek reporter Lainna Fader. “You can either make it a really positive experience, a no-gain experience, or a negative experience.”

The article also highlights a number of different afterschool programs across the country, such as one called Mission Bit in San Francisco, which offers free coding classes to middle and high school students.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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