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Study Reveals Need for Investment in Afterschool Programs in Low-Income Areas

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According to a new study from the Afterschool Alliance, 56 percent of children in high poverty communities would be enrolled in an afterschool program if one was available.

"The study finds strong support for afterschool programs among parents in CCPs [communities in concentrated poverty] whose children are enrolled in them. It is based on responses collected from 30,709 U.S. households, including in-depth interviews with more than 13,000 parents and guardians. CCPs are neighborhoods, or groupings of neighborhoods, where a high concentration of families live below the federal poverty line, defined by the government as family income below $24,300 for a family of four,” said the Afterschool Alliance in a statement.

For parents who live in CCPs and are able to enroll their children in afterschool programs, an overwhelming majority reported being happy with the overall experience.

Afterschool programs have been found to have a positive effect on all learners, but especially for learners in high poverty areas because “[q]uality afterschool programs keep students safe, inspire them to learn and help working families, and they can improve prospects for children and youth growing up in impoverished communities,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant in a statement.

The new Afterschool Alliance study found that 67 percent of parents in CCPs have a difficult time finding enriching activities for their children outside of school, in comparison to 46 percent of parents outside of CCPs.

The Afterschool Alliance emphasizes that its latest study points to a need for investing in afterschool program in impoverished communities.

It recommends that leaders look into finding funding opportunities for afterschool program in ESSA as well as encourages them to “[m]ake afterschool programs in communities of concentrated poverty hubs that link to mentoring, food and nutrition, health care and housing programs.”

Read more about America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

8/31/2016

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