What to Know About Afterschool Programs

Students can benefit from school programming long after the last bell of the day rings. Afterschool programs help keep children safe, boost their academic success and allow parents to have peace of mind while at work.


Benefits of High-Quality Afterschool Programs & How It Can Help

Creating a Sense of Belonging

Afterschool programming gives your child the opportunity to meet new friends or connect with familiar faces outside the classroom.

Helping With School Work

Afterschool programs offer homework help provided by qualified teachers who can help your child complete their assignments.

Making Learning Fun

Many afterschool programs offer classes on specific interests like computers and other technology, art or science. These programs can help your child explore their interests and find new ones.

Providing a Safe Space

Afterschool programming provides a safe, structured and well-supervised environment for children.

Increasing Confidence

Afterschool programs can improve the confidence of children because the environment may feel more forgiving than a traditional school setting.


21st Century Community
Learning Centers

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant program from the U.S. Department of Education provides academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children. State educational agencies are awarded formula grants and provide them to eligible entities.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 21st CCLCs help students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects such as reading and math; offer students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

40% of students who attended a 21st CCLC improved reading and math grades.


Afterschool Programs in Your Community

Learn More About Horizon’s Programs

Types & Goals of
Afterschool Programs

  • Goals
  • How It’s Evaluated
  • Staff
School-Age Care

Support child development and provide supervision of children for working families

How It’s Evaluated

Licensing and/or accreditation


Child care workers

Youth Development

Promote youth development

How It’s Evaluated



Youth workers

Extended Learning

Improve academic achievement and decrease gaps in academic achievement

How It’s Evaluated

State standards-based tests, school achievement, education, health and safety codes



Enrichment Activities

Create interest in particular areas and improve skills in those areas

How It’s Evaluated

Voluntary participation in rating systems


Experts in areas offered

Effective afterschool programs can improve classroom performance, reduce dropout rates, improve school attendance and encourage physical activity and good dietary habits.


Questions to Ask When Evaluating
Afterschool Programs

When evaluating an afterschool program, you’ll want to look for a clean, safe place that allows your child to relax and have fun. Beyond the environment, consider asking staff these questions:

  • What is the student-to-staff ratio?
  • What is the age range for your afterschool program?
  • How many kids in the program are the same age as my child?
  • How is discipline handled?
  • Are the kids supervised at all times when playing in the playground/gym?
  • What academic and social programs do you offer?
  • Do you offer homework help?
  • What happens if I’m delayed at work?
  • Is the staff trained in first aid?

How to Help Your Child
Succeed at Learning

Researchers list four primary areas that set children up for academic success:

  • A sense of themselves as a competent learner 
  • Parents involved in the child’s education 
  • Emotional attachments to caring adults 
  • Having positive peer influences

Believing They’re a Competent Learner

The most successful students believe they have control over their academic success.

Parental Involvement

Students were successful when parents had frequent conversations with their children about school and their activities were monitored after school.

Emotional Attachments to Caring Adults

Researchers found that the presence of an adult who provides a consistent, nurturing presence in a child’s life set that child up for academic success.

Positive Peer Influence

Academic achievement increases when a student’s peers have a positive attitude about it.


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