“The most important advantage of a good after school program is that it widens your child’s area of interests. He or she is introduced to new things, sometimes interesting, sometimes challenging. Mastering a new art form or a new skill increases the child’s self-esteem. It also allows you to introduce your child to new career options. A child attending a music class may decide that she likes it so much that she wants to make a career out of it in the long run.” (Child Development Institute)
Studies have consistently shown that quality afterschool child care programs benefit children from kindergarten through the sixth grade—and even beyond. Reasons include improved school attendance and class engagement; improved grades and test scores, with at-risk students showing even more improvement; and much more.
Here are just some of the research results collected by the After School Alliance.
When studying elementary school students who were attending LA’s BEST afterschool program, it was discovered that these students had higher aspirations toward college, and they were 20 percent less likely to drop out of school when compared to nonparticipants. Meanwhile, a study across New Hampshire showed that more than half of the students who participated in afterschool programs with an academic focus improved both academically and behaviorally in school.
Plus, one annual performance report showed that students in the 21st CCLC afterschool program improved both their reading grades (43 percent) and math grades (42 percent). These students are also more likely to perform more effectively on state assessment tests. Another study—the Promising Afterschool Programs Study—focused specifically on performances of 3,000 elementary school and middle school students from low-income homes, using an ethnically diverse cross-section of participants. Those who attended high-quality afterschool programs for two years “demonstrated gains of up to 20 percentiles and 12 percentiles in standardized math test scores respectively, compared to their peers who were routinely unsupervised during the afterschool hours.”
Citizen Schools reported “especially large improvements in achievement” in students who had originally placed in the lowest quartiles in test scores and those who were learning the English language. In elementary school, grade retention among this demographic decreased by 53.4 percent.
And, in general, quality afterschool programs provide tutoring and homework help that can make a significant difference in a child’s academic performance.
Additional Benefits of Quality Afterschool Programs
Besides the academic benefits, afterschool programs can help “create a sense of belonging,” shares Understood.org. These programs give them a venue to improve their social skills, as the “program promotes cooperation, support and respect.” They can also help children to build confidence, especially those with learning and attention issues who might not adjust as well in school.
Horizon Education Centers: Learning Beyond 3 p.m.
We offer a wide range of educational programming, including in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). We also provide art, culture and dance programs, tutoring, homework assistance, programming when schools are closed and summer camps. (You’ll be hearing plenty about our summer camps soon!) In the meantime, if you’re ready to discuss our exceptional afterschool programs, please give us a call at 440-779-1930 today.