UCLA’s evidence-based research article discusses the great value of afterschool programs and its role in helping children love learning and reading.
Throughout the past few years, more and more children are being enrolled in afterschool programs. This is positive news! According to research, students who are enrolled in afterschool programs are: better readers, less likely involved in criminal activity, have improved test scores, better students and learners, and higher attendance rates.
Making Afterschool Programs Better by Denise Huang and Ronald Dietel discuss what makes a high quality afterschool program and how to improve the quality of the students’ experience in these valuable programs. The article outlines five key ingredients that make up a high quality program which includes: clear, rigorous goals, invested teachers and experienced leadership, motivating and committed staff, a program that compliments the day school’s learning objectives with homework assistance and exposure to high quality STEAM enrichment activities, and finally evaluation of programs goals for continued program improvement.
The article closes with an inspiring quote from an experienced and passionate program director:
“I think it’s very important that everybody understand the power that can come from an afterschool program in affecting change, not only cultural change on campus but also individually in particular lives. The sense of accomplishment that comes from being in one of our programs where they have more freedom to explore and have more hands-on experiences is profound.”
Afterschool programs are not just a place for kids to go after school’s out and before parent pick-up. They are a safe haven for children to thrive where they can find homework support, learn about themselves as students and creators, become more involved in their academic community, explore the arts through valuable STEAM enrichment programs, and learn to love books, the arts, and learning.
To Learn more about the value of afterschool programming and how to improve the quality of these excellent educational resources, please visit UCLA’s study What Makes Afterschool Programs Better.