Keep Students Learning with After School Programs

Association of Educators
January 7, 2014 — 1,079 views  

With an increase in the number of parents working from outside home, attending kids after school has become a growing concern amongst parents. The idea of leaving a kid unsupervised at the end of a school day is not a welcoming thought to most parents. Leaving them under the care of a nurturing mentor is something that they are a lot more comfortable with, which explains why many parents are opting for after school alternatives today.

Advantages of Enrolling Kids in After School Programs

Here are some common positive changes that an after school program can have on kids:

  • It increases the interest of reading and improves the children’s’ reading abilities.
  • It gives the kids an opportunity to work on new skills and develop new interests and talents.
  • It is seen to improve their level of engagement in school activities and reduces the number of dropouts.
  • The likeliness of these kids being asked to attend special education class is very low as they promptly work on their homework and studies.
  • It improves student motivation and they set bigger dreams in terms of studying further or going to college.
  • The kids are seen to be better equipped than their peers when it comes to social skills, as they spend quality time with mentors and students during the program.
  • It lowers the chances of the kids getting roped into drug, tobacco or alcohol abuse activities.
  • By protecting students from becoming liable to being victimized by dangerous criminal acts, it assures student safety. It also keeps them from committing serious crimes.
  • Engaging in physical activities and indulging in healthy snacks during after school programs shapes them into healthier individuals.

How to Start an After School Program

Starting an after school program can leave you clueless sometimes, as you may not know where to start. Here's a short guide on how to go about it:

  1. Measure and analyze: Identify what kind of an after school program your community needs. You can get a better picture by talking to parents, school authorities and child care officials on what is needed.
  2. Coming up with a plan: Chalk out a clear vision on the outcome you're trying to achieve through the program, be it working on academic scores, or providing a healthy environment for youth development.
  3. Banking on the funds: Reach out to funding organizations or private contributors to get you started with the program. Any support you get from local or private bodies will come in handy.
  4. Setting up quality facilities: Adhere to the licensing requirements that the state prescribes. This will be your first step towards setting up a quality after school program.
  5. After school activity ideas: Choose fun yet productive activities for the after school program. Creative storytelling, putting up a skit on recycling, and baking cookies for the neighborhood charity event are a few interesting activity ideas you can use.

Association of Educators