The Need for an After school and Summer Programs
- A significant achievement gap exists between middle school students from lower-income families and middle school students from higher-income families. Over two-thirds of this gap results from unequal access to after school and summer academic or enrichment programs.
- Social and emotional development is directly linked to academic achievement, high school graduation rates and college attendance. In Boston, an insufficient number of programs address the social and emotional development of middle school underserved boys.
- Eighty-three percent of eighth grade urban boys from lower-income families who have significant literacy problems or are not sufficiently proficient in math drop out of high school.
- Urban boys from lower-income families have significantly higher obesity rates than boys from higher-income families, and yet, opportunities to participate in organized sports or fitness programs has decreased in Boston middle schools.
- Juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and sex peak in the after school hours and during the summer when school is not in session.
- Reductions in public funding for after school and summer programs for lower-income urban students has reduced the opportunity to participate in such programs.
The Benefits of After School Programs
- High quality after school programs lead to improved attendance, behavior, coursework, high school graduation and college attendance.
- At risk students who participate in after school and summer programs show greater gains in engagement in learning than their peers who do not participate in such programs.
- Attendance in after school programs for lower-income students correlates with a substantial increase in standardized test scores and academic improvement.
- After school and summer programs contribute to child safety, improved classroom performance and promote personal success and achievement.
All of the above information comes from studies and reports discussed on the After School Alliance website (www.afterschoolalliance.org). See this website if you are interested in learning more about the need and the benefits of afterschool and summer programs.