The Importance of After-School Programs

By Rose Garrett in

From eating a nutritious breakfast in the morning, to listening to Mozart on the way home, people are full of ideas for making students succeed in school. But an increasing number of studies show that an educational cure for problems as varied as crime, poor school performance, and social woes may be as simple as a good afterschool program.

These programs traditionally served to keep kids occupied until their parents got out of work, but new research says it provides a boost for many kids. According to a new study of 35 afterschool programs serving low-income elementary and middle school students, children that regularly attended a program were academically far ahead of their peers. Not only did test scores increase, but their work habits, social skills, and behavior also improved with increased afterschool activities. 

“These findings underscore the importance of high quality afterschool programs and activities for both elementary and middle school youth,” says Deborah Lowe Vandell, PhD., Chair of the Department of Education at University of California at Irvine and the study’s lead author. “In contrast, unsupervised time spent either hanging out with peers or even at home alone watching television is problematic for young people.

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About arts2grow

Arts to Grow (ATG) engages children in the artistic process by providing free, highly tailored and professionally taught arts education programs to youth in the New York metro area who have limited access to the arts. Arts to Grow collaborates closely with schools and community groups to match performing and visual arts programs and Teaching Artists with the specific needs of each group of children. ATG serves the community and society by helping children develop their full potential through the arts.

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