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Need for After-School

After-school programs keeps kids safe, improve academic performance, promote student well-being, and help communities.

The after-school hours provide a uniquely creative and entrepreneurial time in the field of public education. High quality after school programs like After-School All-Stars leverage community resources; provide engaging learning opportunities for kids, address the major issues kids face today, and provide practical solutions for working families in under resourced communities.

Risk Prevention and Safety

  • More than 70 percent of children in the U.S. have parents who work outside the home, leaving 3 million to 4 million middle- and high-school youth unsupervised by adults after the school day ends.
  • Violent crime committed by juveniles triples when the school day ends, and the incidence of serious violent crime at middle schools in high-poverty areas is twice that of schools with lower levels of poverty.
  • Teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teens who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and they are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity.
  • Rigorous research has demonstrated that after-school programs can reduce violence and dropout rates while improving the likelihood of education after high school.
  • Due to challenging home and community environments, low-income students are often most in need of positive after-school alternatives.
  • In metropolitan areas, the incidence of violent crime on school campuses is more than double the levels in rural or suburban areas.

Academic Support

  • Combining academic support with engaging, structured extracurricular activities, as in the ASAS model, helps to improve student academic performance.
  • Youth who regularly attend high-quality programs over two years demonstrated improved academic achievement in standardized math scores compared to their peers who were routinely unsupervised during the after-school hours.
  • In the U.S., a student drops out of high school every 26 seconds, resulting in 1.1 million students per year.

Health and Well-Being

  • Youth who participate in after-school programs gain improved personal, social and academic skills as well as improve their self-esteem. Other positive outcomes include reductions in aggressive behavior towards other students and reductions in use of drugs and alcohol compared to routinely unsupervised peers.
  • A study measuring the health and social benefits of afterschool programs found that controlling for baseline obesity, poverty status, and race and ethnicity, the prevalence of obesity was significantly lower for afterschool program participants (21 percent) compared to nonparticipants (33 percent) at follow-up.
  • With youth obesity rates at record highs and physical education classes cut from the school day, student demand and need for physical activity is high. Studies show that youth who participate in after-school programs spend less time eating and watching television and more time engaged in sports compared to nonparticipants.

Community Benefits

  • Parents who are concerned about their children’s after-school care miss an average of eight days of work per year. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about after-school care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year.
  • Every $1.00 invested in after-school programs yields $9.00 in public benefit due to the reduction in crime and juvenile incarceration and due to increased tax revenue from more productive communities.