After-school and OST (out-of-school) programs are a vital part of helping children succeed in academics and life. These programs provide a safe place for children to be during the hours when they are not in school and not with their parents or guardians. They also give children the opportunity to learn new things, make new friends, and have fun.
In addition, before and after-school programs help children to develop important life skills such as teamwork, communication, and critical thinking. They also help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve academic performance. All of these factors are essential for children to be successful in life.
Thoughtfully planned and viable after-school activities have great benefits. Here are 6 reasons why afterschool programs benefit children greatly.
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1. Better Grades & Test Scores
Research has shown that children who participate in after-school programs have better grades and test scores than those who do not. After-school programs provide a safe and nurturing environment for children to learn and grow. They also give children the opportunity to socialize and make new friends.
Participation in after-school programs has been shown to improve academic performance, reduce behavioral problems, and increase graduation rates.
2. Improved School Attendance
After-school programs have been shown to improve school attendance. This is especially true for programs that focus on homework help and tutoring. When students have a place to go after school where they can get help with their homework, they are more likely to attend school and perform well in their classes. Seeing other kids working on school projects, reading, and doing fun learning games encourages participation. These programs can make a big difference in your child’s academic performance and overall attitude toward school.
3. Keeping Kids Safe
According to a recent study, after-school programs help keep kids safe. The study, which was conducted by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, found that kids who participated in after-school programs were less likely to be involved in crime or other risky behaviors.
This is just one of many studies that have shown the positive benefits of after-school programs. Kids get a chance to be part of a community and to develop positive relationships with other adults and kids.
4. Exploration of Diverse Interests
After-school programs provide a chance for kids to explore their interests outside of the traditional school day. These programs can provide a safe and supervised environment for students to explore their interests to learn and grow. A variety of activities from organized sports, fitness, arts, and handicrafts to STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) and computer coding workshops are offered. Youth need opportunities to try new things and find out what they’re passionate about, outside of the rigors of the classroom.
In addition to exploring their interests, after-school programs also give kids a chance to socialize and make new friends. These programs can provide a much-needed sense of community for kids who may not have that at home or in their neighborhood. Kids feel connected to something larger than themselves and develop a sense of belonging.
It is important to do research to find a program that is right for a child or teen. First, survey your child’s interests and find a program that offers activities that align with those interests. Second, make sure the program is accredited and offers a quality curriculum. Finally, check to see if the staff is background-checked, trained in child development, paid well for the job, and has experience working with children. Find a program that aligns with your child’s needs and interests-it will be a valuable gift that will last a lifetime.
5. Build Social & Life Skills
Structured and unstructured programs can also help students develop social, emotional and life skills. Research has shown that afterschool programs can help kids experience positive teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Additionally, after-school programs can also help kids learn how to manage their emotions, time, set goals, and stay on track. These skills are important not only at home, in school but at future workplaces.
6. Working Parents Peace Of Mind
Many working parents worry about what their child and siblings are doing after school. Are they doing their homework? Are they getting into trouble? Watching too much TV? Are they hanging out with the right crowd?
Luckily, there are after-school programs that can give working parents some security. Families benefit when there are safe and supervised environments for kids to spend their afternoons, rather than alone at home, waiting for an adult to return from work. Many programs offer nutritious snacks and meals, necessary for child development.
Conclusion: Important Role in 21st Century Communities
After-school programs provide numerous benefits for children. They can help kids learn new skills, improve their academic performance, and even reduce their risk of getting into trouble. With so much to gain, it’s clear that after-school programs are an important part of any child’s growth.
While afterschool programs are not a cure-all for all of society’s ills, they can certainly play a role in helping kids succeed in school and life. Since U.S. public and private school systems face many challenges, after-school programs will become the key in giving kids the extra support they need to unlock a brighter future.
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