Studies show that after school programs improve academic achievement, reduce grade retention and increase student attendance and interest in school. Across the country, after school is a key element in strategies to turn around under-performing schools.
Some characteristics of successful schools include high academic achievement, clear standards and evaluation processes, community involvement and students who are engaged in learning. After school programs offer a chance to reinforce and supplement the curriculum by offering new and different opportunities for learning that further engage students in school.
Enriching Children's Lives, Helping Working Families
The Promising Afterschool Programs Study found that students reported improved social and behavioral outcomes: elementary students reported reductions in aggressive behavior towards other students and skipping school, compared to their routinely unsupervised peers. (Policy Studies Associates, Inc., 2007)
Early childhood education expert James Heckman concludes that a complement of early education and participation in afterschool programs can reduce initiating drug use among youth by nearly 50 percent. (University of Chicago, 2006)
An evaluation of New York City’s Out-of-School Time Programs for Youth initiative found that 74 percent of parents of participants agreed that the program made it easier for them to keep their job, and 73 percent agreed that they missed less work than they had previously because their children attended the program. In addition, 71 percent of parents reported that they were able to work more hours because their children were in the program. (Policy Studies Associates, Inc., September 2009)
Parents miss an average of five days of work per year due to a lack of after school care. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about after school care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year. (Catalyst & Brandeis University, 2006)