Are After-School Programs Really Worth It?
After-School Programs are enrichment hours that extend after the school day has ended. This enrichment time is essential, as it is estimated that more than 7 million children lack adult supervision at some point after-school.
After-School Programs make it possible for children to gain valuable skills outside of the typical academic curriculum. These programs can help improve student performance, provide structure, and promote healthy physical and emotional development.
Who benefits from After-School Programs?
After-School Programs are a benefit to any child that can experience them, but primarily they are essential for children of working parents. Often the school day ends around 2 pm – 3 pm, yet the working day doesn’t end until 5 pm. Instead of children coming home to an empty house, they have an opportunity to socialize with their friends while learning new things.
After-School Programs offer enrichment activities outside of the classroom. This kind of development is crucial for children from ages 4 to 18. According to Youth.gov, 1 in 5 children and adolescents are alone after the school day ends.
These are kids in a critical developmental stage of their life. They must be given a safe, enriching, and positive environment to come into their own. After-School Programs allow kids to grow in a safe, supportive, supervised environment.
What are the benefits?
Social & Emotional Learning empowers young people to develop healthy identities and manage their emotions. SEL allows children and adolescents to acquire knowledge and skills that help them reach their personal and collective goals, show empathy for others, build supportive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
After-School Programs that center SEL help all individuals to become better balanced both mentally and emotionally. Studies show After-School Programs help individuals become better balanced, mentally and emotionally, and show notable improvements in social relationships, behavioral adjustment, and school performance. With activities that emphasize collaboration and teamwork, students can make long-lasting friendships while learning.
After-School Programs that focus on SEL have been shown to reduce poverty and increase economic mobility in students (youth.gov). In addition to social skills, these programs allow students to build their confidence and self-esteem. Allowing children and adolescents the chance to become confident in their ability to conquer challenges is utterly important.
Mental illness is on the rise for kids, so any opportunity to allow them to believe in themselves is imperative for their mental and emotional health.
Academic Support is important for all children. Some students struggle in the traditional classroom. After-School Programs allow them access to the individual help they need. Studies show that after-school homework assistance can help 40% of students increase their academic performance.
In addition to helping students with their homework, enrichment courses after-school can increase interest in school activities. When students have exposure to courses that inspire a passion, their passion for academics can ignite.
If students have the chance to take a course in LEGO Robotics, that can inspire a passion for robotics, which leads to an increased interest in science courses. Academic support from After-School Programs can be the difference between a passion for academics and dreading coming to school every day.
Safety is arguably the most important benefit of After-School Programs. As mentioned earlier, approximately 1 in 5 students come home to an empty house. Oftentimes, parents need to work to support their children, and working hours don’t always equate to schooling hours.
Making sure a child has a supervised, supportive, safe environment after-school and before parents can get off work is essential! After-School Programs can offer families childcare that is also academically enriching.
Ensuring students are safe and supervised also helps decrease the time children are supervised by older siblings, which helps every child involved. The children get enrichment, and the parentification of older siblings is minimized.
The more time a child spends with adult supervision from trusted instructors, the chance of underage drug and alcohol use decreases.
Physical Activity is as important as ever for students. Snack opportunities improve a child’s nutrition and wellness, especially for underprivileged children who may not have consistent access to food at home.
Outside of the need for food access, After-School Programs often offer sports, play, or other physical activities for children between the ages of 4 and 14. Not only does this allow students the ability to burn off some steam after the day’s schoolwork, but it gives them a safe and supervised environment to explore sports or other team-building activities. This improves friendships and confidence among students!
We talk more about how after-school sports and physical wellness activities are vitally important for children and adolescents in this article, Afterschool Programs: Improving Kids’ Lives. Check it out for more information.
Workforce Learning is another vital benefit of After-School Programs. Many After-School Programs offer student internships or employment opportunities for older high schoolers. This is a chance for students to gain experience in the workforce and build a sense of independence.
According to Youth.gov, student internships, employment, and mentorship opportunities for teenagers lead to a higher quality of employment by the time the child is 29 years old.
Outside of student employment, After-School Programs also allow younger elementary and middle school students to experience more specialized disciplines. A child’s exposure to a course like Minecraft Coding might inspire within them a passion for computer science that leads to education and employment in adulthood. The dedication learned from an After-School Basketball program could lead to a full-ride scholarship.
We’ve established After-School Programs to be incredibly important for the social development and physical wellness of your child. How can you get your child into an After-School Program? There are lots of ways!
Some school districts fund After-School Programs through government grants and scholarships, which allows underprivileged communities access to what otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.
Some organizations work with schools and community centers to provide after-school services to the general public. KidzToPros happens to be one of those organizations! It is KidzToPros’ mission to bring after-school enrichment to every child in America, wherever they are. KidzToPros operates in five states across the United States and has worked with hundreds of schools providing curriculum-based after-school enrichment.
What can KidzToPros offer?
KidzToPros believes that after-school enrichment should be engaging, inspiring, and (most importantly) FUN. KidzToPros focuses on providing curricula for the child’s mind, soul, and body. This is why they specialize in STEM, Arts, and Sports enrichment.
STEM Programs offer a great way for kids from ages 4 to 14 to get prepared for the 21st century. With a range of programs tailored to their grade level, students can accelerate their development in the areas of robotics, coding, circuitry, game design, and more. From LEGO to Scratch Coding, Wonder Robotics to Python and Unity programming–there’s something for every child.
- Wonder Robotics: Create and Code (Level 1)
- Wonder Robotics: Obstacle Courses (Level 2)
- Minecraft Coding & Game Design: Adventure Maps (Level 1)
- Roblox Game Design: Obstacle Course
- Scratch Coding: Art (Level 1)
- Scratch Coding: Storytelling (Level 2)
- Scratch Coding: Basic Games (Level 3)
- LEGO Robotics: Discover and Build (Level 1)
- LEGO Robotics: Explore and Invent (Level 2)
- Chess: Introduction to Chess (Level 1)
- Chess: Patterns and Strategies (Level 2)
- 3D Modeling: Fundamentals
- Python Coding Bootcamp (Level 1)
- Python Game Design (Level 2)
- Web Design: Interactive Web Pages
Art Programs give young creatives a space to let their imaginations run wild. KidzToPros offers students a range of courses in performing, creative, and digital arts that inspire creativity, and encourage communication and the expression of unique ideas. From Digital Arts to Film Studio, Improv Comedy, and Music Production, students will be challenged to look at the world from different perspectives and express themselves authentically.
- Creative Arts: Crafting
- Digital Arts: Fundamentals (Level 1)
- Digital Arts: Art Techniques (Level 2)
- Art Skills: Architecture, Anime, Cartooning
- Improv Comedy: Character Development
- Improv Comedy: Scene Work
- Origami Masters
Sports Programs provide students with a fun outlet for exercise and social interaction. KidzToPros’ experienced coaches will foster mindful play, leadership development, teamwork spirit, and good sportsmanship. Sports programs also help cultivate positive emotional intelligence that often goes beyond the boundaries of the sport itself. This gives students lifelong skills for teamwork and leadership.
- Play It All Sports
- Hip Hop
To enroll your child in an After-School Program near you, click here!