The Value of Enrichment Programs

Student Achievement

Academic

Research has proven high quality afterschool programs have consistently created numerous positive educational gains. One clear advantage is improvement in student achievement in school. Regular participation in high-quality afterschool programs is connected to substanial gains in standardized test scores. Beyond test scores, other critical improvements include better work habits, and increased school attendance. Several studies indicate high quality afterschool programs have been linked to decrease in behavior problems among disadvantaged students. Among low-income and low-performing youth the impact is most apparent.


Social and Emotional

If students have consistent enrichment activities such as art, chess, music, sports, conflict resolution, cultural experiences, and other alternative educational enrichment, afterschool improves students’ social skills, emotional intelligence, andimproved confidence and self-esteem. Improved confidence correlates to higher educational and career aspirations.

 

Crime Prevention      

Studies have indicated violent juvenile crime increases 300% during the hours from 3:00 to 8:00 PM. It is during these hours that children are susceptible to serious danger of becoming victims of crime. Law enforcement organizations ensorse quality afterschool programs as an effective method of reducing violence, theft, gang activity, vandelism, and other crimes.

 

Drug and Pregnancy Prevention

Consistent participation in afterschool enrichment programs reduces the risk of youth experimenting with dangerous drugs and alcohol. Studies also indicate teen pregnancy decreases with the particpation in after-school programs. The Fight Crime: Invest in Kids conducted a survey that discovered that unsupervised teens during the afterschool hours were four times more likely to smoke cigarettes, three times more likely to have had sex, and four times more likely to have used drugs compared to supervised teens. This survey clearly indicates the power of quality enrichment programming during the after-school hours.

Childhood Obesity Prevention

The Food Research and Action Council identifies after-school enrichment programs as an effective way to improve nutrition and physical activity. They have discovered numerous studies proving that afterschool programs assist to combat child obesity. An Applied Developmental Science study indicated afterschool program students were significantly less likely to suffer from childhood obesity after participating in the program.

Cost-Effectiveness       

The Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College determined that every dollar invested in quality enrichment programs saves taxpayers roughly $3. If benefits from crime reduction are considered into the study then each dollar invested into a program with an at-risk child saves $8-$12.

Working Families

In one study, parents stated that afterschool programs helped them balance work and family life. The study also shown that 60 percent of parents missed less work than before due to enrolling their child in an afterschool program and 54 percent said it gave them the opportunity to work more hours.

Business Investment

Afterschool programs prepare children, adolescents, and teenagers for today’s workforce through providing academic enrichment. This enrichment is critical in teaching skills not taught during the school day. Corporate Voices for Working Families discovered that U.S businesses spend over $60 billion annually on training. A large percentage of training is focused on remedial reading, writing, and math. Businesses view this as sound investment. An investment in afterschool programs made by parents would make their child more competitive in the workforce.

 

The above data is taken from New York After-school Network with minor revisions by the Excelsior Learning Center.


E-mail: info@excelsiorlearningcenter.com