Research shows that afterschool programs create more well-rounded, happy children. Whether children are involved in sports, youth groups, clubs, or tutoring activities, the rewards are the same.
Here are 5 huge benefits of afterschool programs for kids.
1. They provide supervision and safety
More than 14 million students leave school every afternoon and have nowhere to go. This is a local problem as well — 25% of Minnesota’s school-age youth are alone and unsupervised after school. This leaves our children at risk of committing of being victim to violence or crimes. 3pm to 6pm is well documented as the peak time for kids to engage in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.
Afterschool programs provide a safe and enriching space for children to spend the hours between school ending and parents returning home from work.
2. They build confidence and social skills
Kids involved in afterschool programs and activities get to socialize differently than in a traditional classroom setting and interact with different groups. The setting is typically more relaxed, the children receive more individual attention, and children feel more free to express themselves.
As a result, everyone feels involved. Children who are shy or have learning or attention issues are also more willing to participate. All of this leads to children with better social skills and higher self esteem.
3. They lead to improved grades and behavior
50% of kids involved in afterschool activities improve their math and reading grades, and 68% improve their homework completion and class participation. Their gained confidence and social skills also result in better behavior both inside and outside the classroom.
Additionally, participation in afterschool programs is shown to:
- reduce the likelihood of a child dropping out of school
- improve school attendance
- increase childrens’ academic aspirations and earning potential
4. They reduce risky behavior
We know that the hours between school ending and parents returning home are the most dangerous for children. These unsupervised hours are when children are most likely to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity. Involvement in afterschool programs gives children healthy and enriching activities to bridge that gap.
What’s more, afterschool programs have been shown to encourage healthy habits and behaviors such as exercising, eating healthy foods, and better decision making.
5. Families and businesses also benefit
Working families and businesses also benefit from afterschool programs. A study done by Brandeis University reported: Parents concerned about their children’s afterschool care miss an average of eight days of work per year, and this decreased worker productivity costs businesses up to $300 billion annually.
71% of Minnesota parents say afterschool programs help them keep their jobs. On top of that, afterschool programs reduce community crime and welfare costs.
Support for afterschool programs
The Afterschool Alliance reports that 89% of adults agree that afterschool programs are important to their community, but funding is hard to come by.
Amped Apple is a Specific Benefit Corporation (SBC) with the mission to support and build up local kids and communities by funding afterschool programs and activities. Our goal is to give over 50% of our profits back to causes that benefit Minnesota youth.