By Rachel Wells
So how do after school programs help students? And how do after school programs help parents? To answer the question in general terms, after school programs help students by boosting academic performance, promoting physical health, building confidence, and improving social skills.
After school programs help parents by providing an opportunity to pick up their children after work hours, peace of mind that their children are in a safe and structured environment, and more time to focus on relaxing and interacting together at home. After school programs can help students develop a variety of interests and skills that they may not have otherwise been exposed to.
After school programs boost academic performance with dedicated homework time as well as one on one tutoring. After school programs can help to narrow achievement gaps that students may experience if they are home alone after school and not putting their focus on academics. These programs are a valuable resource to children by providing an opportunity to extend education in ways not possible during the school day.
With so much emphasis on testing and meeting state standards, opportunities to learn in creative ways have become fewer and farther between in the classroom. During after school programs students can learn core subjects in creative and fun ways with more time to explore, discover, and understand the world around them. Regular STEM activities can provide the start to a lifelong love of discovery and science.
After school programs can counteract the lack of physical activity that many children are getting on a regular basis. During after school programs children are given opportunities to participate in a variety of different organized sports, games, and activities. Because of the variety of activities students are exposed to during after school hours, they may find themselves enjoying an activity that they initially would not have taken an interest in.
Students are also able to get moving by running around, being active, and playing with others during designated outdoor free time. Even the healthy snacks provided by Apollo After School promote physical health by teaching children about healthy snack options and portion control.
After school programs help students build confidence and improve their social skills. In an after school environment students have opportunities to interact with children of a variety of ages and abilities. Children who may be shy in their classroom may find comfort with a group of children who share similar likes and interests. When a child attends an after school program on a regular basis, they look forward to seeing friends and familiar faces and working with their peers in a totally different context. After school programs provide lots of opportunities for group work, which means opportunities to learn from and interact with others as well.
After a full work day, finding time to read and help with homework along with household obligations can seem overwhelming. After school programs help parents to keep their job and work hours while feeling confident that their children are being cared for in a safe and structured environment. During the after school program students are able to finish their homework before they come home, and families are able to relax and enjoy their evening together without any pressure to finish assignments or requirements.
So how do after school programs help students? These programs help students by boosting academic performance, making learning fun, promoting physical health, building confidence, and improving social skills. After school programs help parents by providing a safe environment for their children until their work day is over, and by relieving the stress of completing homework at home. Students in after school programs are exposed to new ideas on a regular basis which helps them grow, think critically, and participate in activities outside of their comfort zone in a safe and encouraging environment.