Free Essay

After School Programs

In: Social Issues

Submitted By anaisolis
Words 1576
Pages 7
After School Programs Helping Kids Succeed
1,565 Words

Parents now-a-days spend a lot of time working, and when they’re kids get out of school they have nowhere to go but an empty, unsupervised house. A lot of the time when kids are left alone for a long period of time, they tend to get in some trouble; whether it’s with their friends outside of the house, or alone at home. Many parents may not have the time or money to send their kids to a day care program, so they can’t really do anything about it. But many schools have the choice whether or not to have after school programs but decide not to because they don’t want to keep their school open after hours. It isn’t just the school’s decision though; it also depends on whether the school has the money to keep them open or not. According to USA Today: “Tight local budgets and reduced federal funding for police, along with new anti-terrorism duties, have stretched police departments and led to cuts in community programs for youths.” All kids need a safe place to be after school, even if it’s for study hall or a quiet place where they could do their homework. After school programs can help children a lot and in many ways. They have an impact on kids because it gives them something to do and it provides them with positive role models. Some of the ways that after school programs can help children is by giving them a safe and supportive learning environment after school, opportunities to experience new activities in arts, culture, life skills, and recreation, a chance to build relationships with their peers, and a way to stay out of trouble. School sports are also important after school activities that help kids grow up and learn many different skills they can apply to their futures. Every child should have the opportunity to participate in after school activities because it helps them grow in many ways. A very important way that after school programs can help kids is by giving them a safe and supportive learning environment. Many kids don’t have supervision when school ends because their parents are working and they have no one else to take care of them. Because of this reason many of these kids don’t think that they need to do their homework and they can just go out with their friends until their parents get home; and how are the parents going to know that their kids haven’t been home all this time? By having after school programs, these kids can have a place to go after school where they can be supervised and can actually get some of their homework done. Some after school programs also have an attendance sheet or a way of keeping track of who has been attending their programs. By doing this, parents can actually have a way of keeping track of where their kids are and what they are doing when they are not home. It has been proven that kids that constantly participate in after school programs have a higher academic performance, higher grades, and improved homework completion. According to Critical Hours: After-School Programs and Educational Success, research has shown a lot of benefits from attending after school programs, such as improved behavior in school, increased competence and sense of self as a learner, better work habits, and fewer absences from school.
After school programs can also help kids by giving them the opportunity to experience new activities. Especially for low income students, these after school programs open kids up to activities, such as art, music, and theater, that they may have not been able to experience otherwise. Kids can also discover some unknown talents and interests that they didn’t know of. It also helps them with their self-esteem by giving them the advantage to do things out of their comfort zone and be more active in a variety of extracurricular activities. Theatre is a very good example of getting kids out of their comfort zone because it makes them do something that they never would have done and it gives them confidence in themselves. Kids can also experience many different cultures by going to after school programs. There are a lot of kids that participate in after school programs that are from many different backgrounds, and by going to these programs, kids get to interact with each other and learn about many different things, not just from the teachers, but from each other. Some after school programs are also involved with their community. Not only do kids get to participate in school activities, they also get to be involved in their community in ways that they may enjoy, and they would learn to be more involved with their surroundings.
“In today’s world where both parents often work, children are most likely to commit crimes or be victimized after school or before parents return home” said Mike Fahey, the mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. A big debate that people have about after school activities is whether or not it helps keep kids out of trouble. Like I explained earlier, many parents now-a-days have jobs and aren’t around after their kids get out of school, and for a few hours these kids are all alone and have nowhere to go. A lot of the times when kids stay out, especially starting from a young age, they tend to get in some trouble; whether it involves hanging with the wrong crowd or recreational drugs. Studies show that teens with self-care or boredom are fifty percent more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Because of teens growing up doing this, they start falling behind on their grades and become lazier during school. Also when they get involved with drugs they start hanging out with the wrong type of people and start getting involved in more dangerous activities. Kids being alone for just a couple of hours after school may not sound all that bad, but it can escalate quickly and lead to very dangerous and troubling acts.
Building relationships with your peers and connecting with them is a very important skill to have while growing up. After school programs have a very big advantage with doing this because you get to interact with your classmates in a different setting than just in class. Some activities that after school programs give, involve interacting and talking to one another. Kids build strong friendships that last a long time. It’s very important for kids to grow up having friends because it makes their lives much easier to live when you have people by your side. Language barriers are hard to overcome for foreign speakers, but having the opportunity to interact with people and having help with it can be a lot easier. This is one of the things that after school programs offer that have helped many kids in the US with English not being their first language. From personal experience, I had to overcome this language barrier, and having help from teachers that really wanted me to succeed was very helpful. Having to do school work in a language that I didn’t know was very difficult. Having the opportunity to have people that could help me with it, made everything much easier, and got me through nearly impossible situations. After school programs have a wide variety of activities that you can choose from, like sports. Sports can be a very good way to kill time after school and it is also a good way to enjoy it. Not just do sports fill in free time, it can also be very beneficial for kids growing up and going on to high school and college. When kids get involved in sports, it not only teaches them life skills, but it also encourages them to keep up their grades. Especially for school sports, kids are required to have a specific grade point average to be allowed to play in these sports teams. If they fail to keep up their grades they are not allowed to be a part of the team until they raise their grades. It is a very efficient way to keep students motivated enough to want to keep their grades up. Sports are also a very good way to teach life skills. While being a part of a team you gain important skills and abilities that can be applied in your everyday life. Such skills that you gain, like patience, team work, and communication skills, can be used in your life and are skills that you should definitely have while growing up. What better way to learn life skills than by playing a sport that you like. Being a part of a sports team shows that you have these skills, so when you are ready to head off to college this is a very good advantage to have. After school programs give kids a safe haven, opening them up to new activities and cultures, furthering their knowledge, and helping improve their social skills. It gives kids an escape from reality and a very good way to stay out of trouble. Without after-school programs, kids would miss out on important growing experiences and they may even make some wrong decisions along the way. But if you give them a place where they could spend their time, kids would be better off.…...

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