Helping Children to Succeed

First and foremost, after-school programs keep children of all ages safe and out of trouble. The after-school hours are the time when juvenile crime hits its peak, but through attentive adult supervision, quality after-school programs can protect our children. In communities with comprehensive programs, children are less likely to commit crimes or to be victimized, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug, alcohol and tobacco use.
After-school programs also contribute to improving the academic performance of participating children; for many children, their reading and math scores have improved, in large part because after-school programs allow them to focus attention on areas in which they are having difficulties. Many programs connect learning to more relaxed and enriching activities, thereby improving academic performance.
After-school programs also contribute to raising children's self-confidence as well as academic performance. Both teachers and parents report that children who participate in after-school programs develop better social skills and learn to handle conflicts in more socially acceptable ways.
In addition, children and youth indicate that they have higher aspirations for their future, including greater intentions to complete high school and attend college.
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