After-school programs benefit all
The importance of education is no secret. But what about the after-school hours? Studies have shown that the time between 3 and 6 pm is when juvenile mischief is at its peak. This may be due to the fact that roughly one in four children is unsupervised during the afternoon hours. For this reason, after-school programs inarguably provide a great benefit to children, families and the community.
When researching after-school programs, here are some questions to keep in mind:
- Will your child need transportation or is the program housed at their school?
- Based on your child’s needs, do you want a program that is sports-oriented or more academic-oriented?
- Are the activities found on the weekly schedule age appropriate and stimulating?
- What do the facilities look like? Is there a quiet space for homework and tutoring? Do children have a chance to play outdoors?
- Are healthy snacks provided?
- What is the staff-to-student ratio?
- What are the rules regarding the signing-in/out of participating children?
- Can program staff provide you with letters of recommendation/testimonials from currently participating parents?
Fortunately, our community offers a number of quality after-school programs with costs ranging from free to income-based and for which subsidies and scholarships are available.
River Valley United Way funds after-school programs that consistently demonstrate high-quality results including decreased risky behavior, improved grades, test scores, and positive social skills, and the discovery of new skills or interests by participating children.