After School Programs

Organized programs that provide the opportunity for children and youth to participate in organized extracurricular and enrichment activities in a safe environment outside of the traditional school day.

The Challenge

In many cases children in developing countries have limited or no access to extracurricular and/or enrichment activities beyond the traditional school day.  Low funding and lacking resources may prevent communities from providing a safe place for children to gather after for structured activities such as dance groups, music lessons, art classes, organized sports and academic tutoring. In order to meet the financial needs of the home, parents and guardians often work extended hours and long work days may result in children being unsupervised.

The Opportunity

Organized extracurricular and enrichment activities that extend beyond the school day provide the perfect opportunity to build confidence and leadership skills in children in underserved communities.  By engaging students in sports, music, dance, and art we begin to see children excel academically and socially in the classroom.  In addition, participation in group activities builds a strong sense of community and trust in safe, supervised environment.  With increased confidence, higher academic achievement and a strong sense of belong to a group children develop the skills needed for success that will extended into adulthood.  

Quicks Facts

  • Early childhood education expert James Heckman concludes that a complement of early education and participation in afterschool programs can reduce initiating drug use among youth by nearly 50 percent. (University of Chicago, 2006)
  • High quality afterschool programs can lead to improved attendance, behavior and coursework.
  • Students participating in a high quality afterschool program went to school more, behaved better, received better grades and did better on tests compared to non-participating students.
  • Teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teens who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and are more likely to drink, smoke and engage in sexual activity.