5 Reasons why Every Kid Needs to be in an After School Program

5 Reasons why Every Kid Needs to be in an After School Program

Technology is absorbing our children’s life more and more with the passing of each day.  We see school children walking around with tablets, better smartphones than their parents, and gadgets that adults will possibly never comprehend.  Even though the use of technology can help children gain some important skills in life there is one where they are starting to lack.  Often times, technology creates a comfort zone that children, or adults as a matter of fact, or unwilling to step away from.  Additionally, parents will often see a drop in academic performance and immediately assume technology is to blame.  In order to help children get along with others and get back on track at school, parents often go to a long time yet dependable friend: after school programs. Afterschool offer some amazing incentives for parents, teachers, and students alike.

  1.    Climbing the academic achievement ladder.

Many afterschool programs focus on helping children with their academic responsibilities.  A lot of times, teachers can’t dedicate as much attention to students as they would like to.  The population of some classrooms doesn’t allow for more face time between students and pupils.  This is particularly damaging for those students who have difficulties in grasping what the teacher explains during class.  Teachers who make part of these programs are often the most passionate and dedicated to what they do.  You can bet they will find ways to motivate and empower children to learn and do well at school.  This new-found engagement in school is sure to show significant improvement in exam results, classroom participation, and overall performance.

  1.    Do you know where your children are? You betcha.

Providing for a family is not as easy as it used to be.  The state of the economy has led to households where both parents must work and it’s rather difficult to get someone to babysit while both parents get home from work.  And here is where parents sometimes get criticized unfairly for leaving their children at an afterschool program instead of hiring a babysitter.  This criticism often comes from people who have the ability to stay at home or who can afford to get someone to look after their children.  Afterschool programs provide a safe environment for children.  Having one less thing to worry about helps parents concentrate on their jobs and provide a better life for their children.  And once again, afterschool programs help children improve their grades.  Parents always wish for their children to excel at school, by the way.  So stop bashing parents and put yourself in their shoes.

  1.    Friends, friends, friends

The more social interaction opportunities a child is exposed to, the more prepared he or she will be to face different social settings when they grow up.  Additionally, participation in afterschool programs is usually with people who have shared interests.  This lets children find a comfort zone to talk about what they enjoy and break out of their private shells.  There is no guarantee that children will become friendlier or even more sociable.  What is certain is that they will learn to deal with different situations.

  1.    One less kid out of danger

It’s no secret that children are prime targets for gangs and delinquents.  Their easy to manipulate into thinking that drugs and vandalism are cool.  Being bad is good is the motto.  After school programs are one of the best allies in the fight against juvenile delinquency.  They reduce considerably the chances of a child hitting the streets to participate in illegal activities.  One less child on the street doing what they shouldn’t be is a win for humanity.

  1.    Get them offline and into the real world.

    Image courtesy of City Year at Flickr.com
    Image courtesy of City Year at Flickr.com

The virtual bubble that was mentioned earlier can be a hard one to burst.  It’s very easy for a child to become comfortable with what he or she does online.  It can get to the point where they don’t want to step out into the real world.  This can’t happen.  Children need to move in the real world.  They need to experience the sights and sounds of what goes on around them.  They need to interact with people and things that are in front of them instead of the screen.  Not doing so could lead to a less humane child who dismisses or doesn’t even care about his surroundings.

After school programs need the support of the entire community.  This is especially true in those where children are more vulnerable to take the wrong path in life.  Parents and teachers need to work together to encourage students to stay after school and see how it can help them in the future.  Participation in after school activities creates better students, better citizens, and better children.

The Dwyer Family Foundation recommends reading “Why Girls and Boys Learn Differently” to understand more about the learning process of each gender.  This could help you deciding what kind of after school program best adapts to your child’s abilities.