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What Are the Benefits of After School Programs?

Oct 10, 2017 12:00 AM

There are many kinds of after-school programs that children attend; however not every after-school program is created equal. Far too often,a program is nothing more than a babysitter, with a high child to worker ratio. Unfortunately, children most likely suffer when they are in this kind of environment because they are not getting the attention that they need or want. There is nothing in kind of chaotic atmosphere that hold the children’s attention, and many are left to play on their own. First, you must know what to look for in an after-school program which will be covered in a separate article.

So, how can enrolling your child in an after-school program be beneficial?

  • One of the main benefits of an effective after-school programs is that kids meet other peers who may not attend the same school. When kids meet other students, they have the potential to make meaningful friendships that they wouldn’t otherwise make. Many people would call this socialization; however, this is simply not the case. Socialization, according to Google is defined as, “the activity of mixing socially… or interacting…. with others and the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society.” One of the first places that a child learns how to behave appropriately and what kind of behavior is accepted is in the home. An after-school program is a social outlet where kids can practice, and test, these socialization skills in a safe environment.
  • Children meet other kids who have similar interests, or maybe they have some of the same struggles in school. In an academically driven after-school program, kids can be “peer tutors” and help each other with their homework. When kids collaborate in a non-threatening environment, their learning is more meaningful, even if it’s not in the formal classroom of their school. The students can help each other using their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Many after-school programs offer other programs, like music or sports. Now, these programs cannot replace music lessons or the township sport that your child may be involved in, but they are important nonetheless. An after-school program that has music is especially wonderful because music promotes creativity and enhances learning in general. Sports activities are great for kids because they encourage teamwork, communication, and good sportsmanship. According to ChildDevelopmenInfo.com, kids that are active in the recreational activities in after-school programs are less likely to be obese. Studies have shown that physical activity isn’t only good for children’s health, but it increases their ability to learn as well.
  • Many reputable after-school programs have mentors and tutors on site. These adults can have a profound effect on teens and encourage them to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and other influences that may entice them to commit a crime. Teenagers are particularly tricky because they are struggling to find a balance for independence even though they are not ready for it yet. In most cases, the mentors in the after-school programs are just that; someone that has taken an interest in the teen's life and has earned their trust. Other studies have shown that teenagers who are held accountable by a caring adult are less likely to become violent, or addicted to drugs.
Here is a list of resources for reputableafter-school programs that may interest you:

Mad Science of course!

The after-school program here at Mad Science is dedicated to students success in school and in life. Educational professionals design our interactive afterschool program to keep the students engaged in the lessons, as well as experience real-life applications. Why not call Mad Science today for more information! 

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