Why strong afterschool programs matter

by Jodi Grant

We were so pleased to see such a great response to our Washington Post Answer Sheet blog post, Why strong afterschool programs matter.

As executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, I’ve spent the past two years fighting efforts to divert federal support for already underfunded afterschool programs to instead provide a small number of failing schools with money to add an hour or two to their school day. This would not only add to the 15 million children currently unsupervised each afternoon, but could deny more than a million children the engaged learning and building blocks of healthy development provided by afterschool programs. Like many experts, I’m fearful that simply adding more time to our least successful schools is not the right answer.

The research is clear: children in quality afterschool programs are more likely to come to school and stay in school, more likely to hand in their work and get better grades. Yet afterschool falls off the radar in discussions of how to improve education. Why?

Read the full post on the Answer Sheet blog: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/



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