Afterschool & Lights On Afterschool Facts
Use the facts below in two ways:
- Fact Sheet: Copy and paste the text to make your own fact sheet on afterschool, tailoring it for your community by adding local information and inserting state data from America After 3PM in place of the national data provided on afterschool supply, demand and parent satisfaction. Our State-by-State Afterschool Progress Reports and Consumer Guides offer a snapshot of how each state is keeping the lights on after school and serves as a resource for all concerned citizens.
- Talking Points: Draw from your own program's story, the facts below and state data from America After 3PM and the Progress Reports and Consumer Guides as a basis for talking points for speakers at your event. Pick just one or two facts or examples to make your point.
Too many children are alone and unsupervised after school. While we have made progress in increasing access to afterschool programs, the need for quality afterschool programs far exceeds the supply.
- 15.1 million school age children--more than a quarter of all youth--are alone and unsupervised after school. That's an increase of nearly 1 million children from 2004 to 2009. (America After 3 PM, 2009)
- 8.4 million K-12 children (15%) participate in afterschool programs, up from 11% in 2004. But more than double that number--an additional 18.5 million--would participate if a quality program were available in their community. (America After 3 PM, 2009)
- The hours between 3p.m. and 6p.m. are the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2003)
- A 2009 report found the federal government contributes only 11 percent of the cost of afterschool, while 29 percent of the children in afterschool meet the federal government’s definition of low-income and in need of federal assistance. (Afterschool Alliance, 2009)
- Almost 9 in 10 afterschool programs report children in their community need afterschool care, but are unable to access it. (Afterschool Alliance, 2012)
Afterschool programs are a vital support for youth, families & communities. They keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. The engaging, hands-on experiences provided by afterschool programs help youth develop the skills they need to succeed.
- 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. (YMCA of the USA, 2001)
- An analysis of 68 afterschool studies concluded that afterschool programs using evidence-based approaches were consistently successful in producing multiple benefits for youth, including improvements in children's personal, social and academic skills, as well as their self-esteem. (The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2010)
- Children in LA’s BEST afterschool program attend school more often and report higher aspirations for finishing school and going to college. LA’s BEST participants are 20 percent less likely to drop out and are 30 percent less likely to participate in criminal activities. Researchers estimate that every dollar invested in the LA’s BEST program saves the city $2.50 in crime-related costs. (UCLA National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing, 2000, 2005 and 2007)
- The Promising Afterschool Programs Study found that regular participation in high-quality afterschool programs is linked to significant gains in standardized test scores and work habits as well as reductions in behavior problems among disadvantaged students. (University of California at Irvine, 2007)
- Parents miss an average of five days of work per year due to a lack of afterschool care. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about after school care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year. (Catalyst & Brandeis University, 2006)
- Students attending Higher Achievement’s year-round afterschool program significantly improved their test scores. After two years of access to the program, Higher Achievement youth showed significantly larger gains in their reading and problem-solving scores compared to non-attendees. (Herrera, et. al., 2011)
- Participants in Citizen Schools’ afterschool programs are much more likely to go on to high-quality high schools compared to non-participants (65 percent vs. 26 percent). Those who attend often are also more likely to be promoted to tenth grade on time (92 percent vs. 81 percent). Earning promotion to tenth grade on time is a key predictor of high school graduation. (Policy Studies Associates, 2006)
- Annual teacher-reported performance data from 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grantees across the country demonstrate that students attending 21st CCLC programs raise their math grades (37 percent) and English grades (38 percent), while also improving their homework completion and class participation (72 percent) and their behavior in class (67 percent). (Learning Point Associates, 2010)
The public strongly supports afterschool programs. More than 1 million Americans, from coast to coast, are celebrating Lights On Afterschool to call attention to the need for more afterschool resources.
- Eight in 10 Americans want all children and teens to have some type of organized activity or safe place to go after school. (Afterschool Alliance & Lake Research Partners, 2008)
- More than three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) agree that Members of Congress, as well as state and local elected officials, should increase funding for afterschool programs. (Afterschool Alliance & Lake Research Partners, 2008)
- More than half of voters (55 percent) think that there are not enough afterschool programs available for children in America today. (Afterschool Alliance Poll, 2003)
- Nine in ten parents are satisfied with the afterschool program their child attends. (America After 3PM, 2009)
About Lights On Afterschool
Lights On Afterschool is celebrated every October in communities nationwide to call attention to the importance of afterschool programs for America's children, families and communities. Lights On Afterschool was launched in October 2000 with celebrations in more than 1,200 communities nationwide. The event has grown from 1,200 celebrations in 2001 to more than 7,500. This October, 1 million Americans will celebrate Lights On Afterschool! Lights On Afterschool is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has served as Chair of Lights On Afterschool since 2001. The Afterschool Alliance salutes the many Lights On Afterschool partners and programs who make this event a success, in particular the After-School All-Stars, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 4-H Afterschool, Junior Achievement, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Young Rembrandts and the YMCA of the USA.