Afterschool Research: Special Populations

Meeting the needs of all children

Afterschool programs are helping to level the playing field, providing all children with the academic, social and emotional supports they need.

More children are participating in an afterschool program than ever before, with 10.2 million children in a program. From reaching students in underserved communities to delivering individualized attention to students at risk of falling behind in school, afterschool programs are supporting students who are in most need of help. This section contains examples of afterschool programs serving English language learners, rural communities, students with disabilities and other special needs, and much more. 

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Afterschool and Students with Special Needs (2004)

Students with special needs may not always receive the resources they need to reach their full potential during the school day, but afterschool programs can offer additional activities more tailored to the individual needs of children. Our first issue brief examines the valuable role afterschool programs can play in the life of a child with special needs.

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Afterschool Benefits Kids with Special Needs (2008)

This issue brief highlights the effectiveness of afterschool programming in offering children with special needs an opportunity to develop alongside their non-disabled peers. The benefits of afterschool for kids with special needs include; improved performance on standardized tests, mastery of individualized education goals, higher grades, improved behavior and increased motivation to learn.

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Afterschool Programs Level the Playing Field for All Youth (2004)

This brief describes how afterschool programs have an opportunity to help disadvantaged youth catch up with their peers when the regular school day may not provide enough time or resources to address the various economic, language, or cultural barriers some students face.

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Afterschool Programs: Helping Kids Succeed in Rural America (2007)

In communities where infrastructure and resources are limited, afterschool programs may offer the only opportunity for academic, recreational, and creative enrichment. This brief explores how afterschool programs in several rural communities are successfully serving their children, families and communities with vital resources.

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Afterschool Supporting Students with Disabilities and Other Special Needs (February 2014)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the second of four issue briefs in our sixth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief addresses the importance of a high school diploma for students with disabilities and other special needs, and how afterschool programs can provide an inclusive learning environment that supports students of all abilities.

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America After 3PM and the African American Community (Oct 2014)

The Afterschool Alliance is proud to present this fact sheet as part of the third edition of America After 3PM, which spans a decade of household survey data chronicling how children spend the hours between 3 and 6 p.m. This fact sheet highlights the key findings related to the African American community and analyzes overall parent responses.

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America After 3PM and the Hispanic Community (Oct 2014)

The Afterschool Alliance is proud to present this fact sheet as part of the third edition of America After 3PM, which spans a decade of household survey data chronicling how children spend the hours between 3 and 6 p.m. This fact sheet highlights the key findings related to the Hispanic community and analyzes overall parent responses.

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English Language Learners: Becoming Fluent in Afterschool (2011)

English Language Learners (ELLs), a diverse group of individuals from across the world who are learning English for the first time, make up the fastest growing segment of the student population in United States public schools. This issue brief displays how the extra time and hands-on learning experiences provided by quality afterschool programs can allow for a specialized, less-formal learning environment in which ELLs can develop language and social skills that otherwise could not be addressed through the less flexible schedule of the regular school day.

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Snapshot of the African-American Community After 3PM (Oct 2009)

The Afterschool Alliance is proud to present this fact sheet as part of the second edition of America After 3PM, which spans five years of household survey data chronicling how children spend the hours between 3 and 6 p.m. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the African American community after 3PM, including a look at how many children are in afterschool programs, how many children remain unsupervised and the demand for more programming.

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Snapshot of the Hispanic Community After 3PM (Oct 2009)

The Afterschool Alliance is proud to present this fact sheet as part of the second edition of America After 3PM, which spans five years of household survey data chronicling how children spend the hours between 3 and 6 p.m. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the Hispanic community after 3PM, including a look at how many children are in afterschool programs, how many children remain unsupervised, and the demand for more programming.

Download