A safe and nurturing environment to go to after school helps keep youth away from harmful behaviors that can jeopardize their future. When left unsupervised, there is a higher risk of youth experimenting with drugs and joining gangs. DREAM knows the after-school program benefits, and that’s why we provide the youth in our community with academic tutoring, homework assistance, cultural enrichment activities, field trips, nutritional meals, recreational activities and service-learning projects.
Below are the benefits of after-school programs!
Better grades and test scores
After-school programs help kids succeed academically. Children can receive the support they need when doing their homework and studying for tests. 73% of parents agree that their children get the academic support they need while attending after-school programs. Children who participate are shown to have better grades, higher test scores and increased graduation rates.
Improved attendance and lower dropout rates
We want to show kids the importance of staying in school and help them understand the value of education. Children, especially those living in poverty, sometimes aren’t prepared for primary school. Because of this, there is a higher absenteeism and drop-out rate. When students have a place they can go to after school to get homework help and tutoring in subjects like math and reading, they’re more likely to keep attending school and do better in their classes. When the kids also see their friends working on homework, it can encourage them to keep performing and have a positive attitude about school.
A safe place for kids
Kids who participate in after-school programs are less likely to get involved in gangs, try drugs or alcohol, become pregnant and participate in crime. After-school programs give them a community that supports them and cares about their future success. We want to teach them how to build positive relationships and communicate with their parents, friends, peers and teachers. Structure and supervision help develop positive behaviors. We can help change the narrative and positively impact their lives.
Explore their interests
Giving kids a variety of activities can help them discover what they like and don’t like. From organized sports to STEM activities, to arts and other crafts, we’ve seen children learn and grow. It can be hard for them to recognize what they’re passionate about when they’re only in the classroom. After-school activities can help them find what they love to do while continuing their educational journey.
Build strong friendships
After-school programs also help youth know they’re connected to a bigger community. We want them to know their self-worth, feel a sense of belonging and see where they fit into it all. Social interactions with mentors and classmates helps build social and life skills. It gives them a place to interact with their friends and peers outside of school hours, an opportunity they don’t have being alone at home after-school. These programs give them resources they need to ensure further success.
Help parents out
Working parents can feel at ease knowing their kids are somewhere safe until they can get off work and be home with them. Parents don’t need to worry about whether they're hanging out with the wrong crowd or completing homework on time. They can also feel job security as they won’t need to leave early to attend to their child. 78% of parents with a child enrolled in an after-school program say that it helps them keep their jobs. Many programs offer nutritional snacks, so you know your child isn’t going hungry until they’re able to eat dinner.
Discover after-school program benefits with DREAM
There are a number of after-school program benefits. DREAM provides the youth attending Howard Kennedy Elementary School, Central Park Elementary School, Hartman Elementary School and Nathan Hale Middle School with after-school, team mentoring and athletic programs. We’re always looking for volunteers to help. If you’re interested in volunteering with DREAM, contact us today!