Spoiler alert: Yes. Years of extensive research and studies on after school programs have shown that children and young adults who actively participated in after school programs saw many different benefits in varying areas. However, these areas are often linked with one another, such as academics, the prevention of risky behaviors, social and emotional development, as well as health and wellness.
The most obvious benefit of after school programs is the effect it can have on a child’s academics. In fact, it has been shown that kids who attend these programs report significant improvements in their test marks. Recent research has also shown that students in elementary school who participated in after school programs saw great improvement in their mathematics, with their test scores as an indicator.
The truth is that the right after school programs can help children to develop new and important skills by participating in hands-on learning. The programs are a great way to instill academic discipline and aptitude in your children while enriching them with skills learnt from extra-curricular activities as well. Hence, why wait till your child reaches elementary school? Parents these days are starting to see the value of sending their young kids to pre-school and after school programs.
Health and Wellness
The main problem with not sending your child for after school programs is that there is a higher risk of them becoming obese. In fact, these programs can help to promote a lifestyle to your kid that is healthier, with education on nutrition and exercise being incorporated into them. Studies have shown that students who lead active lifestyles at this age, through participating in sports and games, had a lower risk of being obese during this age. While these are just immediate effects of after school programs, giving your child access to important information like this can help them to carry the values of a non-sedentary lifestyle with them even as they become working adults.
Surveys have also shown that after school programs that focused on helping children to gain confidence while improving their inter-personal and social skills were extremely effective. The effects of these programs were that the students saw an improvement in their self-confidence and ability to socialize with their peers. Once again, these are lifelong skills that your child can utilize to become successful in the future. When students are mentored closely and with care, you will see that there is a higher chance of them becoming more self-aware, assertive and competent in navigating social situations when they are older.
After school, students are at a high risk of mixing with the wrong crowd. If your child is not enrolled in a good after school program, there is always a chance of them mixing with bad company and engaging in negative activities. Some of these activities might include, juvenile petty crime, drug use, alcohol abuse, and even sexual activity. It goes to show that after school programs can keep your child safe from exposure to such things, while reducing the chances of juvenile delinquency.>