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​Why We Need Afterschool Programs

  • The rate for juvenile crime peaks in the afterschool hours. About 10 percent of violent juvenile crimes are committed between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Children are also at a much greater risk of being the victim of a violent crime (murder, a violent sex offense, robbery, or assault) after the school day, roughly 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Youth ages 10-16 who have a relationship with a mentor, an important component of a quality afterschool program, are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs and 27 percent less likely to start drinking alcohol.
  • After school and in the evenings, children watch, on average, about 23 hours of television per week. Quality afterschool programs offer children and youth enjoyable alternatives to watching television during afterschool hours in environments filled with opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Students who spent even one to four hours a week in extracurricular activities were 60 percent less likely to have dropped out of school by 12th grade than their peers who did not participate.
  • The structure of an afterschool program can make homework part of students' daily routine. This can contribute to children in afterschool programs completing more and better-prepared homework because of their participation.
  • Research shows that children who participate in afterschool programs behave better in class, handle conflict more efficiently, and cooperate more with authority figures and with their peers.
  • Research shows that children with the opportunity to make social connections in afterschool hours are better adjusted and happier than those who do not have this opportunity.
  • Afterschool programs can help school districts save money over the long term because of decreased student retention and special education placements. Where there is a decrease in juvenile crime due to a program, communities also save resources.
  • Educators can expect that when family and community members make an investment in an afterschool program, they will be more interested and involved in their own children's learning, in the teaching of all children in the program, and in the life of the school as a whole.

​The information above were direct quotes and statistics from a US Department of Education publication, June 2000.

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