The Benefits for youth, families, and communities (

  • Attending afterschool programs can improve student's academic performance. A national evaluation found that over 40% of students attending 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs improved their reading and math grades, and that those who attended more regularly were more likely to make gains (Naftzger et. al., 2007)
  • Participation in afterschool programs has been associated with reduced drug use (investing in Our young people, University of Chicago, 2006) and criminal behavior (UCLA National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student testing, 2007).
  • After school programs can play an important role in encouraging physical activity and good dietary habits. Participation in afterschool programs has been associated with positive health outcomes, including reduced obesity (Mahoney, J., Lord, H., & Carryl, 2005)
  • Working families and businesses all derive benefits from the afterschool programs that ensure that youth have a safe place to go while parents are at work. Parents concerned about their children afterschool care can miss and average of eight days of work per year, and this decreased work productivity costs businesses up to $300 billion annually (Brandeis University, Community, Families and Work Program, 2004 and catalyst & Brandeis University, 2006).

The Harvard Family Research Project

Does participation in after school programs really make a difference?

The shorts answer is yes. A decade of research and evaluation studies, as well as large scale, rigorously conducted syntheses looking across many research and evaluation studies, confirms that children and youth who participate in after school programs can reap a host of positive benefits in a number of interrelated outcome areas academic, social/emotional, prevention, and health and wellness.

Learn more by checking out the Harvard Family Research Project article: After School Programs in the 21st Century: Their Potential and What it Takes to achieve it.

Childern benefit from positive peer influence in the classrrom.
(Article by Victoria M. Indverio, September 4, 2013)

Children who have a sense of connectedness with their peers are less likely to report emotional problems, according to Penn State researchers. Children exhibited fewer behavioral problems if they preceived their peers were willing to encourage them to behave.