What Does the Research Say About Afterschool Programs?

Looking at the Data: Afterschool Programs Using Data to Better Serve Students by the Afterschool Alliance (2014)

Research has found that the quality of an afterschool program plays an integral role in its ability to positively impact students academic, social and emotional development. Fortunately, more and more programs are recognizing the critical role of data and more resources and tools are becoming available to help programs put the data to use in order to best meet the needs of their students.

The Importance of Afterschool Programs in Educations Reform Worldwide: Making it Essential in America, written by Eva L. Baker

This article mainly looks at the academic and social benefits of afterschool programs, but many references cite research done about LA’s BEST afterschool program that looks at the long term economic benefit of afterschool programs; essentially looking at lower dropout rates and lower rates of juvenile delinquency among students within this LA program.

More studies from the LA area: Afterschool Programs and Their Effects on Juvenile Delinquency and Long-Term Impact of Student Dropout Rates

Taking a Deeper Dive into Afterschool: Positive Outcomes and Promising Practices by the Afterschool Alliance (2014)

This report links existing research about positive outcomes of afterschool programming with  promising practices in high-quality programs across the nation, highlighting  successful strategies for improving program design, staff quality, partnerships, and program evaluation.

Business Leaders: Expanding Afterschool and Summer Learning Opportunities Can Make a Bottom Line Difference, by ExpandingLearning.org

The study offers the opinion of three different business executives regarding afterschool programs and the types of social and professional skills that they foster. This is a great qualitative source that supports the economic benefits of afterschool programming, as these are business leaders that are saying that afterschool programs are necessary to better prepare students for the labor force.

Expanding Minds and Opportunities, edited by Terry Peterson (2013)

A volume of more than 70 articles summarizing the research on different aspects of afterschool programs. Each article is also available for download from the affiliated website.

Why Summer Learning Deserves a Front-Row Seat in the Education Reform Arena, by John’s Hopkins School of Education

Compares gains of well-off and impoverished students during the school year and then during the summer, and finds that they make similar gains during the year, but the disadvantaged demographic falls behind mainly during the summer years. Offers ten conclusions to better summer learning practices and gather political support behind the importance of summer learning in fighting the achievement gap.

Afterschool Programs That Follow Evidence-Based Practices to Promote Social and Emotional Development Are Effective by Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project

The main focus of research on afterschool programs should be primarily to understand the factors that distinguish effective from ineffective programs in order to guide future policy and practice.

Best Practices in Summer Learning Programs for Middle and High School Students

This lengthy best practice analysis of summer programs looks at a variety of model policies and policy alternatives throughout the US and analyzes the effective aspects of each set of programs. The study identifies seven best practices, and provides at least one state or local program that strongly exemplifies this characteristic.

The Promise of Summer Learning, by Gary Huggins

Identifies three model programs that were recognized in 2012 as Excellence in Summer Learning Award Winners. These three programs will be used to fill in the rest of the model program/policy recommendations section of the summer learning program issue brief.

Parents and Afterschool

Child Care in New York State by Child Care Aware of America(2014)

A fact sheet with information related to families in New York and how the cost of child care compares to the rest of the United States.

Afterschool: A Key to Successful Parent  Engagement byAfterschool Alliance (2012)

Afterschool programs are an ideal partner to help schools break down the barriers often present between parents and schools.  They bring unique opportunities to the table that can work to improve parent engagement in students’ learning.  Together, schools and afterschool programs can help increase parent engagement, paving the road for students to achieve academic success, become more self-confident and enhance their overall well-being.

After-School Worries: Tough on Parents, Bad for Business by Catalyst (2006)

Research finds that parents miss an average of eight days of work per year due to the lack of afterschool care for their children. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about afterschool care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year.

Afterschool and At-Risk Youth

Keeping Kids Safe and Supported in the Hours After School by the Afterschool Alliance (2014)

The hours between 3 and 6pm are when kids are often unsupervised and  most likely to participate in risky behavior, commit crimes, or be victimized by crimes. Strong support and guidance are critical to middle schoolers during a life stage that shapes their trajectory into high school, college, career and beyond.

Preventing Dropouts: The Important Role of Afterschool by theAfterschool Alliance (2013)

This brief offers evidence of afterschool programs’ effectiveness in addressing the dropout issue and makes the case for greater investment in afterschool program

America’s After-School Choice: The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime, Or Youth Enrichment and Achievement by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids (2000)

In the hours after the school day ends, millions of children and teens are out on the streets with neither constructive activities nor adult supervision, violent juvenile crime suddenly triples and the prime time for juvenile crime begins.

The Opportunity and Achievement Gaps

The Achievement Gap is Real: New Research Shows Afterschool is a Real Solution by Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project (2013)

The research highlighted here finds that afterschool is a solution linked to closing the achievement gap when students attend regularly for several years. A multi-year study found that students’ work habits and academic performance improve,  in addition to gains in self-efficacy, task persistence, and pro-social behavior.

The 6,000 Hour Learning Gap by ExpandED Schools

This infographic highlights the difference in opportunities available that are available to students living in poverty compared to those from middle-class families, and the effects it has on their education.