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ERIC Number: ED498165
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Afterschool Programs: A Wise Public Investment. Afterschool Alert. Issue Brief No.22
Afterschool Alliance
After-school advocates and practitioners face a seemingly continual struggle for adequate funding. While there have been successes, budgets have tightened at all levels of government, and advocates must be prepared to demonstrate that after-school programs are a worthy investment. This report highlights benefits of these programs by pointing out that a struggling student is not the sole bearer of the cost of academic difficulty: remedial education, absenteeism, grade repetition, drop-outs, crime, drug use, teen pregnancy and income lost are some of the costs taxpayers bear when a young person does not succeed in school. These costs start tallying when school begins and last for a lifetime. As manufacturing jobs dwindle, the next generation of workers will need more education and advanced skills in order to succeed as productive members of the workforce. If future workers come out the end of the education pipeline unable to meet these standards, businesses bear the cost of retraining. Studies and evaluations continue to demonstrate that after-school programs are cost-effective and save money by addressing risky and expensive (for society) behaviors by keeping youth busy during the hours they are most likely to get into trouble, and providing young people with access to caring adults who provide the support they need to succeed, whether in homework help or learning how to say no to drugs. Children and youth who regularly attend quality after-school programs have better grades and conduct in school, are more likely to graduate, and have lower incidences of drug-use, violence and pregnancy. The flexibility of after-school programs means that they are uniquely able to tailor themselves to what their community needs. Beyond the bottom line, many benefits to individual students, teachers, schools and communities cannot be assigned a dollar value. Time to find a passion or a skill, better self-esteem, teamwork skills, confidence, a greater sense of curiosity, a lifelong love of learning: society will reap the benefits of making an investment to create future generations of scientists, teachers, leaders, artists and thoughtful citizens. Quality after-school programs, like schools themselves, need quality staff, effective curricula and community collaboration in order to succeed. Federal, state and local governments need to put their weight behind developing policies that support staff and curriculum development and regular evaluation so programs can best serve today's youth and tomorrow's adult citizens. (Contains 18 endnotes.).)
Afterschool Alliance. 1616 H Street NW Suite 820, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-347-1002; Fax: 202-347-2092; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC.