In the past several years, numerous after school clubs surged in the United States. A number of private organizations have even offered funding for today’s after school clubs. In a recent study, 4 out of 10 kids from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade have participated in after school clubs at least once a week. But the unfortunate part is, there are still millions of school youths who are either unsupervised or left on their own after school.
A recent observation from multiple studies show that after school clubs are actually keeping children protected from unsafe and bad behaviors. At the same time, they give an extra set of hands for working parents.
After school clubs are important since they assist children to develop social skills, improve their academic standings, and aid in crafting strong supportive relationships with adults aside from their parents. Children can greatly benefit from social skill development and enriched academic skills which leads to proper conflict management and better class attendance. Children in middle school who continuously take part in after school clubs will be more attentive in class and engaged in school activities with less chances of exhibiting in-school violent behavior.
Children who take part in after school clubs will benefit greatly by the time they reach high school. Teens in after school clubs tend to be optimistic for their future and are more interested in school than those who remain unsupervised. Participating in clubs also prevents teens from skipping school and experimenting with sex, drugs, and alcohol.
At the same time, kids who take part in clubs can curb pregnancy via promotion of sound judgment, health education, and offering ideal alternatives to sex-related activities. In addition, if children are constantly involved in after school clubs until they reach their teens, they have a better shot at attending college, participate in volunteering events, and voting as adults.
There are a couple of good reasons why after school clubs offer positive benefits for children. First off, children need guidance to have a productive stage of adolescence adulthood. Furthermore, after school activities keeps them busy after school until early evening — times where teens would often commit criminal activities, be criminal victims, or participating in sex activities. Secondly, after school clubs offer additional time for exploring careers, enhance development skills, be part in service learning and internships to help them ready for college and work.
It’s been estimated that for every dollar spent on after school clubs, it will save local taxpayers several dollars due to reduced youth crime, teen pregnancies, and school drop outs. Such cost advantage is in addition to the love of learning, enhanced educational level, and civil contributions stemming from after school club participation.
Studies have identified characteristics of highly effective after school clubs and activities. These characteristics include:
- Supporting and complimenting class learning by placing emphasis on social, physical, and emotional development
- Offering opportunities for comfortable learning.
- Offering a positive and optimistic environment without harsh yet controlled supervision by adults
- Offering activities that encourages interaction with peers
- Including time for creative and physical activities.