A new report by the New Hampshire State Afterschool Task Force evaluates the effectiveness of after-school programs in elementary and middle schools. The report provides evidence that academically focused after-school programs cause students to improve both academically and behaviorally. NAESP’s publication Leading After-School Learning Communities: What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do, also provides evidence of the benefits of high-quality after-school programs, the importance of a seamless school day, and the roles that principals—and others who lead after-school programs—have in ensuring academically enriching environments for children.  Ten case studies of high-quality after-school programs were featured in NAESP’s book, Making the Most of After-school Time.

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re: More Evidence Points to the Need for High-Quality After-Sch

I have taught in an inner-city school for the past five years and have participated in two high-quality after-school programs. The first is called G.A.P.S. and targets grades 1-5 students who need additional assistance with reading and math. The program lasted for 1 hour after school. I felt that the student who participated truly benefitted from small-group settings and more individual attention. The materials for instruction were of a high quality and kept students interested. The second program, entitled C.H.A.M.P.S. was a program targeted among students in grades 4-6 that are in high-risk families for developing detrimental behaviors. I felt this program was exceptional for truly aiding students in completing homework and then participating in such activities as Lego Leagues, community service projects and character education. The day was long, as students did not leave until 5:30 pm, but I believe those who participated truly benefitted. I feel after-school programs are a necessary entity in today's society as we accomodate shifting family structures.

re: More Evidence Points to the Need for High-Quality After-Sch

I have worked at my current district for 3 years. It is an urban district that promotes after-school programs and finds funding to be able to provide the programs for the students. The school runs on 3 trimesters and the after school program (PEAK) is run in accordance with the trimesters and lasts for an hour Monday through Thursday. Every trimester, the teachers will offer ideas of activities the children would want to participate in and brochures are sent home for the students to choose. There are often many groups to choose from such as sports, logic puzzles, tutoring, and cultural clubs. I feel as though the students benefit from these after school programs because it is geared towards their interest and provides enriching experiences. Recently, we have received a grant to incorporate higher level science modules as part of the after school club. These modules will provide the students with critical thinking and problem solving skills. I have spoken to the students about the science after school program and they seemed thrilled. I believe offering these high-quality after school activities will be enjoyable for the students and provide them with a great learning experience they can take with them. I have a feeling that after the first module dealing with physics and motion, they will want to come back for the next one because of the challenge it provides them!