Friday, March 22, 2013

Importance of After School Programs

In the US today, there is an extremely strong, ever-growing need for quality after school programs primarily due to the good that these have done the children of this country. However, it has also resulted directly from numerous fundamental changes that have occurred in the lives and work schedules of the American parent today. In the last few decades, the proportion of families with single parents and working, two-parent families has grown significantly.

According to statistics that were recently compiled by the US Bureau of the Census, nearly 70 out of 100 children attending school come from households with a single working parent or in a home where both the mother and father are employed. In either situation, the parent or parents need for their children to be safely supervised once the traditional school day has concluded and up until about 6:00 pm. Whenever a parent does not have the financial means to afford an after school program, they have to wonder about their child's security.

Why after school programs are so beneficial to children and their parents

One of the primary benefits to putting a child in an after school program is that it broadens your child's interests and enables them to discover an innate and maybe unknown talent for a certain activity. It also provides them with the opportunity to develop that talent as well. Additionally, constant practice breeds more self-confidence and improves their self esteem in the process.

There are certain psychological and social benefits as well, such as reducing the juvenile delinquency rate. There is a direct correlation between the time that the child gets out of school unsupervised until their parents get home and a spike in the crime rate. These after school programs do not allow the child to participate in criminal or deviant behavior when they find one to attend.

There is a significant reduction in the amount of risk-taking that occurs especially where alcoholism and drug abuse as well as the dropout rate are concerned, just to name a few. Typically, the child will fall into bad company when they do not participate in some engaging activity after school. It is a well known fact, according to vast research on the subject, that the leading cause for alcohol use and substance abuse result from peer pressure.

Participation in after school programs enhances the child's self esteem by helping them to develop their talents in a particular art or sport. The more skilled they become at the activity or sport, they receive the appreciation and recognition needed to boost their self esteem. Many of these programs also coach and instruct towards competitive events. It is well known that the best motivator for excellence is a sense of achievement.

You will be doing your child a big disservice by not enrolling them in one of the numerous after school programs that are currently available. Just make sure that you research them thoroughly before selecting one. Take into account the child's aptitude and interest before you select one.

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