Thursday, April 14, 2011

Economies of After-School Programs

One only needs to pick up any newspaper, tune into any television station, or pick the headlines off of the internet to know that all over the county school districts, cities, counties and states are struggling to balance their respective budgets. And of course, the House and Senate aren’t without numerous struggles as well. So in this environment of “stretching dollars” to ensure that you are getting a great return on your investment, after-school programs should be at the top of the list for a positive ROI at a low cost.

Most after-school programs operate on approximately $1.75-$2.25 per student, per hour. Needless to say, this would not even pay for a babysitter. And after-school is so much more than just having someone “watch” your student. After-school programs see to it that kids have a healthy snack and a chance to complete homework in a well-lit environment with access to textbooks, maps, thesauruses, dictionaries, and a PERSON to help youth out. And with these two activities scheduled, the “real” program is simply getting off on the right foot. Programs also offer healthy living activities that include physical activity and nutrition education, enrichment clubs and project-based learning that culminates in a showcase or performance. Beyond this, after-school programs also offer academic enrichment and remediation activities, explorations of the visual and performing arts, and community service, youth leadership development, and service learning opportunities. After-school programs are a bargain truly a bargain. They keep young people in a safe and supervised space and holistically work with youth to help them realize the amazing potential that each and every one of them has.

Continue to support after-school programs and the great work that they are doing.

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