5 Reasons Why Afterschool Programs are Important
Structured community programs for youth are critical for healthy development and provide many benefits for students, families, and their surrounding communities. Here are 5 reasons why you may consider enrolling your child in an afterschool program:
1. Provide academic assistance
Some programs provided 1 on 1 tutoring and homework help, either from program coordinators or other student volunteers. This can help students get their homework done right after school without delay, which makes more for more enjoyable evenings with the family. This service can be valuable for families who might otherwise have access to extra academic support for their children.
2. Learn new skills and topics in different ways
Some students may feel that school is all about achieving high grades – which may make it difficult for students to actually learn and retain subjects after the final tests are completed. Afterschool programs make for fun and meaningful ways to learn through different group activities and environments that don’t have students stressing over grades – such as game show style quizzes and interactive workshops.
3. Building self-esteem, confidence, and social skills
Students may feel uncomfortable in school environments due to a number of factors such as large class sizes, social hierarchies, and bullying and discrimination. This has a negative effect on their self-esteem and confidence, and they may lack social skills to assert themselves. Afterschool programs provide a more forgiving and relaxed environment for students to take on positive risks and develop their confidence.
4. Provide safety and supervision
According to Public Safety Canada, “one of the riskiest times for many adolescents in terms of being victimized or running afoul with the law is between the hours of 3pm and 6pm between the end of the school day and when parents return home from work”. Programs provide a safe option for students to spend their time after school under the supervision of program coordinators and learning valuable lessons instead. This provides peace of mind for parents as well who may not get home from work until the evening.
5. Making new connections
Afterschool programs are a great way to make new friends from different schools and different walks of life. Students that have difficulties making friends at their schools may find lifelong friendships in programs. Some afterschool programs also provide mentorship and coaching opportunities for students to get connected with someone who can guide and nurture them through education and employment.
Here at CACD, we offer free afterschool programs for youth of all ages. Our programs focus on empowering youth to develop their full potential, live healthy lives, and become safe, self-reliant, spiritual, and active members of their community as citizens and leaders.
We provide a variety of activities such as homework help, photography/videography workshops, hip hop dance classes, and recreational sports. We also aim to cover important topics for youth such as antiracism and justice, mental health, digital and financial literacy. In addition, we provide resources and workshops for education and employment including one-on-one mentoring, job training and career planning, and internships opportunities.
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