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The Influence of After School Programs on Children and Teens

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Young People
Wordcount: 2105 words Published: 17th Sep 2021

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Many kids today in society are influenced by the area in which they live. Gang Violence is long time problem that over the years due to after school programs have lessened but not completely gone away. After school programs provide assistance to help kids with their school work, it is also a place to when one wants to have fun and get away from their problems. “After school programs is more than just safety nets, they promote positive development and expand the goals in students for school and beyond”(Neuman). After school programs are beneficial to children and teens it could change the way they act and can keep teens off the streets and out of trouble; like gang violence and overall live a better life.

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After school programs should continue to get funded because from a social aspect it helps the children develop relationships and get them out of their comfort zones to try new things, meet new people and overall improve on their general outlook on situations they may not have engaged on their own. These skills will come in handy in the next phase of life when children enter the workforce. Companies like that many people are people friendly and able to handle communicating to other people well. Communication skills are key, and these after school programs help build on that with children by making them open to situations, to share what is on their mind and their troubles. When asked why the government should continue funding programs, Jasmine Garcia of The Boys and Girls Club replied, “It benefits youth, helps them with their education and getting them involved in programs in their area such as sports, educational activities in local communities (Garcia). Mrs. Garcia makes a good point, when you think of the amount of free time children have after school, they will be more tempted to hang with the wrong crowd. Programs like these help gets get involved with the right group of kids in the long run make better mentors for the newer generation yet to come.

Gang violence is an ever present problem with no solution, it is a disease with no cure; only treatment. Lack of after school problems will only make the disease worse in some students. “There are approximately 20 to 25 hours per week that children are out of school while most parents are at work.” (Alliance). Anything could happen with that much time on their hands.

It is a gateway to many things like gangs and drugs. According to After School Alliance, self-care and boredom can increase the likelihood that a young person will experiment with drugs and alcohol by as much as 50 percent. Youth tend to develop patterns of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use- or nonuse- from ages 12 to 15.Teens who do not participate in after school programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes at school than teens who do participate. They are three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity than teens not in after school programs. (Alliance)

Most schools end at 3pm, and in general parents are home about 6 pm on weekdays. That 3 hour gap in time is practically peak hours for violence, drug use and could be best spent in a program dealing with avoiding gangs as well as developing tools to living a better life. Plain and simple, nobody wants to die, but once you are in that kind of life, it is very hard to come out of it. The likeliness is two outcomes, prison or death. Minors go to the juvenile system, which is another gateway to prison; for some it is a wake up call to change and others it prison preparatory. After school programs need to exist, especially in bad areas, for prevention. Many people view that kids in areas can’t be changed but if you can affect one life, and save that one life from a life of drugs and violence than either way the efforts of groups like the Boys and Girls Club, and the people who work there, their efforts are not for nothing. A person can put a price on what it takes to keep these programs alive but what is the price of the few who could have been saved, changed their lives and created a new one from what they learned in these after hour activities and now dead or in jail because The Boys and Girls Club is not around. According to Afterschool Alliance,

In New York City, afterschool programs started by Boys and Girls Clubs in selected public housing developments saw significant drops in drug use, presence of crack cocaine and police reports of drug activity. The decreases: drug activity 22 percent, juvenile arrest 13 percent, and vandalism 12.5 percent. At the same time, parental involvement increased, compared to public housing developments not selected to implement the afterschool programs. (Alliance)

The statistics don’t lie, why should our government wasting money on prisoners, reforming them back into society when it could spend their money and attention preventing them from getting kicked out of society in the first place. Along with crime going down, it wouldn’t be hard to believe children perform better in school.

After school programs can help children in a variety different ways. The programs help boost self esteem, give you the tools for success later in life, and could have an immediate effect by boosting grade point averages. “I’ve been a lot more focused on my grades. They really push me a lot and it makes a difference” (Gale) said Tawina Zulu. In part of the article Zulu even believes what she has learned will also benefit her college applications. When funding allows more engaging programs, the students behave and interact better and therein produce better academic results. The importance of any of these programs is communication, you want to engage the students so they find it interesting enough to make the choice to come and participate. It is their choice to go, or the end result could be gang and drug lifestyles. Kids have problems. Sometimes the best thing these supervising adults can do is just listen, John Quarless says, “We listen more than we preach” (Alliance). By creating an environment that is welcoming and unlike the typical classroom you will have more youths join these programs and begin making the right choices in life. However some will wonder, do these programs truly make a significant difference or is it a waste of time and tax payer’s dollars?

There are those that oppose after school programs and claim they are a waste of money, it is pointless; those same people say school based programs have failed. Crime will always be up in certain areas and there is nothing that can be done, in fact. Preventing Crime notes, School-based programs intended to “keep the most crime-prone segment of the population off the streets during peak crime hours and to enhance positive youth development through mandatory attendance at workshops covering topics such as job development, drug and alcohol use, safe sex, GED preparation and college preparation, and conflict resolution” are “not likely to reduce crime.” In fact, the report says, these programs “may actually increase risk for delinquency (criminal behavior)” (Preventing Crime).

Tax payer’s money might as well be spent elsewhere if programs like these don’t prove effective, programs like elderly or even prisoner reform since after programs proved ineffective according to Preventing Crimes, might as well spend the money to help the ones who did not benefit correctly in early life.

After school programs have been a success throughout many years in many grades and keeping student’s from dropping out of school. “Even more important, student’s participating in the elementary program had lower dropout rates, particularly among low-income children. A two year study of 12 after school programs spread across eight states with 3,000 disadvantaged children also demonstrated that regular program participation is associated with higher test scores, better working habits, and fewer problems evaluations of expanded learning time programs demonstrate similar benefits for student’s, academic achievement one such program mentorship academic skill building and homework support.” Sherri Lauver. “Research center essentials on education data and research analysis.” educational opportunity is achievable and affordable (2012): n.pag. Web. 5 Nov 2012. This here provides the after are not only good but their grate children that have hard times with studying or cannot focus this is a great place to go where they can be guided by a professional to help them with any work that is need being in a secure place where bad influences’ are not tolerated. After school programs does decrease the rate of kids who are dropping out because it gets the children involved with the surrounding community and gets them motivated for school and increasing children’s working habits typically children with low income family tend to do worse in school for many reasons like they don’t get a lot of action at home or they don’t want to do the work because there too lazy to start the work, even could be that they are having problems at home. Programs such as the boys and girls club are there to help with those bad habits and change them to good ones the boys and girls club to some kids is like a home away from home you can have help from your education to playing sports to going there to chill with your friend in a safe and friendly environment where there are many kids to meet with positive influences.

From examine various aspects of afterschool programs it could be said that after school programs can be proven effective for many children. ” As noted former U.S. secretory of education Richard w. riley noted “children’s minds don’t close down at 3 p.m. (U.S. department Of education,2000) programs like these are need to steer youth away from drugs ,gangs and Violence. After school programs provides a positive place to go and have fun and have positive influence. It’s also a place to improve social skills by meeting new kids which can help positive children be influenced and turn away from drugs and gang violence and away from the wrong crowd. Gang violence is a major problem right now in today society after school programs such as the boys and girls club reduces boredom which can increase the chances of several kids from join gangs and hanging with the wrong crowd. After school programs help children in many ways it can boost their self of esteem and can give them tools to be successful in life.

After school programs have many benefits to keeping young teenagers in good hands. Teenagers now days are getting into bad habits of doing drugs, getting into altercations with their peers, underage drinking and other unsafe activities cause they have too much free time in their hands. They need to be more involved in school activates to keep themselves away from troubled behavior and their parents need to take stand on keeping their kids out of a trouble. Most parents especially single mothers have sometimes work overtime and aren’t able to keep an eagle eye on their children so they leave them home alone which leads them to more trouble. Parents don’t realize by leaving their children home alone with no supervison their children are at risk getting into bad activities. After school programs can teach students to be self-disciplined and successful for the future.


Garcia, Jasmine. Personal Interview. 3 November 2012.

Swasey, Elizabeth. “School-based programs are ineffective response to gang violence.” gale

opposing viewpoints (2001): 1-6. gale opposing viewpoints. Database. 2 Nov 2012.

Beck, Joe. “After school programs can help teens succeed academically.” Maryland Community

Newspapers[maryland] 2009, n. pag. Print.

Funk, Michael. “After school alert issue brief.” [San Francisco ] 1 2004, n. pag. Print.

Neuman, Susan B.”Empowered-after school.” Educational leadership 67.7 (2010): 30 Masterfile

Premier. web 1 Oct. 2012

U.S. Department of Education, ”21 century community learning centers : providing quality afterschool learning opportunities for Americas families.” 2000 u.s. department of education and the u.s. department of justice,”safe and smart:making after-school hours work for kids,”1998.

Michael, Wolff. “research center essentials on education data and research analysis.” educational opportunity is achievable and affordable (2012): n.pag. Web. 1 oct 2012.


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