Late last month, Boston’s newly elected mayor Martin Walsh succeeded where his predecessor had failed. He was able to secure an agreement between the city, the school district, and the Boston Teachers Union to extend the school day by 40 additional minutes. Read the article here. http://bit.ly/1vNvF45
Considerable research suggests that extending learning time can boost performance in struggling schools. However, one thing that was noted in the article was the as yet decided upon use for this additional time. Statewide, Boston’s Public Schools ranked 288 out of 302 in 3rd grade English and 269 out of 302 in 3rd grade Math. The obvious choice would seem to be to increase studies in these vital subjects. However, as one parent alluded to in the article, so much is crammed into the school day as it is.
Regardless of what the schools decide to do with the 40 additional minutes, parents have other options to boost their students’ academic performance. One such option is afterschool tutoring.
Let’s face it; many students in urban and areas lack the experiences that support their intellectual development. In urban areas, students, without proper guidance from parents and teachers, are prone to negative peer pressure. The students are also often confronted with the reality of violence of inner cities around both their homes and school. With the inherent failure of the existing systems, afterschool tutoring is almost a must for students to excel. If you are in the Dorchester, MA area quality tutoring – both supplemental and enrichment – as well as ISEE test prep can be found at Ann’s Christian Learning Center.
The Benefits of Afterschool Programs
According to a 2002 report by the Department of Education, 8 million students are left alone and unsupervised after school each day. This is further compounded during the summer when school is out for vacation and both parents are busy at work. In these instances, afterschool tutoring programs provide safe, enriching, nurturing and character-building opportunities. Tutoring during the summer solves at least 2 problems of the inner city – a gaggle of unsupervised children in the streets during the day and a decrease in what has become known as summer learning loss.
These programs have significant impacts on the improvement of academic success and social behavior of students. A research on After School Programs in California showed that afterschool programs had many positive effects on students, including academic achievement, a reduction in grade retention, regular attendance and good behavior. In addition, students also showed improvement in social skills and behavior.
There are 3 types of afterschool program:
Day-care: emphasis on cultural and recreational activities.
After-school: emphasis on academic and recreational activities.
Extended-school day program: emphasis on cultural, recreational and enrichment activities tied to the school-curriculum.
It would be too naïve to say that all afterschool programs can create all of the excellent outcomes. In fact, there are 4 key elements that determine the success of the programs. The elements include:
- Academic offering that includes hands-on learning, tutoring, homework assistance, reading and writing enrichment
- Enrichment and accelerated learning that include exposure to performing arts, character education, field trips, foreign languages, critical thinking skills, and technology
- Supervised recreation that includes sports education and organized sports
- Community service that includes connection between students to the community
It goes without saying that afterschool programs offer many positive benefits for the students and the society as long as the key elements of the programs are fulfilled. Give the staff of ACLC a call and see how they can help your student achieve their highest potential.