Afterschool Programs are Vastly Under-Funded, Yet are Crucial to a Child’s Development


  • According to a Family Education article, two thirds of parents say they have a hard time finding afterschool programs in their local areas, this despite research also saying nine out of 10 Americans think all youth should have access to such programs. The reality is that most districts simply do not fund these programs appropriately, meaning millions of students leave school every afternoon without anywhere to go, which is particularly problematic for families with two working parents who cannot get home early to spend time with their children immediately after school.
  • The hours after school lets out are the prime times for juvenile crimes and other risky behaviors, such as substance abuse. One study revealed that children who aren’t involved in afterschool activities are 49 percent more likely to use drugs and 37 percent more likely to become a teen parent. The highest concentration of juvenile crime occurs between 3 and 4 p.m.
  • When prioritized by school districts, afterschool programs don’t just increase safety—they also provide high-quality educational and social opportunities. These programs give children opportunities to learn new skills that supplement what they’re already learning during the school day. The programs also help students from low-income families overcome the hurdles they face in school.


Afterschool programs can be life-changing opportunities for students of all backgrounds. For some students, they represent an opportunity to get extra attention for certain areas of education that they wouldn’t get during the school day. For others, they are a chance to discover new interests, or explore existing interests on a deeper level. Students can interact with each other, get more physically active or learn about brand new topics in a safe, supervised environment.
One of the biggest reasons school districts do not invest in these programs is because they don’t want to have to build them up from scratch. At Flex Academies, we come to districts fully prepared with a full slate of activities to offer your students.


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