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Determining The Effectiveness Of An After School Program

1944 words - 8 pages

While no one can deny the benefits of after-school programs, their effectiveness at furthering the education in our schools can be called into question. While what can be considered effective in after-school programs can be contingent upon the basic goals and objectives of the individual program, if the after-school program is not reaching the goals of the program it cannot be considered an effective program despite the good it may be providing for the families involved. The twenty-first century program, specifically at *Avalon Park Elementary School, is being called into question because of its derivation from its original academic enrichment goals to its current habit or entertaining rather than educating its students.
In determining the effectiveness of an after-school program it must be understood that there is not a “one size fits all” standard for all after-school programs. (Cathy Hammon, 2006)When determining whether or not an after-school program is consider effective or ineffective for students is it crucial to compare the specific program’s objectives and goals to the outcomes that the program actually produces in the students and families they serve. (Cathy Hammon, 2006) In a study conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics, they determined there are four major types of after-school programs. The first being the fee based stand-alone day care programs in which parents/guardians pay fees and the program focuses specifically on just the entertainment and supervision of the students. (Education, 2009) The second is the stand alone academic instruction program which focuses on the enrichment and continuation of the individual student’s academic progress and completion of goals. (Education, 2009)The third is the program that we will be mainly focused on in this research paper which is the federally funded twenty-first century program. The twenty-first century program is a federal program that provides free after school care to students in extreme-poverty and low performing districts in the hopes that they will provide a continuation of education for at-risk students. (Centers, 2011) And the final type of after-school program is other, miscellaneous afterschool programs that do not fit under those other three categorical types of programs. (Education, 2009)
It is widely accepted that the goals of these after school programs are a positive movement to “provide for local schools and to help students stay in school and prepare for life.” (Cathy Hammon, 2006) One of the ultimate benefits of after-school programs that are beneficial to both students and parents is the fact that it is one of the biggest factors in the management of latchkey children. In the past ten years the number of children that are often left at home with no supervision after school has increased, with thirty-four percent of students in middle school and fifty-one percent of high school students. (Cathy Hammon, 2006) Studies have shown that lack of...

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