After school programs have been part of American Savings Foundation’s funding throughout our history, including our 7-year (2005-2012) After School Initiative for Middle School Youth which was designed to expand and improve quality after school programs in New Britain.
Research shows the significant value of quality after school programs. As Dr. Beth N. Miller wrote in the executive summary of her work Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Educational Success (commissioned by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation):
The accumulation of research findings presented . . . makes an extremely compelling case that many young people derive great benefit from after school programs and extracurricular activities.
Dr. Miller demonstrates the link between participation in high-quality programs and academic success, including graduation rates. After school programs provide youth with skills and interests that can stay with them throughout their lives. She also shows how programs provide significant added value:
Positive effects extend to families, employers and communities as well. Working parents who know their children are in a safe, secure place supervised by adults during out-of- school time are able to be more productive, work more hours, and move into better jobs.
The American Savings Foundation believes that all youth deserve the opportunity to attend high-quality after school programs. After school programs should incorporate best practice standards including the 8 standards identified by Dr. Miller in Critical Hours that provide children with experiences that are challenging, nurturing, and fun.