The needs of our children must be met. After-school programs are here to help them develop agency and know what it is that they stand for. The Village Method takes this matter seriously by providing young scholars and their families with the after-school activities they deserve.
Did you know that 40% of the students that attended 21st Century Community Learning Center programs improved their reading and maths grades? Despite the educational inequity that continues to affect our nation, academic excellence continues to be pursued by young people who choose to participate in after-school programs.
In today’s article, let’s find out more about how after-school programs can help kids achieve academic excellence through extracurricular activities. Read on!
After-School Programs Pave the Way to Academic Enrichment
According to Eccles and Gootman (2002), children are “agents of their own development”. Marginalized communities are less likely to receive the education they require from public schools. In fact, after-school activities are becoming somehow mandatory for students of color. We must address this need by providing them with comprehensive after-school programs.
The achievement gap is still a real problem in most public schools. After-school programs are here to bridge this gap by providing all children with equal opportunities when it comes to their academic achievement, regardless of their social and economic backgrounds.
A 2006 article titled “Out-of-School-Time Programs: A Meta-Analysis of Effects for At-Risk Students” revealed that after-school programs were successful at helping students improve their reading and maths achievement levels. This was especially true for middle school and high school students.
In order for our children to have better grades, they require dedicated teachers to offer them much-needed resources and constant support. It is our responsibility to further increase their chances for academic excellence through after-school programs.
A Great After-School Program Will Rely on Family Engagement Activities
Research done by the Afterschool Alliance shows that parents of color recognize the importance of any given after-school program, regardless of age group. The benefits of such a program include a deeper understanding of Social and Emotional Learning skills, a lesser chance of children getting involved in risky behaviors, and a higher probability of achieving academic excellence.
The research also shows us just how vast the unmet demand for after-school programs really is. Our youth needs to engage in academically relevant activities alongside various workshops that will enrich their skills. Furthermore, such a program could help them explore their African roots.
Teaching is an art that should go beyond the walls of the classroom. Thankfully, there are plenty of organizations that are keen on providing students with the necessary support, including valuable family engagement activities.
Parent-teacher relationships pave the way for better academic gains. Family engagement activities are the pinnacle of equitable education for all. Families must be regarded as valuable partners in the educational process. Young people must feel seen and understood on all levels, especially from a cultural point of view.
After-School Activities Must Provide Cultural Responsiveness
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Educational inequality stems from a lack of cultural responsiveness. Whether it happens during a school day or a school year, minority students must be introduced to valuable concepts and information that mirror their cultural values.
An Afrocentric workshop might not be as popular as one that focuses on leadership training. However, the value of accurate African knowledge is incommensurable. Culturally affirming after-school activities are a necessary tool that aims to nurture the whole child.
Family engagement activities may also enhance the efficiency of Social and Emotional Learning skills. The sense of community enables children to aim for their own definition of academic success. Whether they want to attend their dream college or give back to the community, they must be supported along the way.
It is important to search for after-school programs that go past recreation and homework. Our children need to experience a sense of belonging to their community. They must be educated according to the African standards of academic excellence.
Can After-School Programs Lead to Academic Excellence?
The answer is affirmative. After-school activities have the power to put our youth on the right track. Here are the things to search for in an after-school program:
- It prioritizes Social and Emotional Learning
- It addresses Afrocentric subjects and issues
- It promotes a sense of community
- It focuses on culturally affirming family engagement activities
The Village Method is a community-based grassroots organization that focuses on addressing the cultural and academic needs of our youth. You can get involved today and help us build a village of successful young scholars!