Student academic success has become a major factor in the school setting. Districts have teamed up with establishments like the after school programs to escalate student achievement. After-school programs have become popular establishments in the school setting. Many parents use after school programs as day cares, but the program has countless benefits for the student. The program supports physical education and help form a higher self-esteem for children. The program assists students in becoming proficient in mathematics and reading.
Programs like after schools contribute in homework assistance and enriched activities, which align to the regular school setting. Nonetheless, according to Durlak, Weissberg, and Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (2007), after school has a huge impact on the development of a student, especially where the child spends their time after school hours because it is where the child learns different activities positive or negative. After-school programs have gained a bad reputation due to the curriculum administered.
Some myths about the program are that after school programs use the time they have to do sports and non-educational activities. After-school programs are considered day cares and their staff members as babysitters. Usually, the bad reputation is due to insufficient studies and the advertising these programs get. However, Cavanagh stated that the lack of government funds also affects the type of program promoted and the material made available for students in the program (2011).
After school programs need to be noticed by the positive influence it has on students academically and socially. Research has proven these statements wrong because of the new technology and subject matter administered in the program. After-school programs have teamed up with different school districts to change the programs outcomes. After-school programs have expanded their educational barriers to provide activities like STEM, 1READY, dance education, drama, physical education and arts and crafts.
Lessons are created to align the activity leader’s lesson plans with regular day. The Afterschool Alliance conducted a survey, in which 800 California voters revealed that 62% of the voter would pay states taxes to help fund after school programs (2000). Therefore, according to Branch (2000), governmental funds have increased, which have allowed the program to hire teachers to provide tutoring programs and help out the activity leaders prepare their activities to enrich the students.
Academic liaisons are hired to assist in the enhancement of the program, which benefits the students academically. Research studies lack the evidence of parental view on the academic and behavior progress their child has made while attending the program. If research focused on the advances of the students who have participated in the program, there will be a positive view on the program and better funding. Research also lacks in evidence the emotional benefits that students gain during their participation in the program.
It is important to gain knowledge of what types of benefits the students is receiving and how programs can assist students in achieving their highest educational purpose, so that programs like the after school program can receive grants and support from not only parents, but politicians and school administrators. Research by Durlak et al. (2007) specified that federal government has already given afterschool programs $3. 6 billion dollars and has reached thousands of programs in urban communities, therefore the real question is how these programs use the money to help student achieve higher academic standards.
The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of regular participation and ways to improve the program. This study will investigate and interview parents who have students currently in the program. Parents will give their opinion on how it has helped their children academically or if they see a change in behavior and attendance. We will also conduct surveys of parents who have recently enrolled their children in the program and investigate what type of improvement they want to see in their children, if they had participated longer.
The dependent variables of this research will be homework completion, attendance, and number of discipline referrals. The hypothesis that will be tested will be if there is any significant improvement on attendance, homework completion, and discipline in the students who regularly assisted the after school program. Literature Review Background on After-School Programs After-school programs have been around in the United States since 1800’s, but have changed effectively through the years.
Halpern described after-school programs as establishments that provide productive ways for students to spend their time afterschool hours, by providing activities like but not limited to academic support, sports, mentoring, nutrition education, arts and crafts (2002). After school establishments are usually nonprofit organizations, which serve youth at no charge and organized by clubs like Boys and Girls Club of America. According to Halpern (2002), in the 1800’s after-school programs were perceived as daycares that were funded by the federal government.
After-school programs were placed because many women worked and didn’t have supervision at home for their children. Once the mother returned home, the programs shifted in providing academic success, but then again the lack of government funding was a major problem many schools encountered, therefore not having the qualified instructors to run the program became an issue (Halpern, 2002). Government agencies had to come up with a way to fund the programs and have teachers tutor students after school, and in effect, a great pressure to make sure that the programs were effective.
After school programs provide a variety of structured educational activities for the students attending. Programs like Reaching for Greatness, Pen-Point Dance Academy, Coast to Coast Soccer, Hollywood film school, gardening, technology, community service, and the Museum of art are a few of the programs involved in afterschool to trigger success. After school programs have a compacted schedule that allow the students to have homework time, enriched activities and physical education, all in which STEM education is present.
Research conducted by Katzir, Goldberg, Aryeh, Donnelley, and Wolf (2013), found that students in the after school program have the opportunity to extends learning opportunities by 90 additional school days. Furthermost, Research by Black, Somers, Doolittle, Unterman, Grossman, and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (2009), concluded that in order to make after school programs consistent and dependable they needed to serve students who were at risk academically and especially low-income families. The adequate funds to run a decent program are necessary to help keep students interested in joining the program.
The establishment needs proper equipment and staff members need adequate training to be able to administer lessons and provide homework assistance (Black et al. , 2009). Having a well-equipped program will benefit the students academically and have positive results in their behavior. The Effect of STEM Education in Afterschool Programs The students’ academic success has been a priority for parents, teachers and administrators. After school programs have established Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related activities to promote achievement and help achieve different skills that will help them in the future.
Research by Kirshnamurthi, Ballard, and Noam (2014) supports that after school programs who provide STEM activities are enhancing the learning experiences of students, therefore creating an impact for future scientist and engineers, who will contribute to society in a positive way. STEM education has become one of the primary enriched activities afterschool programs offer, for it has given students a perception of what it would be like to have a profession as a scientist or engineer.
STEM education has not only provided students with fun activities, it has enhanced the students’ math achievement and attendance and work routine (Kirshnamurthi et al. , 2014). According to Afterschool Alliance (2011), promoting STEM education has proven to have positive effects in the students, like higher percentage of students graduating and perusing a career in a STEM occupation. Research by Ferreira (2001) and Sahin, Adiguzel, & Ayar (2014) support the idea that STEM education not only gives them career options. STEM activities activate reasoning sensors that help students’ problem solve and gain leadership skills.
The activities offered to students encourage them to generate solutions, therefore creating interpersonal competency to label goals, and encourage educational achievement (Sahin et al. , 2014). After school programs encourage students to make positive decisions and help build a better future with the STEM education. Impact on Student Behavior Student achievement can be associated with the behavior of students, for students who are on time and have good attendance have increased probability of passing with higher grades than students who are disruptive and miss class.
Good behavior incentives have become key elements in afterschool programs to establish a healthy relationship between students and staff members. The activity leaders become mentors and create a model for every students to follow, therefore creating disciplined students showing respect to others around them (Ferreira, 2001). . Students, who display good behavior, attain positive disciplinary referrals and promote positive interactions, therefore end up becoming role models to others.
Research by Huang, Gao, Hannon, Schultz, Newton, and Jenson (2012) supports the idea that behavior can be affected by self-efficacy and outcome expectancy, for each student will judge the way they can achieve a task and expect a desired reaction from others for their accomplishment. After school programs have given positive social support to students to enhance behavior, becoming active citizens, therefore creating positive environments, and influencing the students’ personal decisions. Academic Benefits of After School Programs
After School programs have faced pressure to meet federal regulations due to student academic achievement. There have been specific out-reach programs like teacher tutoring that have been funded to show student progress. It has been proven that students who have participated longer in afterschool tutoring will have a higher academic benefit than those who do not. According to Gardner, Roth and Brooks-Gun (2009), students who are at risk academically will gain a better benefit from attending the program than those who are in good standing.
Not only do students who participate in afterschool program gain academic success, they enhance their attendance, which attributes to higher attendance percentiles (Gardner et al. 2009). Homework completion is also at a higher quartile because of the tutoring programs set in after school give homework assistance, making the student complete the work and turning it in on time. The study of Katzir et al. (2013) tested a fluency based intervention program called RAVE-O; therefore, the program was tested in an afterschool and summer school setting, resulting in afterschool having a higher result rate in the intervention than the summer program.