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 how effective are after school programs? 
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Are after school programs as effective as they need to or should be. I was personally never in an after school program other than some tutoring after school in high school. But with younger students aren't they tired after being at school all day and paying attention for so long, and what about students who have to catch the bus because that's their only means of transportation. Is each student given an opportunity to excel or are after school programs a way for students to goof off.

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Lauren Jennings


Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:27 pm
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I think I'm not sure exactly what kind of after school programs you mean. I was in after school care in elementary school but it was mostly games and movies. We also had a time set aside for homework.

In eighth grade I was in Mathcounts a couple of times a week. It was a voluntary math club where we prepared for competitions.(It's probably comparable to the Mathletes on mean girls. super cool, I know) I think it helped my problem-solving skills. I think most voluntary after school clubs, academic related or otherwise, are helpful for children's growth. Especially in an academic setting, it allows students to get more individual help and the teacher is able to know the student in a different way than just in class.

As for students' being tired and goofing off, I think it depends on the quality of the person(s) conducting the program and the activities they lead.

This may not be what you meant, but that is my experience with after school programs.

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Emily Mackie


Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:37 pm
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I worked at the YMCA afterschool program while I was in high school and think that the program there was a great program for students. The typical schedule of the program was snack/relax time, homework time (if the kids had homework and just for about 45 minutes not untill they finished) and outside time which organized games and free play, and sometimes crafts. I think it is important to let the kids be kids and remember that they have been learning all day; they need some time to just have fun!

I also tutored at an after school program at an elementary school here in Boone. The three girls that I was assigned to were very smart and did not need a tutor. The majority of the time they did not have homework because they had already finished it in class. But they were still forced to be quite and do something educational, like studying or reading. (They did get 30 minutes of outside time which is great) but I thought it was rediculous to make them sit quietly for another 1.5-2 hrs after they have sat all day waiting on their parents.

On the other hand if the students are struggling in a certain area, after school programs are a great time for them to get the extra help they need.

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Hannah Johnson


Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:25 pm
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I went to a similar after school program as Emily did when I was in elementary school because at that point both of my parents were at work, my older sister did not get home until two hours after I got out of school, and I was too young to be home alone. The program really helped my parents and myself. We got to play for a while and unwind but later on we had to start on our homework. Having that time set aside to do my homework allowed for me to be able to spend more time with my family when I got home which I really appreciate now. I also got help if I needed it on my assignments from the teachers and workers in the after school program. Other children who were struggling in a specific area got to go and get some more intensive help from volunteers and other teachers. After school programs provided me with a lot. A time to relax, a time to get work done, help when I needed it, and the adults in the programs were good role models for me so if it is a good program, an after school program can really impact a child.

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Emily Suzanne White


Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:47 pm
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I think that after school care can be both a good and bad thing depending on the particular program. I have had two very different experiences with after school care and have learned a lot from each one.

When I was younger, my older sister and I attended our elementary schools after school program and I thought it was really beneficial for us both. We had a set time, right after school where we worked on homework, read, or colored for about 45 minutes. The rest of the time was spent eating a snack, playing organized games, or free play outside. I think this kind of program is really helpful for students. They get to work on their homework while their still in “school modeâ€

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Kerry Crosby Smith


Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:39 pm
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I personally never went to after school programs but I know people that have. Most people that I know of that went to after school programs went because they did not have a ride home or supervisions at home when school would leave out. From what I have heard, the best ones are ones that allow kids to get work done if they choose to, but also allow them to play. The kid has just spent all day in school and needs time to relax and have fun.


Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:29 am
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In my CI 2800 class, we went out to Parkway Elementary for the 5th Dimension program. It is an after school program that, from what I remember, wanted to focus on technology and getting students on the computers. It is a great thought, but I don't feel like it was very effective.

The students don't want to do any work (or anything they don't want to do) after they've sat in class all day. They set a requirement for us that the students spend so much time on the computer each week while we were with them. I know most of us, myself included, didn't stick with the requirement and couldn't have even if we wanted to. We were to also do what our student wanted to do, and the student with me didn't enjoy working on the computer so most of the time we played games and did crafts. It was pretty much like we were sent there to babysit the kids until their parents got there. I don't think this is fair for the parents who pay extra to have their child put in a program like 5th D. It may be more improved now and I hope it is, but I didn't gain any teaching experience from it because we weren't able to help the students with homework or teach any lessons.

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Dani Martin


Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:26 pm
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By reading everyone's comments, I think there is a majority conses that after school programs can be good or bad depending on the program. A lot of people with good experiences talk about programs that are designed to have fun with children, provide activities, and do more things than JUST school work, although that is a part of it ( like YMCA). Students get to play most of the time and do homework for just a small secession. Voluntary programs seem to have a good response too. However, these are different than programs where children are forced to go to or programs that are designed JUST for educational/homework purposes. I mean think about it, students are in school from 8-3 straight! They do not want to concentrate on more work. Everyone needs a break!
I use to work at an after school program that was strictly a tutoring secession and I spent more time trying to get the students to listen to me than helping them on their homework. They viewed the after school program as a punishment. If you think about all the other students get to go home and play after school - it kind of is a punishment. In my opinion, the only way it can be prosperous is if you give students some play time either before work or to make the work fun. ( easier said than done in some cases)

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Jessica Placke


Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:57 pm
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My mom ran the after-school program for a long time when I was in Elementary school. This was a program based on child care, and free time for students, however, there were certain rooms set aside for those students who needed/wanted to do homework or quietly read. I believe that letting students have that choice was great. There are some days where you just can't sit and focus any longer and need some time to get your mind back in order before you do work. Students could play at after-school and do homework once they got home, or they could switch the order. There was also a system where teachers and parents could speak with the coordinators and have them make sure the students did their homework first. I know most people enjoyed this program and it really seemed to work.

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Amanda Klinger


Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:43 am
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I had my fair share of after school programs growing up, especially in elementary school. I didn't have a choice for a long time as whether or not to be enrolled in after school because, like others have said, both of my parents had to work until 5ish and i didn't have any siblings that could watch me. I really enjoyed after school. There was a little bit of time set aside for homework to be done, and the rest of the time was for the enjoyment of the students. I remember watching movies, playing games, playing on the playground, etc. A lot of my friends were also in after school so it was a time to be social with friends you hadn't gotten to see all day. As I got older, my grandparents stopped working so they were able to pick me up during middle school, so I didn't have to go to after school, but I do remember there being a few buses that would take children home around 5 o'clock if they wanted to participate in after school but didn't have any other transportation. I thought this was a fantastic idea, and it gave those children who wouldn't normally have the opportunity the chance to participate in the after school program. So, basically, from my experience, I think after school was a great, beneficial program for students.

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Dana Currin


Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:20 am
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