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Qualities of a Good After-School Program

ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education.
This article provides background information about after-school programs and what they offer.

After-school programs should offer children the chance to have fun and feel comforted, as well as be excited by learning. Children should look forward to going to it. The best programs offer a comprehensive set of activities that do the following for children:

  • Foster the self-worth of each child, and develop the children’s self-care skills.
  • Develop their personal and interpersonal social skills, and promote respect for cultural diversity.
  • Provide help with homework, tutoring, and other learning activities.
  • Provide time and space for quiet study.
  • Provide new, developmentally-appropriate enrichment activities to add to students’ learning at school, help them develop thinking and problem-solving skills, and spark their curiosity and love of learning.
  • Provide recreational and physical activities to develop physical skills and constructively channel children’s energy pent up after a day sitting in a classroom.
  • Encourage participation in individual sports activities to help youth develop self-esteem by striving for a personal best, and participation in group sports to provide lessons about cooperation and conflict resolution.
Publication Date:
Adapted from: Schwartz, W. Guide to Choosing an After-School Program. Parent Guide. ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Information taken from Schwartz, W. (October, 1996). After-School Programs for Urban Youth. ERIC Digest. ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education.