After School Programs Ineffective

After School Programs Ineffective

After-school programs do little to help kids academically and may even encourage bad behavior, according to a new federal study.

The comprehensive study examined 96 after-school programs and more than 5,000 elementary and middle school students. Among the findings:

  • Reading test scores, grades and completion of homework were no better among students in after-school programs than similar students who stayed away.
  • After-school programs did nothing to decrease the number of “latchkey children,” home alone after school, but did decrease the number left in the care of older siblings.
  • Students in after-school programs did not report feeling safer than their peers, and were more likely to have sold or smoked marijuana than students not in programs.

Most students who used the programs attended less than twice a week.

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