WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many of the country's most vulnerable children and youth are not benefitting from afterschool programs, which have a proven track record helping students succeed in school and in life, because these programs are in short supply in communities of concentrated poverty (CCPs). America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty, released today by the Afterschool Alliance, finds that 24 percent of children living in CCPs participate in an afterschool program, compared to 18 percent of children overall in the United States. Yet supply is not nearly enough to meet the demand, with parents reporting that 56 percent of children in CCPs who are not in afterschool programs would be enrolled, if programs were available.
The study finds strong support for afterschool programs among parents in CCPs whose children are enrolled in them. It is based on responses collected from 30,709 U.S. households, including in-depth interviews with more than 13,000 parents and guardians. CCPs are neighborhoods, or groupings of neighborhoods, where a high concentration of families live below the federal poverty line, defined by the government as family income below $24,300 for a family of four.
"The need for afterschool and summer learning programs is especially urgent for children growing up in communities of concentrated poverty, who can benefit academically, socially, emotionally and physically from the services and activities these programs provide," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. "More than 20 million children and youth live in communities of concentrated poverty, many of them attending schools with high dropout rates. Quality afterschool programs keep students safe, inspire them to learn and help working families, and they can improve prospects for children and youth growing up in impoverished communities. If we are serious about providing equal opportunity and building a workforce that can compete in a 21st century global economy, we must ensure that our most vulnerable children do not miss out on the supports and opportunities afterschool programs provide."
The new study also found:
- Ninety-one percent of parents in CCPs report being satisfied overall with the experiences and opportunities provided by their child's afterschool program.
- Sixty-seven percent of parents in CCPs report that finding an enriching environment for their child in the after school hours was a challenge, compared to 46 percent of parents living outside CCPs.
- Seven in ten Hispanic (75 percent) and African-American (71 percent) children in CCPs who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if a program were available to them, their parents say.
America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty offers recommendations to give more children from CCPs the ability to participate in quality afterschool and summer learning programs. They include:
- Make investment in afterschool programs a priority by targeting investments in funding streams geared toward afterschool programs.
- Capitalize on opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to meet the needs of children and families living in concentrated poverty during the after school hours.
- Make afterschool programs in communities of concentrated poverty hubs that link to mentoring, food and nutrition, health care and housing programs.
America After 3PM is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Noyce Foundation, with additional support from the Heinz Endowments, The Robert Bowne Foundation and the Samueli Foundation.
SOURCE Afterschool Alliance