A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on early education information that was discussed during President Obama’s State of the Union address. As a follow-up to that conversation, I found an interesting op-ed from a Deborah Lowe Vandell, founding Dean of the School of Education at the University of California-Irvine, who shared findings from a new, large-scale national study on the value of after-school activities.
Among the findings:
- Consistent participation in after-school activities improves achievement for students from low-income families.
- After-school programs can help close the gap in match achievement between low-income and high-income children.
- After-school programs are also credited for reducing school absences, behavior problems and youth violence. The reverse is true if children do not participate.
- Participating in after-school activities has also been found to provide opportunities for youth to develop 21st century skills, particularly cialis online 20mg work habits, persistence and innovation.
I agree that expanding opportunities for learning beyond the traditional school day is a major benefit for our children – both at an early age and through high school.
We’ve seen these improved behaviors and skills in the young people we mentor in Scouting through the training and leadership we provide in our after-school and week-end activities.
In fact, a 2012 Baylor University study demonstrated the significant, positive impact Eagle Scouts have on society – from holding leadership positions in their workplace and neighborhood to voting and volunteering to protecting the environment and being prepared for emergencies.
I’d be interested to know if you agree with the data from the UC-Irvine study. Do you see consistent improvements in behavior and skills among young people who go beyond the traditional school day and participate in after-school activities?