Every weekday, students in 29 Orange County public middle schools have a choice: They can either sit at home or participate in the Florida county's award-winning After School Zone. Since its 1999 inception, over 245,000 youth have chosen the Zone and are better for it.
Most out-of-school time leaders and advocates are familiar with the phenomenon social scientists call "the summer slide," a time when children—especially those in underserved communities—are at risk of losing up to two or three months of grade-level equivalency in math, reading and other academic skills.
Research suggests structured, strengths-based afterschool programs that are coordinated with schools and communities and staffed with knowledgeable and competent adults are ideal settings to promote positive experiences and youth social and emotional development.
Research shows it: Quality afterschool programs make positive impacts on youth and well-prepared staff contribute to program quality.
After many years of debate within the education world, a growing movement dedicated to the social, emotional, and academic well-being of children is reshaping learning and changing lives across America.
In a country where 1 in 3 children are obese or overweight, schools and community organizations are taking more direct action to intervene in the fight against childhood obesity by integrating nutrition education into their classes and programs.