After school programs are basically designed to develop a talents or skills that are generally not focused on in regular schools. These activities can be educational or recreational. Regardless of what type they are, they still need to be interesting enough to keep the child/ teenager engaged.
The most paramount advantage of a good after school activity is that it widens your child’s area of interests and expands their horizons.
Mastering a new activity can increase the youngsters self-esteem. It also allows you to introduce them to potential career options. Perhaps they will become so passionate about their new piano playing skills, they will aspire to be a concert pianist.
Developing social skills is another great advantage of after school activities. Kids get to meet others who share similar interests and make new friends.
A speech and drama class or a football coaching can be a lot of fun. Many of these programs prepare children for performances or matches. Performing on stage or playing a match can be a great experience for a child or teenager.
After school activities keep your teen busy. They are therefore less likely to engage in anti social behaviour.
Surveys indicate that children/ teens who are kept busy with engaging activities are less prone to substance abuse, depression and burnout. Significant
increase in academic performance and attendance and a reduction in drop out rates are other advantages of a good after school activities.
Most after school programs involve kids interacting with one or more adult supervisors. This allows them to benefit from positive relationships with
adults. Youngsters often find it difficult to confide in parents and teachers, but may open up with other adults.
A lot of kids are enrolled into recreational after school activities in order for them to lose weight and stay healthy. An emerging trend shows that about
15 percent of kids under the age of 16 are now obese. After school activities can provide mush needed exercise for these children, however it is also important to ensure they have healthy, balanced diets.
A good after school activity has many benefits. It keeps the child/ teenager entertained as well as busy, and therefore prevents them from becoming to sedentary. By giving them outlets to burn up their excess energy and explore their creativity, after school activities help to shape the overall personality of the youngster.
Further benefits of after school activities:
1) Preventing Juvenile Delinquency, crime and violent activities:
About 10 percent of juvenile crimes happen between 3 and 4 PM. It is important for youngsters
to be kept safe and out of trouble at these times.
2) Preventing alcohol, drug and cigarette use.
3) Increases exercise and decreases appetite for sedentary activities, i.e. tv
4) Improving academic performance
5) Improving school attendance:
Increased self confidence and increased interest in school leads to more
attendance in school. An activity that helps kids with their homework
also gives the youngster a much-needed feeling of self-achievement.
6) Improved behavior and social skills
There is evidence that kids who attend after school programs handle conflict better and
cooperate more with authority figures.
7) Closer family and community ties.