The hours after school are the peak time for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex (Bureau, Urban Institute Estimate, 2000). However, kids’ inactivity has also proven to be dangerous. In the last 30 years, childhood obesity has more than tripled as a result of poor nutrition, working parents, video games, and funding cuts that cause schools to cut physical education and recess (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion). After school programs provide at risk kids with positive activities, role models, and life skills. By keeping young minds and bodies active, whether it be through sports, tutoring, leadership programs or the arts, students are better prepared for social and academic success today and for the future.
No Child Left Behind primarily promoted the academic/tutoring aspect of after school programs and failed to show the benefits other organizations and individuals could provide to students by making them socially and emotionally intelligent, says the American Association of School Administrators. Students’ health, self-esteem, and social and emotional intelligence are directly correlated with their academic success. If we can get parents and students involved after school,we can strengthen communities, improve student learning, and boost this education reform. As we all realize, education reform isn’t going to happen over night, but we can make progress on a smaller scale by getting students involved with individuals, organizations, and clubs who can give them the tools to succeed.
At LifeBound, we focus on helping students succeed both in and out of the classroom. Our study skills program, emotional intelligence tips, self-assessments, and transitional guides are used in schools across the country. We also offer extensive academic coaching classes to parents,teachers and program administrators to bolster student improvement. Recently, the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver contacted LifeBound to work with their team. We look forward to partnering with this dynamic organization to keep kids learning, safe, active, and healthy afterthe last bell rings.