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News,  June 05, 2007

Extended Day, Quality Afterschool Programs Learn from Each Other

"Across the nation, school district officials, education policy makers, lawmakers and community leaders are considering extending the school day as a way to bolster students’ academic performance, improve their science, math and technology learning, and better prepare them to compete in the global economy." This feature in the latest issue of Afterschool Advocate takes a look at what some communities are doing, and touches on the challenges, tensions, and opportunities depending on how the learning programs are structured.

"Some in the afterschool community worry that the energy behind extending the learning day could create challenges for afterschool programs, said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant – but she sees an opportunity in this debate. 'The truth is that most extended day programs being considered look a lot like the afterschool programs, which have a track record of keeping kids safe and inspiring them to learn,' Grant said. 'The challenge for afterschool providers and experts is to make sure that extended day programs incorporate the best elements of quality afterschool programs. That’s what will produce the best results for children.'

The critical question in extending the school day is how the added time will be used, Grant said, noting that many experts say that, if extending the day means more of the same delivered in the same way, the reform is likely to fail. Furthermore, recent research provides evidence that afterschool programs help students improve academically through hands on learning and enrichment activities like art, music, sports and science projects."

URL: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/advocate/PDFS/Issue_8-5_FINAL.pdf
Posted by wrivenburgh on June 05, 2007 | News
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