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    The Value of After-School Enrichment Programs

    Posted May 30, 2024, 12:00 am by The Experts at TeenLife

    The bell rings. Chairs squeak as students push back from desks, eager to take a well-deserved break from learning the “three Rs.” Lockers slam, and the chatter-filled hallways empty as students catch the bus or a ride—or hit the sidewalks. 

    But not everyone’s schedule is empty until the next morning. Many kids will head to an after-school enrichment activity at some point during the week. In fact, a majority of K-12 public schools schedule some type of after-school program or enrichment, but they’re not the only options. 

    Many different organizations also offer after-school enrichment in academics, business/entrepreneurship, career exploration, community service, healthcare, language, leadership, mental health and wellbeing, outdoor adventure, work experience, performing and visual arts, special needs, sports, STEM, and more.

    Enrichment programs don’t have to have a purely academic focus, either. Some may be available online versus in-person—handy if you want to learn from an artist in another city or practice your language with a native speaker living abroad.

    What’s the value of an after-school enrichment program?

    Enrichment programs, which come in various formats and types, invite students to expand their horizons beyond what’s taught in school. Students get a chance to explore new interests or dig deeper into current passions, develop new skills, socialize with their peers, and see what else is out there. Research suggests that participation in these programs can accelerate student achievement, too.

    Does your child love all things anime? Want to take their soccer game to the next level? Want to become the next Neil deGrasse Tyson, Misty Copeland, or Steve Jobs? Maybe your child’s a bibliophile or burgeoning polyglot.   

    Regardless of what enrichment program your child picks, participation:

    • Creates a sense of belonging and community and opens doors to meeting new people and making new friends.
    • Improves social skills by promoting cooperation, support, and respect. This nurturing, supportive environment encourages students to step outside their comfort zones. Children benefit by learning intangible skills like collaboration and empathy.
    • Adds a little more fun—and even friendly competition—to learning, with an opportunity for students to work with like-minded peers in areas everyone’s curious about. These sessions skip traditional tests and lectures in favor of a hands-on approach. An engaging environment makes learning feel less like a chore and more like a fun adventure.
    • Builds confidence, especially for kids who might have learning challenges or feel unconfident in school. An enrichment program offers a welcome change of pace in a more relaxed atmosphere, where students feel more comfortable taking risks and experimenting without fear of failure, leading to a sense of accomplishment and a self-confidence boost. 

    Fun and learning can go hand-in-hand

    Studies show that after-school enrichment programs are superstars when it comes to boosting students’ brainpower, emotional well-being, and social skills by giving students a place to explore their interests and creativity. They’re a win-win for parents, tweens, and teens because, from robotics or chess clubs to theater groups and language classes, there’s something for everyone.

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    The Experts at TeenLife

    Let the TeenLife experts help you connect with a teen enrichment program at www.teenlife.com.