From managing emotions to developing grit, afterschool programs that cultivate social-emotional skills offer learning that goes beyond the classroom. Research shows that these skills are often more predictive of a child’s future success than their test scores.

“Knowing how to develop relationships and cope with different stresses can really help kids in the long-term,” says Sara Plachta Elliott, Ph.D., executive director of the Youth Development Resource Center. “Kids who learn how to experience a failure but then overcome it and keep trying are a lot more likely to be successful adults than kids who don’t have the opportunity to learn from challenges.”

Afterschool programs that focus on emotional regulation, building social know-how and exposure to diverse cultures offer exciting opportunities that the school day doesn’t often allow. For example, yoga programs combine exercise with channelling difficult feelings into positive emotions. There are also afterschool opportunities that introduce children to world cultures and customs, expanding their ideas about diversity.

Life skills might also include activities such as how to write a resume, plan a budget or apply for college. Many programs encourage leadership skills where youth get to choose their activities and plan their day. “Parents should be looking for programs that offer kids the opportunity to take on a leadership role. That’s one attribute of a really high-quality youth program,” says Elliott.

 

What to Look for

  • Programs that encourage leadership
  • Strong check-in and check-out process
  • Programs that offer scholarship–always ask if they are available 

 

Ready to find

 

 

Your child's program?

 

Exploring Cooking and Community-Building During the Summer

Exploring Cooking and Community-Building During the Summer

  While 7-year-old Brooklyn is mature and shares her ideas with confidence, she’s still a kid. She likes to play with friends, watch cartoons, and ride her bike. She also likes to cook and is frequently in the kitchen with her grandma, who lives two blocks away....

Center for Success Takes Literacy Online

Center for Success Takes Literacy Online

By: Kristine Uyeda, Youth Development Resource Center How do you take a proven youth literacy program into a digital platform and make it equitable, impactful, and sustainable? Over the course of the school year, Center for Success provides structured after school...

Academic Enrichment

Academic Enrichment

There are many affordable afterschool programs that can help kids maintain or improve their academic skills – and do it in a fun and unexpected way. “We try to lift up all different kinds of programs, providing young people with well-rounded learning opportunities,”...

College and Career Prep

College and Career Prep

High school is a really important time for young people to decide their college and career paths. Many afterschool learning opportunities can help teens identify an area of study, explore a career choice or learn valuable life skills. College and Career Prep...

Fine Arts, Crafts and Performance

Fine Arts, Crafts and Performance

As young people are developing their identity, arts programs provide a wonderful vehicle for self-exploration. “Art is a great channel for kids to express their emotions and uncover who they are,” says Sara Plachta Elliott, Ph.D., executive director of the Youth...

Sports, Recreation and Wellness

Sports, Recreation and Wellness

Research shows that active children go on to live happier, healthier and more successful lives, according to Project Play. Sports and recreation activities offer youth opportunities to develop self-esteem, have leadership opportunities, and build strong relationships...

STEM

STEM

It might not surprise you that the fastest-growing percentage of high-paying jobs are in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. These days, jobs you might never expect are requiring STEM skills—like coding—so children who are getting a...

English Español

Pin It on Pinterest