After-school programs help to close the gaps

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Carrie Kulinski, Executive Director, The Boys & Girls Club of Janesville and Beth Tallon, Public Relations Director, YWCA Rock County
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Carrie and Beth are teaming up for this entry to discuss how to get the most for your kids in the time between school and dinner.

Many folks think that after-school programs are just a safe place for children to be until parents can pick them up after work. While safety is important, copious research complied by the Afterschool Alliance shows that quality after-school programs improve student achievement. These kids are more likely to go to school, be engaged in lessons, and earn better test scores and grades.

Other studies have shown that kids in after school programs make healthier choices, are less likely to get in fights, have babies, use drugs, commit crimes and be at a healthy weight. These programs provide opportunities for kids to see grown-ups making good decisions and reinforcing positive behavior. After-school programs also offer enrichment activities in art, music, health, and civic education-- that may have been cut in some school districts due to shrinking budgets or set aside so teachers can focus on preparing for high stake tests. Although after-school programs can be no substitute, we offer new learning opportunities through a variety of experiences.

At the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville, we provide programming in three main impact areas; Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Character and Leadership. We strive to provide our members with a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and the power of positive influence. 

At the YWCA's Before & After School Program, we offer a variety of optional activities including time for school work, arts and crafts, physical fitness and community service.

For more information about The Boys & Girls Club, visit our website at bgcjanesville.org,  call the club at 608-755-0575 or stop by for a visit at 200 W. Court St. Janesville. 

For more information about YWCA Rock County, visit our website at ywacrockcounty.org, or call the main office at 608-752-5445. You may arrange a tour of the program at your child's school.

The authors of this blog are employed by local non-profit organizations and not The Gazette. Their views are not necessarily those of Gazette management.

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