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Quality out-of-school time (OST) programs set kids on a path toward happier and healthier lives.

We want every kid in Indiana to have the best chance at making a great life for themselves and a positive impact in their communities. And we believe out-of-school time (OST) programming can play a major role in that. Quality out-of-school time programs support the health and happiness of youth while strengthening the wellbeing of working families. They provide safe, supportive environments that inspire learning and provide the help many families need in today’s workforce. Children in out-of-school time programs have better grades, attendance, behaviors, and are more prepared for success after high school. When every Hoosier child has access to quality out-of-school time programming, the future is brighter for all.

 

Keeping Kids Safe

The time between the ringing of the last school bell and when parents arrive home from work has long been a concern of families and communities. In Indiana, 20% of students – including kindergarteners – are alone and unsupervised between 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Afterschool programs provide safe, supportive environments that help keep kids out of harm’s way after the school bell rings.

Promoting Academic Growth

Studies have found that afterschool programs promote academic gains and improve student engagement in learning, as well as their motivation to learn. From foundational skills like critical thinking and communication to academic competencies like math and reading, afterschool programs have been found to help build the knowledge that contributes to kids’ overall wellbeing.

 

Supporting Working Families

Families need flexible, affordable options for the hours after school. Many parents and guardians are working two or three jobs – or going back to school themselves – to provide for their families. According to a national survey, 85% of families with a child in an afterschool program agreed that the programs helped provide peace of mind about their children while they are at work. Out-of-school time programs help families balance work, school, and life.

Inspiring Future Careers

Across a range of studies, afterschool programs have been found to encourage and build the skills and competencies that are necessary for success after high school. Out-of-school time programs can help kids can gain hands-on experience and learn to communicate, collaborate, and lead in order to help them prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.