State News

Vermont Ranks fourth in the nation for after-school programs

A new nationwide report released by the After-school Alliance ranks Vermont as 4th in the nation for after-school programming. The “America After 3 p.m.” report, based on a comprehensive survey commissioned by the after-school Alliance and conducted by Shugoll Research, highlights the progress Vermont has made over the past decade in providing quality after-school programs. These programs play an essential role in communities throughout Vermont by keeping children and youth safe, inspiring them to learn, and supporting working families between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.

“America After 3 p.m.” is the most in-depth look at how children spend their time after school, demand and supply of programs, and parents’ perspectives on the role of after-school programs.  The 2014 report ranks Vermont as one of the top ten states based in part on high levels of parent satisfaction with their child’s after-school program (95 percent) and strong levels of support for public funding for after-school programs (88 percent). However, rising levels of unmet demand continue to be of concern in Vermont. The 2014 report shows that only 24 percent of Vermont’s children grades K-12 are currently enrolled in after-school programs. Of those children not currently in programs, 33 percent would participate if an after-school program were available.

“The data tell us that after-school programs in Vermont are valued by parents for their quality, the services offered, and the academic supports provided,” stated Vermont after-school’s Executive Director, Holly Morehouse. “When you consider that children spend, on average, 1,000 hours a year in school but 5,000 in their communities and with their families, making sure that children and youth are engaged in healthy, productive activities during that out-of-school time is important.”

Morehouse explained that the report also highlights a growing demand for quality after-school programs in the state. “We have more work to do to provide quality after-school programming for all children and youth who need it. The report comes at a time when many Vermonters are engaged in discussions about our education model and how we deliver services across the state. We know from research, and from the last 10 years of progress, that quality after-school programs play a vital role in supporting student success and well-being. Vermont must take bold steps now to ensure increased access to quality after-school programs so that all children and youth in our state have the opportunities, skills, and resources they need to succeed in school, thrive in life, and develop their full potential.”

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