Student engagement does not need to cease when the bell rings to signal the end of the school day. Many school districts and educational and non-profit organizations are pushing afterschool programs for students. In this blog, we discuss some of the benefits of afterschool programs, which could help stimulate your thinking while making your case for funding. We also provide an excellent afterschool program resource and several afterschool program funding opportunities.
Benefits of Afterschool Programs
According to AfterschoolAlliance.org, afterschool programs actually increase student attendance and engagement in elementary through high school-aged children. Afterschool programs are also said to raise test scores and grades in reading, English, and math; afterschool programs are credited with helping students at the greatest risk to achieve the greatest gains in achievement.
In addition to the educational benefits of afterschool programs, these programs also help working parents and keep kids safe and provide them with a healthier lifestyle in regards to eating habits and exercise. In fact, teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are approximately three times more likely to use drugs, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and engage in sexual activity than teens who do participate in afterschool programs.
Afterschool Program Resources
After examining this information, afterschool programs seem to make perfect sense for making a difference in student’s lives. If you or your school is interested in starting an afterschool program, or if you already have an afterschool program but could use some refreshing information, you may be interested in The Wallace Foundation’s After School Program Resources webpage, which offers resources on budget planning, strategic financing plans, funding opportunities, and other strategies for planning and implementing afterschool programs.
Afterschool Program Funding and Grant Opportunities
Federal funding for afterschool programs is provided to the states for distribution to programs determined by each state’s afterschool needs. Below is a listing and summary of these programs, as described on the findyouthinfo.gov webpage titled “Funding for Afterschool.”
- The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC):
This is the only federal funding source that supports nothing but afterschool programs. The 21CCLC program aims to support community learning centers that provide academic tutoring and homework help; community service; and music, arts, sports, and cultural activities. The Department of Education works with State Education Agencies (SEAs) to manage statewide competitions for funding.
- The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF):
This program helps low-income families by providing child care vouchers. The CCDF also funds state child care quality improvement initiatives, which may include training programs and capacity-building for afterschool providers.
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF):
TANF funds provide financial assistance for low-income families. These funds can also be used to support afterschool programs in ways that are consistent with the TANF program. States can spend TANF funds on afterschool programs and initiatives or transfer up to 30% of the funds to CCDF.
- Federal Food and Nutrition Programs: These programs support snacks and meals for participants of afterschool programs. In these cases, afterschool programs may receive reimbursements from one of four food and nutrition programs made available by the United States Department of Agriculture. These food and nutrition programs include the National School Lunch Program: Afternoon Snacks; the Child and Adults Care Food Program; the Summer Food Service Program; and the School Breakfast Program.
Some private foundations also support afterschool programs. The Wallace Foundation, mentioned earlier in this article, is one of them. They award grants between $1,000-$5 million in several educational areas, one of which is afterschool programs.
Another place to find afterschool funding is through JC Penney Cares, which focuses on
supporting educational organizations and programs.
TheGrantHelpers.com is here to help you reach your funding goals. Whether it’s finding more funding opportunities for afterschool programs or helping you write a proposal or develop a grant application, we have the experts you need to give you your best chance of funding success. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Initial consultations are always free.
Image Credit: Fort Rucker