Imagine you are a seven-year-old whose’s parents work until five each night. When you come home after school there is no one home with you. What could you get into? You might know right from wrong but you still might get yourself into some trouble. Just out of plain curiosity you might get into something or an accident could happen without you even being involved in it. But I say there is a way to stop this from ever happening. I think we should either keep schools open longer or introduce more after school programs. Many advantages would come from either of these ideas. For one the parents would not have to be in a state of worry about whether their child is safe at home or in trouble. Plus you always have that added guilt about not being able to help your kids with their homework. Now with either longer days or more after school programs a lot of stress could be taken away from your family. No more having to pay for sitters which could stress out a families finances. Also the dangers of the kids being home and getting into trouble would be cut down severely. And also with the longer days or more after school programs parents would be able to get home, at least one parent would be home, to pick their kids off the bus.
I wanted to suggest some programs I feel would help out with the problem at hand. These programs would be a reading and math after school program. One program I would suggest is a reading after school program. It is said that today, too many children fail to read at a level we would expect for the grade they are in. In a study done in 1998, the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that, thirty eight percent of our nation’s fourth graders failed to read at the basic level. That fact alone says we must enforce more after school programs. Now they also found that sixty-four percent of African American and sixty percent of Hispanic American fourth graders read below the basic level. This shows we need to not only put these programs in suburban schools but also city schools. Research has shown that students who are behind in reading can catch up to grade level with additional reading instruction and tutoring after school and in the summer.
And that is what I am trying to put in effect. We all know that to succeed in school all students need good reading skills, and that’s just a fact. Another program that I think is good is a mathematics after school Program. I has been found that students who take rigorous mathematics courses are much more likely to go on to college and into promising careers than those who do not. And with technology becoming more prevalent in the workplace, the need for employees with mathematics backgrounds has greatly increased. In my research I have found that far too many students finish middle and junior high school without developing a solid foundation in algebra and geometry. Research done by the international comparative assessments said that U.S. student achievement in mathematics falls below the average in the middle grades. We need to help improve this. I think some other important facts help support my case for the longer school day and the after school programs in this little chart. Some reasons why the public supports after school programs: *Over 28 million school-age children have both parents or their only parent in the workforce.
*At least 5 million children — and possibly as many as 15 million — are left alone at home each week. *Many children, especially low-income children, lose ground in reading if they are not engaged in organized learning over the summer. *Experts agree that school-age children who are unsupervised during the hours after school are more likely to receive poor grades and drop out of school than those who are involved in supervised, constructive activities. *Statistics show that most juvenile crime takes place between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 pm, and that children are also at much greater risk of being the victims of crime during the hours after school. Here is another chart showing that after school programs enhance a child’s academic achievement. *Participants in after-school programs:*
*Show increased interest and ability in reading *Develop new skills and interests *Show improved school attendance, increased engagement in school, and reduced dropout rate *Turn in more and better quality homework and can spend more time on task *Are held back or placed in special education classes less frequently *Show higher aspirations for the future, including intention to complete high school and go to college. These facts are real. This is why I picked trying to make a longer day and more after school programs. And with these two programs the numbers will go up. I plan on adding more programs to what I have wrote in here. But I think implementing a longer school day and these after school programs should help not only the parents of these children but the children themselves.