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Why strong afterschool programs matter


The National School Boards Association recently released a report comparing the time U.S. students spend in school to the time spent in school in other countries—questioning the trendy notion that our schools would improve if we merely added time to the school day, says Jodi Grant, executive director of the nonprofit Afterschool Alliance, for the Washington Post. As executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, I’ve spent the past two years fighting efforts to divert federal support for already underfunded afterschool programs to instead provide a small number of failing schools with money to add an hour or two to their school day. This would not only add to the 15 million children currently unsupervised each afternoon, but could deny more than a million children the engaged learning and building blocks of healthy development provided by afterschool programs.  Like many experts, I’m fearful that simply adding more time to our least successful schools is not the right answer…

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