Across Minnesota, communities are working to create a more positive future for our state’s children and youth. After School and Out-of-School programs provide opportunities for children and youth to continue to learn when school is not in session – before and after school, on weekends, and during vacation periods. Activities may include academic enrichment, tutoring, homework help, recreation, arts and music programs, mentoring, community service and more.
Targeted services programs are before, after school and summer programs for students in grades K-8 who meet the at-risk criteria (Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.68, Subdivision 2). Typically, at-risk students are not success in the regular school program and need additional time to develop skills and abilities. Targeted services are designed for meeting the needs of the whole child. Therefore, it is not more of the same teaching and learning that occurs during the day, but a different approach to engage students with the teacher, school and community. The purpose is to develop the skills needed to be successful in the regular school program.
In addition to providing a safe place for children and youth to be during non-school hours, participation in out-of-school time programs has been connected to improved academic achievement, school attendance and behavior.
While there is no one single formula for success in afterschool programs, effective programs combine academic, enrichment, cultural, and recreational activities to guide learning and engage children and youth in dynamic activities that complement the school day. They also find that the best programs develop activities to meet the particular needs of the communities they serve
In Minnesota, Out-of-School Time programs are funded by a variety of organizations, including government agencies, private foundations and public charities.