How can Extra curricular activities get Young people and Children back into school?

Extra curricular activities have for a long time been known for their all round benefits from simply killing time, to increase confidence.  The problem is it is often the privileged and non –disadvantaged that both benefit and take part in them.

Extracurricular activities include any organized social, art, or physical activities for school-aged youth that occur during out-of-school time, usually before- or after-school or during the summer. Extracurricular activities can be offered through school, community, or religious organizations. Examples include clubs, school newspapers, music groups, student councils, debate teams, theater, volunteering programs, sports, and youth groups; programs sometimes include academic components.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

We want to help as many disadvantaged kids as possible experience high-quality and effective social and emotional learning. We work towards this aim because research shows that strong social and emotional skills are key to helping kids succeed in school, be prepared for the workforce, and become positive and healthy contributors to society.  This falls in line with our aim to help under 18s back into school.

Weekly activities can offer a welcome break from studies and homework — particularly for senior students if they can spare the time.

Examples of Organisations that have made this work

United States

Triple Play, offered at over 4,000 Boys and Girls Clubs across the country (Triple Play);

Teen Outreach Program, is in 1,500 clubs accrodd 33 states (TOP);

4-H Afterschool, nationally (4-H);

After-School All-Stars, in 12 states (ASAS);

WINGS, in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia (WINGS).

California’s after school clubs (CA-After school)


Citations – Evidence

Anderson 2003a – Anderson LM, Scrimshaw SC, Fullilove MT, Fielding JE, Task Force on Community Preventive Services. The Community Guide’s model for linking the social environment to health. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2003;24(3S):12–20.Accessed on December 10, 2015

ASA – Afterschool Alliance (ASA). Keep kids safe and inspire them to learn. Accessed on February 1, 2016

Bungay 2013* – Bungay H, Vella-Burrows T. The effects of participating in creative activities on the health and well-being of children and young people: A rapid review of the literature. Perspectives in Public Health. 2013;133(1):44–52. Accessed on November 30, 2015

Camacho 2015* – Camacho DE, Fuligni AJ. Extracurricular participation among adolescents from immigrant families. Empirical Research. 2015;44(6):1251-1262. Accessed on January 27, 2016

CSPV-After school – Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV). Safe communities ~ Safe schools fact sheet: After school programs. Boulder: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV), University of Colorado at Boulder; 2001:FS-SC12Accessed on December 10, 2015

Durlak 2010* – Durlak JA, Weissberg RP, Pachan M. A meta-analysis of after-school programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in children and adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology. 2010;45(3-4):294–309. Accessed on December 15, 2015

Farb 2012* – Farb AF, Matjasko JL. Recent advances in research on school-based extracurricular activities and adolescent development. Developmental Review. 2012;32(1):1–48. Accessed on November 9, 2015

Grogan 2014 – Grogan KE, Henrich CC, Malikina MV. Student engagement in after-school programs, academic skills, and social competence among elementary school students. Child Development Research. 2014:498506. Accessed on January 27, 2016

HFRP-Little 2003 – Little PMD, Harris E. A review of out-of-school time program quasi-experimental and experimental evaluation results. Cambridge: Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), Harvard Graduate School of Education; 2003. Accessed on May 20, 2016

HFRP-Little 2008 – Little PMD, Wimer C, Weiss HB. After school programs in the 21st century: Their potential and what it takes to achieve it. Cambridge: Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP); 2008: Brief Number 10. Accessed on February 24, 2016

Kremer 2015* – Kremer KP, Maynard BR, Polanin JR, Vaughn MG, Sarteschi CM. Effects of after-school programs with at-risk youth on attendance and externalizing behaviors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 2015;4(3):616-636. Accessed on January 27, 2016

Leos-Urbel 2015* – Leos-Urbel J. What works after school? The relationship between after-school program quality, program attendance, and academic outcomes. Youth Society. 2015;47(5):684-706. Accessed on February 1, 2016

RAND-Bodilly 2005 – Bodilly S, Beckett MK. Making out-of-school-time matter: Evidence for an action agenda. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation; 2005. Accessed on May 20, 2016

Taheri 2015* – Taheri SA, Welsh BC. After-school programs for delinquency prevention: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Criminology & Penology. 2015:1-19. Accessed on January 27, 2016

Urban-Moore 1999 – Moore K, Ehrle J. Children’s environment and behavior: Participation in extracurricular activities. Washington, DC: Assessing the New Federalism (ANF), Urban Institute; 1999. Accessed on May 20, 2016

Vandell 2007 – Vandell DL, Reisner ER, Pierce KM. Outcomes linked to high-quality afterschool programs: Longitudinal findings from the study of promising afterschool programs. Irvine: University of California, Irvine, Department of Education; 2007. Accessed on January 27, 2016

Vandell 2013 – Vandell DL. Afterschool program quality and student outcomes: reflections on positive key findings on learning and development from recent research. In: Expanding minds and opportunities: Leveraging the power of afterschool and summer learning for student success. Expanded Learning & Afterschool Project; 2013:10-16. Accessed on February 1, 2016

YG-Afterschool – (YG), Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP). Afterschool programs. Accessed on January 6, 2016


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