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Commitment to After School Programs

A Lasting Committment to After School

The American Savings Foundation has invested in programs that support the needs of children, youth and families since the beginning.  After school programs have been a major part of that funding, including our 7-year (2005-2012) After School Initiative for Middle School Youth which was designed to expand and improve quality after-school programs in New Britain.

CPEP programs engage youth in fun, hands-on activites related to STEM careers.

The Foundation continues to fund high-quality after school programs, primarily in New Britain and Waterbury.  We use the term “after school” broadly to include programs that operate during afternoon and evenings during the school year.  We also fund a select group of programs that are designed to address the issue of summer learning loss. 

Research shows the significant value of quality afterschool programs. As Dr. Beth N. Miller wrote in the executive summary of her work Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Educational Success (commissioned by the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation):

The accumulation of research findings presented . . . makes an extremely compelling case that many young people derive great benefit from afterschool programs and extracurricular activities.

Dr. Miller demonstrates the link between participation in high-quality programs and academic success, including graduation rates. After school programs provide youth with skills and interests that can stay with them throughout their lives. She also shows how programs provide significant added value:

After school programs reinforce skills learned in school.
Positive effects extend to families, employers and communities as well. Working parents who know their children are in a safe, secure place supervised by adults during out-of- school time are able to be more productive, work more hours, and move into better jobs.

The American Savings Foundation believes that all youth deserve the opportunity to attend high-quality after school programs.   After school programs should incorporate best practice standards and provide children with experiences that are challenging, nurturing, and fun,   A list of resources for program quality standards and self-assessment tools can be found through the Connecticut After School Network  and the 8 standards identified by Dr. Miller in Critical Hours.  We are committed to supporting high quality after school programs as a strategy for making a difference for children, youth and families.