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In Poor Areas, After-School Programs Are in Demand

"America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty"

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For every child in an after-school program in a high-poverty community, two more are waiting to get in, according to a report from the Afterschool Alliance.

The study drew on survey data collected in 2014 from more than 30,000 parents and included 13,000 in-depth interviews to examine parents' thoughts on after-school and summer learning opportunities. Respondents were identified as living in a community of concentrated poverty if their ZIP code fell within a U.S. Census tract that has been designated as such or if they lived in a ZIP code with a poverty rate of 30 percent or higher.

The survey found that 24 percent of children living in areas of concentrated poverty participated in after-school programs, compared with 18 percent nationally. But the number of students living in concentrated poverty who would take part in an after-school program if it were available to them was 56 percent. The comparable average figure for the nation as a whole was 41 percent.

For African-American families in those communities, the demand was even higher: While 27 percent of black students attended after-school programs, 71 percent said they would attend such programs if they were available.

The Afterschool Alliance received support for its 2014 survey from five foundations, including the Wallace Foundation and the Noyce Foundation, both of which underwrite some content coverage in Education Week.

Vol. 36, Issue 03, Page 5

Published in Print: September 7, 2016, as In Poor Areas, After-School Programs Are in Demand
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