Low-income students are six times more likely to drop out of high school. Low-income students fail to graduate at five times the rate of middle-income families and six times that of higher-income youth, according to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
The reason for this is that children in low-income households in the US see a long lasting negative effect on their lives, due to lack of social services and the long hours parents must spend working. At the same time low income families have seen their living standards worsen and children are experiencing worsening conditions in their schools.
With escalating attacks on the public school system, hundreds of thousands of teachers have been laid off, thousands of schools closed , and millions of students pushed into overcapacity classrooms and lack the attention needed to succeed. These circumstances effect children in the poorest families the most.
Low-wage parents are working non-standard work hours, inflexible work times, without medical benefits or paid vacation. These parents are often sacrificing time with their kids to performs the necessary jobs that run our society leaving them with very little energy, time and money to devote to families or themselves which causes stress and other problems.
Effective afterschool programs bring a wide range of benefits to low income youth, families and communities. Afterschool programs can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe, structured environment for the children of working parents. Effective afterschool programs can improve classroom behavior, school attendance, academic aspirations, and can reduce drop out rates. Working families and businesses also derive benefits from afterschool programs that ensure that youth have a safe place to go while parents are at work. Parents concerned about their children’s afterschool care miss a lot of work when their children do not have a safe place to go to after school.