The Afterschool Alliance works with agencies, elected officials, businesses, 50 state afterschool networks, community leaders, and program providers across the nation to expand support for quality afterschool programs. They are also the facilitators of America After 3PM, the largest survey on afterschool education.
Their America After 3PM Special Report, “STEM Learning in Afterschool on the Rise, But Barriers and Inequities Exist,” funded by Overdeck Family Foundation, found that afterschool programs are offering more STEM learning opportunities, but inequities exist and millions of children are missing out. Top takeaways from the report include:
- Opportunities for STEM learning in afterschool programs have increased. Seventy-three percent of parents report that their child’s afterschool program offers STEM learning opportunities, an increase of four percentage points from 2014. Follow-up surveys conducted during the pandemic found that nationwide, STEM learning opportunities in afterschool programs remained steady, and 72 percent of 2021 summer programs offered STEM learning opportunities.
- Parents value STEM learning in afterschool and summer programs. Seventy-six percent of parents agree that STEM learning in afterschool helps children gain interest and skills related to STEM, an increase of 11 percentage points since 2014.
- Afterschool programs reach populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Nationally, parents of Black and Latinx students report that their child’s afterschool program offers STEM learning at higher rates than parents of White students.
- Too many children are missing out. For every child in an afterschool program, three are waiting to get in. Parents report that cost and access top the list of the biggest barriers to afterschool program participation.
- Parents support public funding for afterschool and summer programs. Eighty-seven percent of U.S. parents support public funding for afterschool programs, and 88 percent of parents support public funding for summer learning opportunities.
Overdeck Family Foundation’s grant supports Afterschool Alliance’s advocacy and communications work on behalf of high-quality afterschool programs around the country. The organization is in touch with more than 25,000 afterschool program partners and their publications reach more than 65,000 individuals every month.