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Inspiring Future STEM Leaders Through After School Enrichment

After-school enrichment programs give students with the hands-on learning experiences they need to play, grow, and explore outside of the classroom. These programs have been found to pique students’ interests in STEAM disciplines and provide them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue their interests in the direction of a brighter future.

Why are after school enrichment programs important?

Supporting afterschool programs in your community means providing an environment in which students can develop intellectually and socially. An effective afterschool program challenges children with creative and enriching activities, develops teamwork and leadership, improves communication skills, builds confidence, and provides educational enrichment opportunities that extend beyond the classroom curriculum. These programs also provide a safe and supervised afterschool option for working families’ children and have the ability to reach youth groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM.

Credit: After school Alliance

The report from the Afterschool Alliance America After 3PM combines data from years of national household surveys on afterschool enrichment interest, accessibility, advantages, and challenges. Their most recent report shows that demand for afterschool enrichment is increasing. Nationally, the percentage of parents who support public funding for afterschool programs has reached an all-time high of 87%. 89% of parents in Florida approve public funding for afterschool programs.

Despite the fact that the clear majority of parents believe that all children deserve access to high-quality afterschool and summer activities, many families experience barriers to obtaining afterschool programs in their community. On a national and state level, three additional children are denied access for every child enrolled in an afterschool program. The major barriers preventing students from participating in afterschool programs were reported to be cost and availability. According to Afterschool Alliance data from 2020, 24.6 million children would participate in an afterschool program if one was available to them. Through governmental collaborations, Little Medical School of the Treasure Coast seeks to increase access to afterschool enrichment for students and families in need.

After school enrichment benefits our communities

Afterschool programs help the entire community, from students and their families to educators and public facilities. Begin talks in your parent groups, club and civic circles, community centers, neighborhood groups, businesses, and at parent/teacher organization meetings to increase awareness of the need for afterschool funding in your community. Use the Afterschool Alliance data to quote and share state-specific studies on the support and demand for afterschool enrichment in your state. These reports and discussions can help evaluate interest in afterschool programs and possibly teach you more about the resources that are available to you.

The assistance of your community’s school board, PTA leaders, superintendent, and other local officials can also help to advance the demand for high-quality, low-cost afterschool enrichment opportunities.

Little Medical School of the Treasure Coast is your after school enrichment provider

Not sure where to begin? Little Medical School of the Treasure Coast can help! We recognize that many schools may lack the resources that enable students to explore STEM subjects in an engaging and participatory way. Through educational play, hands-on learning, and afterschool enrichment opportunities, we hope to motivate youngsters to explore careers in the medical sector. Our activities are eligible for STEM/STEAM awards, which are available to many schools, libraries, and non-profit organizations.

Contact us if you want to see quality STEM enrichment like Little Medical School in your child’s school, and we will reach out on behalf of parents and teachers. We can work together to ensure that every child has access to afterschool programs that encourage, challenge, and prepare them to be future leaders!

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