Missouri Afterschool Program

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Afterschool Programs
Frequently Asked Questions

What are Afterschool Programs?

Before- and after-school programs provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and activities designed to complement their regular school day's academic program during non-school hours by providing a range of high-quality services to support student learning and development, including tutoring and mentoring, homework help, academic enrichment (such as hands-on math, reading/language arts, and science programs), community service opportunities, as well as music, arts, sports, and cultural activities.   Here in Missouri, we tend to use the terms School Age Community, 21st Century Community Learning Center, and Afterschool.  They mean the same thing.  We also see other names for these programs; these may include but are not limited to Latchkey, Adventure club, Extended Day, Enrichment and Beyond School.  No matter what terms or titles are used, the mission is the same, to provide a safe, enriching place for school age youth to be during non-traditional school hours.  

How do I start an Afterschool Program at my school?

You can contact any of our staff to get information on starting an afterschool program.  

Is there money available?

Yes, DESE typically offers two grant cycles annually.  Click on the Grants link to learn more.  

Is there someone near me who can assist?

Yes, Afterschool Regional Educators (AREs) are located regionally throughout the state to provide technical assistance and training.  Click on Technical Assistance to learn more.


How can I tell if our program is a high quality program?

Click on the Quality Indicators link for characteristics of a good program.  These are not the only indicators.  You can find more information at Related Links.  

How many school age students are there in Missouri?

At the last count, there were approximately 1,057,794 children between the ages of 6 and 18 in Missouri.  Of these, 77% have a mother who works outside the home.  

Once a child enters school, why should we worry about more afterschool programs?

School age youth spend only 20% of their waking hours in school.  Over 77% of the school age youth in Missouri have either single or dual working parents, leaving over 700,000 school age children at risk of being home alone or long periods of time.  Juvenile crime rates triple between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00 p.m.  

Is there usually a fee for afterschool programs?

Usually, but no child will ever be turned away from a public school-based afterschool program due to not being able to pay.  Many programs offer a sliding fee scale.  There are many ways spaces can be funded, such as child care subsidies and scholarships.  

What are the hours?

Hours will vary from program to program, but generally programs are open to accommodate working families.  We see sites open before school as early as 6:30 am and they remain open until 5:00 or 6:00 pm, depending on the community needs.  Programs may also be open during school vacations, holidays, summers and other times as well.  

Will homework/tutoring be a part of an afterschool program?

Typically yes, however, a high quality afterschool program will have a strong balance between academic, social, leisure recreation and life skills choices.  Afterschool does not dupliate the school day but rather extends the opportunities for learning and offers practical hands-on experiences to supplement the theories learned in school.  For example, a student may be working on fractions during the school day and in the afterschool program, they may do a cooking project where they put into practice the theory of fractions.  (How do you add 1/2 plus 3/4 cups?  Or how do you divide a pie into enough servings for everyone?)