After-school programs can supplement academics outside the regular school day and are associated with improved scores on standardized tests. Studies have established a positive correlation between at-risk students’ academic achievement and their participation in after-school programs. Strong after-school programs complement the material that stu-dents see during the school day and focus on subjects that may be under-emphasized in schools
Yes, all at-risk students should be required to participate in after-school programs, because that is better than their home environments. An at-risk student is much better off with a teacher after school than at home, watching their parents drink or smoke or watch television. At-risk students need teachers for parents instead of their real parents.
No, forcing students to do anything outside of behavioral problems is only spinning wheels. If you were to try to force already at-risk students, you would probably end up with those students further in a hole, or more aggressive than they already were. Only students, with or without professional help, can decide to better them self, not some after-school program to further alienate them from their peers.
Just like mandatory drug sentencing, mandatory after school programs for "at risk students" is dangerous and will cause more problems than it will solve. First we need to understand what "at risk" even means. Some kids loose time at school do to illness or family crisis. After school programs will not work for these types of students. Kids who are troubled and skip and cause problems in the classroom will only disrupt the after school program for those who are there to take it serious, or to have fun, or maybe even credit for extra curricular activities. Some after school programs specifically designed for "at risk" kids should incorporate the family dynamics into the equation and not just be a place for a bunch of troubled kids to hang out for a couple hours. After school programs are great but they should not be forced and each childs situation should be looked at on an individual basis not just summed up on paper as "at risk."
I do not believe all at-risk students should be required to participate in after school programs. The problem with this suggestion is that it lacks a clear definition of what at-risk means. It also lacks a source of funding for these programs, as they will have costs involved. Making suggestions is great but going from suggestion to implementation is the tricky part.