Why After-School Programming?

If you are interested in finding after-school programs near your home, school, or church, please visit our after-school program locator <here.>.

Why After-School Programming?

The Youth Connection began as a health and safety initiative attempting to reduce youth drug, alcohol, and tobacco use along with reducing youth violence and early sexual activity. We found, through our research and talking with the metropolitan Detroit community, that after-school programs could help reduce all of these negative behaviors. For example:

  • 47% of juvenile crime takes place between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System)

  • Students who spend no time in extracurricular activities are 49% more likely to use drugs and 37% more likely to become teen parents than those who spend one to four hours per week in extracurricular activities. (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Adolescent Time Use, Risky Behavior and Outcomes: An Analysis of National Data)

  • In a survey of Police Chiefs, 86% said expanding after-school and educational childcare programs would greatly reduce youth crime and violence. (Fight Crime, Invest in Kids)

  • Participation in after-school sports is linked to an increase in girls’ self-esteem, positive body image, self-confidence, and sense of competence, as well as a decreased incidence of depression, pregnancy, and smoking initiation. (Girls Report)

  • High school students who participate in after-school activities are three times more likely to score in the top 25% on math and reading assignments compared to students who don’t participate. (U.S. Dept. of Education and Justice. Safe and Smart: Making After-School hours Work for Kids)

  • On school days between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., the occurrence of violent juvenile crimes such as murders, sexual assaults, robberies and assaults triples. (FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System)

  • Teens who do not participate in after-school programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes, use marijuana or other drugs, and they are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity than those who do. (YMCA of the USA. After School for America's Teens)

  • 94% of voters agree that there should be some type of organized activity or place for children and teens to go after school every day. (After School Alliance Poll)

  • The Food Research and Action Council identifies after-school programs as effective venues for improving nutrition, nutrition education and physical activity. (Food Research and Action Council)

  • Communities that have at least 50% of their youth involved in after-school programs are 5 times more likely to be a healthy community. (U.S. Department of Education)




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