After-School Programs Foster Success for Future in Illinois

(Undated) -- Some experts say learning shouldn't end when the school bell rings for the day. Kelley Talbot with Voices for Illinois Children says there's an achievement gap in the state, with 60-percent of eighth graders behind in math, 18-percent of students not graduating high school on time, and 20-percent living in poverty. She says after-school programs help to narrow that gap and can foster college and career readiness. Talbot says positive after-school experiences also lead to better work habits and behavior. At Project Exploration in Chicago, students in after-school and summer learning programs were found to graduate at a rate nearly double the overall rate of those attending public schools. And the Becoming a Man program for at-risk boys reduced failing grades by 37-percent and increased graduation rates by 10-percent.