Houston-area public schools after school programs
After school and before school programs in the Houston and Gulf Coast areas serve children and youth of all ages, from on-campus preschool and elementary programs to high school extracurricular activities. These after school programs focus on a wide variety of areas including academic support, mentoring, youth development, arts, and sports and recreation. There is a high demand for quality outside of school hours (sometimes called OST or Out-of-School Time) activities, as they have shown to benefit students in classroom behavior, academic performance, and overall health. Many before and after school programs are based on the latest educational research, and they focus on everything from social-emotional skills and Montessori-style curiosity-based learning to art, language immersion, and athletics. Public school districts’ after school programs provide a safe and supervised environment for children of all ages, and many programs are offered on campus or provide transportation.
The federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program provides opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities that provide students attending low performing schools with access to academic enrichment, tutoring, and other academic activities.The program also provides participating students’ families with active engagement in their child’s education as well as opportunities for adult literacy. In Texas, the 21st CCLC program is called the Texas Afterschool Centers on Education program, or Texas ACE. The TEA grant-funded Texas ACE programs provide high quality, creative, hands-on, and exploratory supplemental enrichment activities that align with the regular academic program. Results from statewide program evaluations of Texas ACE have shown that participants have higher test scores, fewer disciplinary incidents, and fewer school day absences.
The YMCA Before & After School program provides youth with a safe place to go during out of school time. More importantly, it helps youth realize who they are and what they can achieve by promoting positive social interactions and reinforcing academic and social learning concepts. Houston area YMCA programs assist students with homework help for those needing a tutor, provide structured and unstructured play time, foster positive peer interactions, promote student choice and voice, and supply healthy snacks. The YMCA has adopted a fun hands-on educational ASTEAM (Afterschool Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) curriculum with the Children’s Museum of Houston. There are multiple locations and options at the numerous YMCA locations in the Houston and Gulf Coast areas.
Another well-known afterschool program in Houston school districts is 4-H. Children in 4-H experience interactive projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement in a positive environment while receiving guidance from adult mentors who encouraged them to take on proactive leadership roles. Learn more about your local 4-H after school club here.
Numerous Houston after school programs are focused on extracurricular activities, including various sports, hobbies, and academic clubs. After school sports activities include football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, track, lacrosse, cheerleading, dance, golf, climbing, gymnastics, martial arts, soccer, skateboarding, yoga, etc. There are tons of options at every school for after school sports. Some academic after school clubs include astronomy, chemistry, electronics, engineering, math, history, poetry, peer tutoring, robotics, coding, and various foreign languages. Creative after school club offerings in public schools are animation, art, ceramics, drama, fashion design, photography, sewing, and woodworking. There are also social after programs like Key Club, JUNTOS, Habitat for Humanity, student government, ROTC, marching band, orchestra, choir, etc. Every individual student can find an activity that most interests them. Here is a huge list of 200 suggestions for extracurricular interests.
Many school districts in the Houston area offer a huge selection of before, after, and summer school programs. Because after school time matters, parents are encouraged to take advantage of any programs that are available. Our public schools truly provide a wide variety of interesting and enjoyable activities from math tutoring to rock climbing, and they are designed to keep students busy and engaged during an important time.
Additional benefits to students involved in after school programs:
- After school programs provide a safe and supervised environment, which can keep kids busy and prevent them from engaging in risky behavior.
- Effective after school programs can help improve classroom behavior, attendance, and academic aspirations.
- Children with learning or attention issues may feel more accepted in an after school program.
- College admissions prefer to accept applicants who participate in extracurricular activities, as they demonstrate a student’s drive,focus, passion, commitment, and leadership skills.