Out-of-school time should be treated with the same attention as current education hot topics like pre-K and college tuition costs. Often times, when politicians debate over resource allocation or ways to increase the quality of education, they focus on the start and end of a child’s educational journey. This approach often overlooks the many opportunities that could be improved upon in elementary, middle and high school years.

Researchers who have studied the impacts of expanded opportunities for children and youth have found them not only to tie in with improved academic performance and outcomes, but also reduce risky behaviors and juvenile crime, increase positive socio-emotional development, and lead youth to follow healthier living habits.

Out-of-school programming is a smart investment for politicians to talk about, as the benefits radiate far beyond the scope of individual well-being.

As of 2018, only 17 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance. Out of the 17 states providing personal finance courses, only five of them received an A when graded on the state’s effectiveness at producing financially literate high school graduates. What is worse, studies have repeatedly shown students without a financial education are more likely to have low credit scores and other financial problems.

Why are we waiting to teach them the foundations of financial literacy and other subjects that can improve their quality of life? Learning about business allows children to develop responsibility, exercise creativity and develop social skills, and teaching financial literacy reinforces the STEM skills they are already learning in elementary school and sometimes even earlier.

Entrepreneurial skills meet real-world experience in Pittsburgh school districts that have teamed up with local companies and business professionals. Each program provides valuable job training for kids before they graduate and insights into possible career paths. Opportunities range from problem solving at a manufacturing facility to managing an on-campus coffee shop.

President Donald Trump signed a bill over the holidays that went largely unnoticed but reflected a yearlong effort by Senator Jacky Rosen to expand educational opportunities in math and science for young women and students of color. The House and Senate signed the bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act into law on December 24 after approval.

Kimberly Bryant, biotech engineer at Genentech, together with her daughter Kai, called upon colleagues to put together a six-week coding curriculum for girls of color in 2011. She conducted the first educational series in a basement of a college prep institution in San Francisco.

Bryant’s small community effort attracted the attention of ThoughtWorks, a global tech consultancy company. ThoughtWorks invested in Bryant in January 2012 and gave her access to space and resources across the country, as well as in Johannesburg, South Africa. In a few years, the operation transformed from a basement experiment into a global nonprofit with 15 chapters. They call themselves Black Girls Code.

Wednesday, March 11 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Hilton, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Join us for a celebration of Pennsylvania quality out-of-school time efforts. Learn about PSAYDN activities over the past twelve months, enjoy youth entertainment and celebrate the 2020 PSAYDN Afterschool Champions.

The Annual Meeting and Reception will take place in conjunction with the 2020 Extra Learning Opportunities Conference for 21st CCLC grantees being held March 10-12. Grantees can register for the meeting and reception at the same time when registering for the ELO conference. If you have already registered for the ELO Conference and are unsure if you selected to attend the meeting and reception, contact PSAYDN.

For any registration or general event questions, please contact PSAYDN.

PSAYDN at Center for Schools and Communities
275 Grandview Avenue, Suite 200 | Camp Hill, Pa 17011 | (717) 763-1661
© 2020 Center for Schools and Communities