The Facts: Literacy levels are directly connected to the most pressing social and economic issues including unemployment, poverty, homelessness, health, rates of incarceration, social assistance, and child well-being. Children who can’t read proficiently by 4th Grade, are 4 times more likely to drop out of school than those who can read proficiently. Researchers estimate that over the lifetime of participants in an early literacy intervention program, returns to the public are $7.16 for every dollar invested.
Staying Engaged beyond the Classroom: After-school and summer programs can help compensate for the inequities that plague a city’s neighbourhoods, and play a significant role in narrowing the gaps in achievement between more and less advantaged students. Participation in after-school programs that offer youth development activities and an academic component can lead to gains in overall academic outcomes. Research also provides tentative evidence that youth who spend more time in afterschool programs – particularly during adolescence – derive greater academic benefits than youth who spend less time.