Promoting the Achievement of Low Income, At Risk Students Through an Afterschool Program: A Policy Advocacy Document

Craig M. Doster, National-Louis University
Patricia S. Fears, National-Louis University


Afterschool academic programs are vital in closing the achievement gaps of at risk students. Research points to positive outcomes related to afterschool programs for students who need an academic boost. Students who attend an afterschool program on a regular basis demonstrate growth in scholastic achievement and, overall, are more engaged during the regular school day because of their expanded confidence in the core subject areas.

As administrators in Flossmoor School District 161, our mission is to develop 21st Century learners who possess the essential skills necessary to be successful after they leave the school system. We, therefore, have developed this policy advocacy project to meet the needs of our students who are at academic risk. Our policy plan, which provides an avenue to success for struggling students through afterschool programming, is grounded in educational, economic, social, political, and moral/ethical analyses. As a result of our research and analysis of these components, we have developed an advocacy project with a strong rationale for providing the academically challenged students of District 161 with afterschool programming in order to meet our district’s mission to adequately educate all children.