After-school education consists of structured time outside of formal schooling at youth-serving agencies that offer academic activities (homework help and tutoring, field trips, community service) as well as nonacademic activities such as cooking, sports, crafts, and unstructured playtime. Frequently aimed at low-income, minority urban youth, after-school programs incorporate both enrichment and protectionist aspects and function either independently of (or supplemental to) school activities. This entry recalls the history of after-school education and current issues related to practice.

Nineteenth-Century Programs

After-school programs began in the United States during the nineteenth century in response to the following social trends: (a) the increasing population of children, (b) the gradual decline in the need for child labor, (c) the growth of schooling resulting from the passage of compulsory education laws, and ...

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