Education specialists and youth development professionals are in agreement that both schools and settings outside schools are important in supporting the health and academic development of children and youth. Out-of-school time (OST) programs are important settings where children and youth have the opportunity to build supportive relationships, test out new skills, gain valuable peer relationship experiences, and build social and emotional learning skills. Almost one third of U.S. families report that one of their children attends a summer program. Recent research also points to the role that summer OST programs, in particular, can play in supporting children’s academic development and continued learning while school is not in session in addition to providing meals, opportunities for physical activity, and a safe environment. This entry discusses different ...

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