State of Afterschool in Maine

MMSA’s very own ACRES project (Afterschool Coaching of Rural Educators in STEM) recently presented and attended several national conferences. The project is in its second year of funding and is already positively impacting not only Maine’s Afterschool programs, but rolling out their coaching model on a national scale. We thought we would take a moment to highlight the State of Afterschool Education here in Maine. Here are some interesting pieces of information

Research shows that students participating in afterschool programs increase their grades and academic achievement. In Maine, afterschool programs are keeping students safe, inspiring them to learn and supporting Maine’s working families. Yet 38,129 school-age children (20 percent) in Maine are alone and unsupervised during the hours afterschool. More than a decade of research confirms that quality afterschool programs provide rich learning experiences for students, help to narrow existing opportunity and achievement gaps, and position students toward a bright future as they move through school, career and life (information taken from Afterschool Alliance www.afterschoolalliance.org)

STEM programming, the area of focus for ACRES’s coaching sessions, is becoming widespread in afterschool. In Maine, 47 percent of parents report that their child has STEM learning opportunities in their afterschool program and 58 percent of parents agree that afterschool programs can help children gain STEM- related interests and skills. (Afterschool Alliance, 2015)

The ACRES project works to train afterschool educators on the skills they need to deliver quality STEM experiences. We then coach educators in small cohorts to help them improve their practice. 100% of past participants said they would do ACRES again and 94% indicated that they felt the ACRES project changed their practice.  The ACRES team is recruiting interested individuals to participate in future cohorts. If you have questions on ACRES please contact acres@mmsa.org

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