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After-school programs make a difference for students affected by intergenerational poverty

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A study by the Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC) found that students who participated in after-school programs designed to serve those affected by intergenerational poverty performed better on year-end state assessments. (Photo: UEPC)

(KUTV) -- A study by the Utah Education Policy Center found that students who participated in after-school programs designed to serve those affected by intergenerational poverty performed better on year-end state assessments in English language arts, mathematics and science compared to their performance in the years they did not participate.

Moreover, students in these programs also performed better the longer they were in the after-school program.

Students tripled the average academic gains in assessment scores after attending for three years compared to the gains in scores for one year of attendance.

The report that contains a longitudinal analysis of student outcomes can be found at uepc.live/igp2018.

In 2014, the Utah State Legislature passed Senate Bill 43, Intergenerational Poverty Interventions in Public Schools, which was sponsored by Sen. Stuart Reid and Rep. Francis Gibson. SB 43 appropriated annual funding for educational programming outside of the regular school day to combat the negative influences of intergenerational poverty among children.

A total of 9,475 students have participated in this grant program since 2014.

“We were thrilled to learn that the investments we have made as a state in supporting students affected by intergenerational poverty have paid off,” said Tracy Gruber, director of the Utah Office of Child Care at the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “This gives us concrete evidence that programs like these are working and should be considered as part of a systemic approach to increasing opportunities for all Utah students, regardless of economic status."

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