AfterSchool Care Essay Research Paper Posner and

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After-School Care Essay, Research Paper Posner and Vandell?s article, “Low-Income Children?s After-School Care: Are There Beneficial Effects of After-School Programs” provides valuable research to support the need for quality after-school programs for low-income children. Low-income children need after-school programs like UCLinks because “poverty affects children directly because it limits the material resources available to them and indirectly because of the psychological distress it engenders in parents, which in turn negatively influences parental behavior.”(1) The time a child spends after-school is also important to their academic and social development. The quality and type of after-school care a child receives directly correlates to their performance in school

and growth in academic abilities. The UCLinks program was created to offer low-income children a quality, academic after-school program. In the UCLinks program, they have children develop their academic skills in language arts, reading comprehension, off-computer activities, and mathematics. The UCLinks after-school program works on bringing the children up to grade level or furthering their development. It does not serve as a homework center for children. Instead, the UCLinks program concentrates on fostering their academic talent in an organized environment. In Posner and Vandell?s article, they document research that promotes organized, academic after-school care, “Children?s academic and conduct grades were positively related to time spent in one-to-one academic work, with

an adult, whereas academic and conduct grades were negatively correlated with the amount of time spent in outdoor unorganized activities.” (454) The children of the UCLinks program work with a mentor in 1-1 or 1-2 setting, where mentors specifically focus on academic areas they need to improve or help them develop their abilities to the fullest. 1B. The UCLinks program understands how important reading skills are to children?s success in school. If children do not learn to read at grade level, they have a greater risk of falling behind in class work and eventually dropping out. The UCLinks program uses a combined approach to reading instruction with whole language and specific skills development. In each mentoring session of the UCLinks program, the mentors practice whole

language instruction. Children have the opportunity to read one on one with their mentor. Bill Honig advocates this interaction with the children, “Teachers classroom routine should include reading good literature to students and discussing it with them, especially by asking questions that stretch children?s minds beyond the literal meaning of the text.”(3) The active participation the children engage in while reading to their mentors is productive because the children are able to practice decoding, automatic recognition of words, and improve their reading comprehension. Mentors ask their students relevant questions about the book that pertain to the plot, main points and theme of the story. The UCLinks program also practices the specific skills development with their

students. Specific skills development focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, print awareness, word structure, and word-attack and self-monitoring skills. Honig recommends specific skills development, “Students should be taught these skills in an active, problem-solving manner that offers plenty of opportunities to practice the skills in actual reading and writing situations.”(13) Children work on computer software like Kid Phonics to develop these specific skills which will ultimately help them read better. The children of the UCLinks program can also spend off-computer time writing stories and poems which immerses them in print awareness and word structure. 1C. In “Children, Mathematics, and Computers” by D. H Clements, he writes “It appears the dominant focus of