CALEXICOñThe word is out — after-school programs work. A news release posted on the California Department of Education's Web site this week lists William J. Moreno Junior High School in Calexico as one of a number of schools in California where after-school programs are making a positive difference in students' grades and attitudes.
According to the press release, students who participate in after-school programs are found to have improved results on standardized math, reading and language arts tests.
Some 80 percent of children enrolled in such classes statewide were reported as "liking" school more because of spending time in after-school programs. These children were more likely to envision graduating from high school and going onto college, according to the Web site.
Bethany LaDuke, after-school program coordinator at William Moreno Junior High, said Tuesday the 21st Century Community Learning Center program at her school has grown from humble beginnings three years ago, to a program that now has upward of 200 students participating each semester.