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News from the Afterschool Alliance - Rural Afterschool America After 3:00 p.m.

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Unmet Demand for Afterschool in Rural Communities Rising 

Students of Color and from Low-Income Families Most Likely to Miss Out
Afterschool and summer programs are invaluable to rural communities across Arkansas and the entire country. “Spiking Demand, Growing Barriers: The Trends Shaping Afterschool and Summer Learning in Rural Communities” investigates whether afterschool and summer in rural communities has changed over time, compares parents’ perceptions of afterschool programs now and then, and discusses what lessons can be drawn to help increase access to afterschool and summer programs in rural communities.

Top Takeaways Include: 
1. Rural communities see a sharp rise in unmet demand for afterschool and summer programs
Unmet demand in rural communities is high: For every rural child in a summer learning program, two more would be enrolled if a program were available. In Arkansas, that number increases to three.
2. Roadblocks to access prevent rural kids from attending afterschool and summer programs
Barriers to afterschool and summer program participation have increased, including the cost of programs, children not having access to safe transportation, inconvenient locations, and the lack of availability. 
3. Inequities exist
In rural communities, unmet demand and barriers to participation are greater among communities of  color and families with low incomes. 
4. Rural parents see the benefits and support afterschool and summer learning 
More than 9 in 10 rural parents with children in afterschool and summer programs report satisfaction. Eighty-three percent of parents agree that all young people deserve access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs. Additionally, 86 percent of rural parents support public funding for afterschool and summer learning.
Afterschool and summer learning programs offer unique benefits to kids across the country, but millions are missing out. Check out the data dashboard to learn more.