Enrollment in after-school programs sponsored by the state Department of Education helped California students make academic gains, according to a study at UC Irvine.
At a news conference in Sacramento on Friday, state Supt. of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin released an evaluation of the program, which creates partnerships with local communities to provide academic enrichment in after-school activities.
Administrators say the study of standardized test scores and promotion rates proves that students in those after-school programs are doing better than students who are not enrolled in them.
"It's a matter of extending the school day," said Pat Rainey, administrator of the Before and After School Learning and Safe Neighborhoods Partnerships Program, which receives $87.8 million a year in state funds for about 1,000 centers. "School is no longer just 8 to 3. It's about allowing kids extra time to be around their peers and learn new things from other people."