How to Improve School Day Attendance through Afterschool Programs


  • Brandis Stockman
December 6, 2023 - (2 min read)

Afterschool programs have emerged as a valuable resource for students, parents, and educators in the wake of the pandemic. These programs play a crucial role in not only enriching the lives of children but also in positively influencing school day attendance. By offering a safe and engaging environment for students to learn beyond the classroom, afterschool programs have the potential to support school day attendance at a time when chronic absence has more than doubled in many communities nationwide.

High-quality afterschool programs offer students a structured environment where they can engage in a variety of activities, including academic support, enrichment activities, and connections to basic needs resources. These programs often provide a helping hand to students who may be struggling with their schoolwork, making learning enjoyable and accessible. As students experience success and build confidence in their afterschool endeavors, they are more likely to feel motivated to attend school regularly.

City leaders can take several steps to support and enhance afterschool programs within their communities, such as allocating funding, sharing city resources, recruiting staff and volunteers, and convening a broad range of partners to work towards common goals. In addition, city leaders can raise awareness of the benefits these programs bring through media attention, site visits, and issuing proclamations. By raising awareness of the benefits these programs bring, leaders can encourage both public and private investments. Furthermore, city leaders can facilitate communication between schools, parents, and afterschool program providers to ensure that these programs are aligned with the specific needs of the community.

National League of Cities has created a resource page for city leaders looking to address today’s student engagement challenges in collaboration with national experts. Visit this page for fact sheets, city case studies, and blog posts related to supporting strong student reengagement, including a new fact sheet related to afterschool programs.


Please email to request additional information or to share your story of implementing or supporting high-quality afterschool programs. 


About the Author

Brandis Stockman

About the Author

Brandis Stockman is the Program Manager Education and Expanded Learning for the Center for Leadership, Education, Advancement & Development at the National League of Cities.