Youth Perspectives on Virtual After-School Programming During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Candace Evans, Renita Moore, Scot Seitz, Isatou Jatta, Gabriel P. Kuperminc, Christopher C. Henrich

Abstract


After-school programs provide a range of support for students. During school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many after-school programs were also forced to close or to find new ways to provide services to youth, such as through virtual after-school programming. We surveyed 244 youth who participated in virtual after-school programs about their access to virtual programming as well as their experiences. We considered their pre-closure experiences as well. We also surveyed 8 program directors of after-school programs who were providing virtual programming. We found that Internet access hindered the ability of more than 1 in 4 students to access the programs. Pre-closure program experiences, including ongoing relationships with program staff and positive peer relationships contributed to more positive experiences with virtual programming. Whenever students were able to access the programs, they generally reported positive experiences. This work has implications for after-school program providers, parents, and policymakers.


Keywords


afters-chool programs; virtual programming; 21st CCLC; program participation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2021.1063

Copyright (c) 2021 Candace Evans, Renita Moore, Scot Seitz, Isatou Jatta, Gabriel P. Kuperminc, Christopher C. Henrich

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