Hendrix Freshmen Advocate for After-School Programs

CONWAY, Ark. (March 24, 2014) –Hendrix freshmen Peter Butler of Naperville, Ill., and Anna King of Kansas City, Kan., are advocating for state-funded after-school programs in struggling schools, with activities ranging from study hall, tutoring and physical activities in order to provide a safe place for students to grow and learn outside of regular school hours.

Both students are members of the Hendrix chapter of Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a national student-run think tank affiliated with the Roosevelt Institute. They developed the idea and wrote the proposal for the Roosevelt’s 10 Ideas series, a publication of 60 best policy ideas from chapters and members across the United States. 

Butler and King co-wrote a letter to Gov. Mike Beebe to advocate for state-funded after-school programs in Arkansas, and they just recently met with the Governor’s policy director to discuss their proposal.

“After-school programs provide a positive environment that will give students stability, safety and guidance to students in troubled areas. Students enrolled in after-school programs are half as likely to later drop out of high school. After school programs give cross-disciplinary exposure to students in subjects they not normally exposed to,” they wrote in their letter. 

The students also noted that, according to a 2009 Department of Education report, chronic absenteeism has dropped 25 to 40 percent in some schools with after-school programs.  Disciplinary referrals have decreased as well, and after-school programs even show an increase in proficiency in state testing scores. Despite these benefits, about half (44 percent) of public schools report not having any type of after-school program. 

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.