Expanded Learning Opportunities Basics

Hey friends, thanks for checking in with me this week to read my blog post! This week I wanted to explore what the Expanded Learning Opportunities program is about and give you a quick overview for future posts.

            The ELO program was started in 1998 and was established to ensure children got high quality education outside the generic classroom setting.  These programs include early learning initiatives, weekend, after-school, summer, winter, and distance learning programs.  A statistic shows that students spend about 20% of their daytime in school each year, and that leaves 80% for unmonitored and unsupervised time in front of the TV playing video games and watching shows.  To increase engagement with learning and other activities, the ELO program was established so that kids would be supervised outside the classroom while learning, being active, and learning to get along with their peers.  These activities keep students off the streets doing illegal activities, decreasing obesity, while increasing engagement in learning.  Not only that, but it decreases the socioeconomic differences among children as it keeps at-risk kids off the streets, and allows them to spend more time focusing on their goals and learning in different ways. However, there is still a shortage to these programs in across the United States and in North Carolina.

“The need is great for additional ELOs in North Carolina.  Currently, 31% of North Carolina’s K-12 children are responsible for taking care of themselves after school.”

So how do we get more children into the after-school programs?  There is a need to fund more of these programs in effective ways.  Most of the programs, when funded, quickly run out of funds and cannot sustain themselves.  Also there is a need to allocate these funds to ensure that some of these programs get funding in different communities across North Carolina.  This will enable children to seek out these programs in their own communities, thus increasing enrollment. Every child deserves a quality education as a fundamental right, regardless of their background, and the ELO programs helps achieve this right.

-See ya next week,

Girl 2 ❤

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2 thoughts on “Expanded Learning Opportunities Basics

  1. 3girl4education says:

    Dear Girl # 2,

    What a great post! Even as a member of your group, I was unaware that these ESL programs existed throughout North Carolina! I believe these are excellent ways to encourage children, of all ages, to stay active and well educated outside of school. It seems in today’s society, most children spend much of their off-time playing video games or watching mindless television, which then often leads to weight gain, bad behavior and overall lower grades/test scores.

    This is a very interesting subject and look froward to reading more from you in the coming weeks. I would love to learn more about how much these programs cost to the parents and if there are ways for lower income families can still enroll their children in these programs as well. Also, you mentioned that the ESL programs need to stay funded in order to operate-which makes sense- but how much do they need per year and how much does it cost to run annually? This may help the reader connect and better understand the importance of these after school programs and the need to keep them around.

    Regarding your question on how to get more kids into these programs, it sounds as though it wouldn’t be difficult given the range of fantastic activities available to them. I believe most kids want to stay active and socialize after school instead of sitting at home. This program just opens the doors and provides that opportunity. In my opinion, it all comes back to the funding and costs for parents and families. Maybe you can incorporate this into your next few posts- if the information is available. Great topic! Thanks for sharing.

    – Girl # 3

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    • Girl2foreducation says:

      Hi Girl 3! Thanks for checking out my blog post.
      Thank you for finding the ELO programs interesting. I think you have brought up some really good points about funding. Every year, NC requests a certain amount of money for the different programs in the ELO programs. But they do not receive all the funding they request, and also sometimes the state does not do a good job dividing that funding for the different ELO programs. I will write a post on this soon, so you can closely see the breakdown of the money. Also, many kids and parents want to take advantage of this program, however, some communities in NC don’t have this opportunity, so the question is to expand these programs, or use the money to keep the ones already running. This is why the state needs to better allocate the money and allow for more students in there programs. I hope to write a post about this soon, as I learn more! Thank you once again Girl 3!

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