“To succeed today and in the future, America’s children will need to be inventive, resourceful, and imaginative. The best way to foster that creativity is through arts education.”
– Arne Duncan, Former U. S. Secretary of Education


Educating imaginative students will require both in and out-of-school opportunities.  The combination of the rigor of formal classroom explorations and the informal investigations of out-of-school time programs will nurture students’ success. The arts combine learning with fun afterschool activities that engage students. Working through dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, students explore, apply, and understand the meaning of the arts in their own lives.


Positive youth development and increased civic engagement are some examples of arts education outcomes taking place during non-school hours.


Principals of Quality Arts in Out of School Time programs are:

  • Intentional and standards based (SC Standards)
  • Age-appropriate and engage students’ interests
  • Focused on development of skills and vocabulary
  • Taught by trained staff or in partnership with an artist or arts organization
  • Connected to other subjects
  • Utilized as a process to create, present, and reflect
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 Research shows Arts in Out of School Time programs:

  • Develop the mind by giving it opportunities to learn and think in a variety of ways.
  • Play an important social function in the expression of culture, past or present.
  • Have the potential to build self-confidence in ways that may increase students’ interest in other academic areas.
  • Teach skills that are transferable to other areas of life.


Arts Education Resources

South Carolina Arts Commission

Afterschool Alliance

You for Youth

Research Resources

Writing a grant seeking financial assistance? There are many research papers proving how incorporation of arts into out of school time programs positively impacts youth.  Below are resources, with data, to include in grant writing:


Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement (PDF)
Source: National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
“Makes the case for the arts” based on sound educational research.


Arts Education Facts
Source: Americans for the Arts
Key points about the benefits of arts education; highlights from key national research; arts education standards; and additional resources.

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Join The Network

We compiled resources including research, funding opportunities, activities, and more! All of which we hope will be useful to out of school time stakeholders.

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