out of school time

At Voice of Hope, we provide quality out of school time for our scholars. But what does this mean?

All communities deserve out of school time benefits.

Fast Facts

The Terms

– Out of School Time (OST): the hours students are not spending in a formal classroom (summer, afternoons, weekends)


– Quality Out of School Time: rather than just providing a care service, quality OST does the following: develops student academic and social development, increases work habits/leadership skills, provides opportunities for mentorship and peer relationships, sparks learning and hobby interests, and provides physical activity and nutritious meal options. 


Related acronyms:

  • OST: Out of School Time
  • ELT: Extended Learning Time
  • ELO: Expanded Learning Opportunities 
  • SEL: Social Emotional Learning
  • Afterschool
  • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics 
Via: United Way & Youtb.Gov
The Impact

Out of School Time (OST) serves not just to take care of students but to develop and sustain communities of families and future generations. OST is a necessary component of:

Positive youth development: 1 in 5 young people in the U.S. are alone at the end of the school day. A quality OST program can provide a safe space where these youth can grow, expand potential, and be accounted for.

Community Sustainability: A quality OST can support social-emotional development, encourage positive behaviors during free time to reduce risky or illegal behaviors, and provide supervision from qualified and mature adults to ensure appropriate accountability. 

Family Support: With a majority of school schedules misaligning with a typical work day, OST ensures youth have a safe and meaningful place to go while parents/guardians are working. Without quality care, working parents miss an average of 8 days of work annually, costing businesses up to $300 billion as a result of decreased worker productivity.

Exposure to Higher Education & the Workforce:  Quality OST can open doors to internships or work-based shadowing opportunities for middle – high school ranged participants, building exposure, resumes, mentorship opportunities, and interest in certain topics.

Combating poverty and low income stressors: Poverty is significantly linked with the following — homelessness, lack of nutrition/food insecurity, inadequate child care opportunities, lack of access to health care, under-resourced schools + unsafe neighborhoods. Many quality OST programs (including VOH) meet these holistic needs through food distributions, health clinics, and neighborhood town halls. 

Via: America After 3PM, Afterschool Alliance, Youth.Gov
The Challenges

Out of School Time seems to be a no brainer and even has significantly positive, bipartisan support (91% of Democrats and 87% of Republicans support afterschool funding), but there are many day to day obstacles OST faces:

Availability: for every 1 child enrolled in an afterschool program, there are 3 children waiting in Texas and a total of 24.6 million nationally unable to access a program.

Cost: 61% of all low-income households, 56% of African American low-income households, and 58% of LatinX low-income households report that afterschool programs are too expensive to enroll their child.

Transportation: 58% of low-income households and 50% of higher-income households report that their child does not have a safe way to go to and from the program.

Public funding debate: With the need for afterschool being so high, 87% of parents support public finding (a 4% increase in the last 6 years), but public funding is often limited.

Via: American After 3PM

Voice of Hope featured in TxPost

CEO/President Edward Franklin discusses how Voice of Hope supports children through high-quality out of school time (OST) programs, including the ASPIRE and Redeeming STEM afterschool programs and SOAR Summer Camp, in a new story feature with the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST).

The 2020 Numbers
National parent satisfaction of after school programs 94%
National drop in juvenile crime corresponding to rise of afterschool availability 70%
National number of parents who agree their children are building life skills 96%
National parents who agree that afterschool programs are crucial to a community (nationally) 90%
Number of parents who agree that afterschool makes students excited about learning (TX) 76%
Parents who agree that afterschool keeps kids safe & out of trouble (TX) 67%
Parents who support public funding for afterschool (TX) Parents supporting afterschool public funding (TX) 85%

Via: American After 3PM


At Voice of Hope, we want to ensure we are appropriately meeting holistic needs of families while supporting decision makers who value what we do: education, community, family, progress, equity, and faith. This might look like: attending town halls, hosting events for the residents of West Dallas to ensure they are informed, staying up to date with local and federal policy related to Out of School Time and education, and ensuring our actions represent our mission. Our partners in advocacy are seen below.