Afterschool Smile After School Program

After School Program

Why after school?

The southeast sector of Lancaster City is among the poorest communities in all of Lancaster County, PA. 75% of the city's poorest families live within just a 10 block radius of Arbor Place. The area has the highest school dropout rate, lowest per capita income, and highest teen pregnancy rate in Lancaster City. Arbor Place serves as a beacon of hope for parents and children alike.

A study by After School Alliance found that 26% of Pennsylvania's children are responsible for caring for themselves after school hours. Some 32% of Pennsylvania's children would like to be involved with an afterschool program, but one is not available in their area. These students end up unmonitored during the 3-6 pm hours, which research shows are the peak hours for juvenile crime.

Arbor Place fills this need by providing a free intentional afterschool program, where children and youth can be positively developed. On an average night at Arbor Place students are learning how to break-dance, taking a financial literacy class, getting homework assistance, or creating an art project. Professor Mark Cohen of Vanderbilt University found that for each high-risk youth prevented from adopting a life of crime, the country would save $1.7 million. Making an investment in our kids just makes sense!

Our Program

As a youth development center, we are passionate about providing an intentional, high quality, afterschool program for some of Lancaster’s most at-risk youth. Our afterschool program runs five days a week with four days of full intentional programming and one day of open gym activities. Our afterschool program provides students with homework help, tutoring, enrichment activities, and even a free meal. Enrollment is constantly growing and we currently serve approximately 80-90 students a night!

Program Schedule
Monday: 3:30-6:30
Tuesday: 3:00-6:30
Wednesday: 3:00-6:30
Thursday: 3:00-6:30
Friday: 3:00-5:00

Arbor Place follows School District of Lancaster's calendar for programming. We do not hold regular programming on early dismissal days however we typically host special events on those days (movies, open gym, concerts, etc.)

Our Impact

Pre and Post testing showed that our most active participants developed in several key areas including:

-Increased ability to express opinions when others disagree
-Increased belief that they have caring support (especially from adults)
-Increased school attendance


Recent studies have found that high quality after school programs can lead to improved attendance, behavior, and coursework. (Journal of Community Psychology, 2010)