After-School Activities

Keeping kids active and safe after the bell rings

What will your child be doing after school?

When the bell rings at the end of a school day, millions of children across America are left to their own devices while they wait for their families to return home at the end of the workday. According to the Afterschool Alliance, 31,445 Alaska students (K-12) are alone and unsupervised after school. Research shows that the hours between 3 and 6 pm are when kids are most likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as commit crimes, drink or use drugs or become the victims of crime.

But the hours after school can present life-changing opportunities for students who participate in effective after-school programs. The Alliance notes that after-school programs in Alaska keep kids safe, boost student success, and help parents keep their jobs. Kids achieve more, productivity goes up, and risky behaviors go down. Communities become safer, too, when kids are occupied after school.

After-school activities offer a whole host of benefits to kids. When kids engage in these programs, they get the opportunity to learn important social skills, meet a wider variety of peers, and gain more confidence and self-esteem. What’s more, research shows that children who attend after-school programs have improved attitudes and do better in school. Kids are also able to explore areas of interest that aren’t covered in school, or more deeply delve into school subjects they find fascinating.

But how do you choose the right after-school activity for your child? While a child may participate in an after-school program merely for recreation, to connect with peers or as a way to extend the learning they do in school, their parents may rely on after-school programs as a form of childcare. So while you’re considering your child’s interests, don’t forget to think about your own needs.

For instance, one barrier to kids participating in programs is transportation – but not all after-school programs are able to provide a ride to or from school. Boys and Girls Club, which operates 32 clubhouses in cities and villages throughout the state, partners with neighborhood schools to provide transportation in many communities. Many local non-school programs also take transportation into account. Some YMCAs, faith-based programs and martial arts classes, for example, offer after-school pick-up. If cost is a concern, ask about scholarships. Many private organizations offer financial assistance.

Explore the Options

Whatever your family’s needs, odds are there’s a great after-school program out there that will provide both fun and safety for your child. start exploring your after-school options with the resources below:


Alaska Afterschool Network

Boy Scouts of America

Boys & Girls Club Alaska

Camp Fire Alaska

Girl Scouts of Alaska

YMCA of Alaska


Champ Martial Arts

MTA Sports Center

Mat-Valley Soccer Club

Thrive Mat-Su


Chess Club at the Kenai Library

K-Bay Martial Athletics

Kenai Peninsula Soccer Club

Youth Chess Club


Fairbanks Children’s Museum

Fairbanks School of Talent Education

Joel’s Place

Open Arms Fairbanks

UAF Department of Recreation, Adventure & Wellness


The Alaska Club

Alaska Dance Theatre

Alaska Fine Arts Academy

Alaska Rock Gym

Anchorage Ballet

Anchorage Museum

Anchorage Music and Dance Center

Aurora Kids Fitness, Gymnastics & Dance

Bayshore Early Learning Center

Bright Beginnings Early Learning Center

Chung’s Tae Kwon Do Institute

Cook Inlet Soccer Club

Joy Greisen Jewish Education Center

Teen Game Time

Timbre Music Studio

For info on after-school programs, see our After-School Guide here.