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Summer Snapshot: Exploring the Impact of Higher Achievement's Year-Round Out-of-School-Time Program on Summer Learning

October 4, 2011

Assesses the impact of a multiyear, intensive, academically focused OST program for motivated but underserved middle school students on test scores, summer program participation, and summer learning loss. Examines contributing factors and implications.

Testing the Impact of Higher Achievement's Year-Round Out-of-School-Time Program on Academic Outcomes

October 4, 2011

Presents findings from a multiyear evaluation of an intensive long-term OST program's effect on low-income middle school students' academic performance, attitudes, and behaviors. Outlines implications for financially strapped districts.

Summer Snapshot: Exploring the Impact of Higher Achievement's Year-Round Out-of-School-Time Program on Summer Learning, Executive Summary

October 4, 2011

This executive summary highlights key findings from "Summer Snapshot: Exploring the Impact of Higher Achievement's Year-Round Out-of-School-Time Program on Summer Learning". Higher Achievement is an intensive, academically focused after-school and summer program that enrolls rising fifth and sixth grade students living in low-income neighborhoods, with the ultimate goal of increasing their attendance at top high schools that could launch them toward college and careers. Part of a larger, ongoing random assignment study, the report examines the program's impact on learning and experiences during the summer of 2010.

Putting It All Together: Guiding Principles for Quality After-School Programs Serving Preteens

April 1, 2008

Successfully navigating early adolescence depends, in large part, on the availability of safe and engaging activities and supportive relationships with adults, yet many preteens have limited access to positive supports and opportunities -- such as high-quality after-school programs -- that could put them on a path to success. Funders, policymakers and practitioners share the common goal of supporting strategies that will have the most long-lasting positive effects on young people.Recognizing this, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health commissioned P/PV to identify the characteristics of quality after-school programs that are linked to positive outcomes for preteens. Based on the latest research and experience in the field, P/PV developed the publication, Putting It All Together: Guiding Principles for Quality After-School Programs Serving Preteens, along with a companion Resource Guide (http://www.lpfch.org/afterschool/resourceguide.html) that includes links to research and tools to strengthen programs.Putting It All Together focuses on six after-school program components associated with positive outcomes for preteens:Focused and Intentional Strategy: Programs have a clear set of goals, target specific skills, and deliberately plan all aspects of the program with a youth development framework in mind.Exposure: Programs are designed to: a) provide preteens with a sufficient number of hours per week over an extended period of time, that matches program outcome goals; and b) allow preteens to attend a variety of activities.Supportive Relationships: Programs emphasize positive adult-youth relationships regardless of the curriculum.Family Engagement: Programs strive to include families through various strategies, such as clear communication and a welcoming environment.Cultural Competence: Programs have diverse staff whose backgrounds are reflective of participants and who create practices and policies that: a) make services available to and inclusive of a variety of populations; and b) help participants understand and value a broad range of cultures.Continuous Program Improvement: Programs strengthen quality through an ongoing and integrated process of targeted staff training, coaching and monitoring, and data collection and analysis.While a host of factors, including organizational capacity, the needs of the youth served and the resources available, all play a role in determining a program's ability to achieve its goals, research suggests that these guiding principles are essential for program quality. That quality, in turn, is the foundation for positive results for youth.NOTE: This version of Putting It All Together contains a full list of endnotes and references, which we chose to omit from hard copies of the report, in the interest of brevity.

More Time For Teens: Understanding Teen Participation -- Frequency, Intensity and Duration -- In Boys & Girls Clubs

March 27, 2008

Written midway through a three-year longitudinal evaluation of the role Boys & Girls Clubs play in the lives of the youth they serve, this report explores a topic of continuing interest to program operators and funders: What does it take to involve teens in positive out-of-school-time activities? Drawing on survey data from a low-income, ethnically diverse sample of approximately 400 seventh and eighth graders, Clubs attendance data tracked over a period of 17 months, and in-depth interviews with a sample of ninth graders, More Time for Teens identifies a set of factors that appear to contribute to three specific aspects of Club participation: frequency, duration and retention. The report highlights links found between accessible, safe places that provide a variety of informal and formal activities of interest to teens and higher levels of participation. It also distills lessons for programs interested in boosting teen participation. These include establishing relationships when children are younger (these relationships often endure through the teen years), taking into account the importance teens place on friendships and working with teens to establish flexibility in attendance policies as they enter their high school years.

Advancing Achievement: Findings from an Independent Evaluation of a Major After-School Initiative

February 1, 2008

This report presents outcomes from Public/Private Ventures research on CORAL, an eight-year, $58 million after-school initiative of The James Irvine Foundation. Findings described in the report demonstrate the relationship between high-quality literacy programming and academic gains and underscore the potential role that quality programs may play in the ongoing drive to improve academic achievement. The report includes a 12-page executive summary.

Gaining Ground: Supporting English Learners Through After-School Literacy Programming

February 1, 2008

This brief presents findings that demonstrate a relationship between key approaches in CORAL, an eight-year, $58 million after-school initiative of The James Irvine Foundation, and the academic progress of English learners. In addition to presenting findings, the brief suggests important considerations for any policymaker and funder interested in the success of English learners as a growing student population.

Safe Havens: The Contributions of Youth Organizations to Healthy Adolescent Development

July 10, 2007

This study, which examines the affiliates of three national youth organizations -- Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girls Incorporated and YMCA of the USA -- is a first step toward defining the activities and experiences that contribute to youth development in such settings. The assessment found that in six of seven developmental areas (safety, challenging and interesting activities, sense of belonging, supportive relationships with adults, involvement in decision-making, and opportunities for leadership), the majority of youth at each organization are deriving positive developmental experiences from their participation. Further, the developmental benefits provided by these organizations seem to accrue to all youth -- regardless of poverty or risk profiles.

A Portrait of Preteens in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties: What We Know About 9- to 13-Year Olds

January 5, 2006

This report, commissioned by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and the Preteen Alliance, presents a profile of the preteen population in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in California. Data compiled from a wide variety of sources depict the demographic and economic characteristics of the preteen population in the two counties, as well as detailed information about their emotional, behavioral, physical and academic health compared to available data on preteens in the state and the nation. Recommendations to increase community awareness about the particular issues and needs of youth in this age range and to address gaps in available data are offered.

Launching Literacy in After-School Programs: Early Lessons from the CORAL Initiative

December 30, 2005

The James Irvine Foundation launched the Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) initiative in 1999 with the goal of improving the academic achievement of children in the lowest-performing schools in five California cities. In 2004, CORAL adopted a more targeted approach toward reaching this goal by integrating a regular schedule of literacy instruction into its after-school programs. This interim report, based on research conducted between Fall 2004 and Summer 2005, documents CORALs progress toward implementing high-quality and consistent literacy programming. The report presents early results in terms of youths positive reading gains and describes the program components that appear to have contributed to these gains. It also identifies challenges CORAL sites faced and successful strategies for addressing those challenges.

Beyond Safe Havens: A Synthesis of 20 Years of Research on the Boys & Girls Clubs, Executive Summary

September 22, 2005

P/PV recently launched a multiyear study to understand the role that Boys & Girls Clubs play in the lives of early adolescents. Beyond Safe Havens, a prelude to the larger study, reviews the range of evaluations that have been conducted on Boys & Girls Clubs over the past 20 years. This Executive Summary provides a brief outline of the full Beyond Safe Havens report. Specifically, it identifies the potential benefits of the many discrete programs provided by Clubs and discusses three additional studies that examined the broader club experience. The Summary also outlines the strategies that seem to have contributed to the Clubs successes, as well as any challenges that may have impeded more positive results. The Summary concludes with a brief description of a planned longitudinal evaluation of Club members as they transition to high schoolan evaluation meant to provide documentation of the effect of teens broad Club experiences on a wide range of outcomes.

Beyond Safe Havens: A Synthesis of 20 Years of Research on the Boys & Girls Clubs, Full Report

September 1, 2005

P/PV recently launched a multiyear study to understand the role that Boys & Girls Clubsplay in the lives of early adolescents. Beyond Safe Havens, a prelude to the larger study, reviews the range of evaluations that have been conducted on Boys & Girls Clubs over the past 20 years. The report identifies the potential benefits of the many discrete programs provided by Clubs and discusses three additional studies that examined the broader club experience. It also outlines the strategies that seem to have contributed to the Clubs' successes, as well as any challenges that may have impeded more positive results. The report concludes with a brief description of a planned longitudinal evaluation of Club members as they transition to high school -- an evaluation meant to provide documentation of the effect of teens' broad Club experiences on a wide range of outcomes.