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Year Published: 2007
An evaluation of high-quality afterschool programs serving low-income elementary and middle school students across diverse community types in eight states. Data collected through standardized test scores, as well as teacher and student surveys indicates regular participation in high-quality afterschool programs provide low-income youth significant gains in math test scores and work habits and reductions in behavioral problems.
Scope of the Evaluation: National
Program Type: Afterschool
Location: Study sites included: Aurora, CO; Baldwin, MI; Bridgeport, CT, Central Falls, RI; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Missoula, MT; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Pawtucket, RI; Salem, OR; San Diego, CA; San Ysidro, CA; Seaside, CA.
Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School
Program Demographics: At recruitment, 53 percent of participants were female and 81 percent qualified for free or reduced-price lunch at school. Sixty-six percent were Hispanic, 10 percent were African-American, and 5 percent were Asian.
Evaluator: Vandell, D. L.(1), Reisner, E. R. (2), & Pierce, K. M (1). 1. University of California, Irvine. 2/ Policy Studies Associates, Inc.
Evaluation Methods: This study followed 2,914 low-income elementary and middle school students across eight states for two years, where approximately half of the students participated in a high-quality afterschool program. Students in the study were divided into three groups: Program Only, students who only attended the afterschool programs; Program Plus, students who participated in the afterschool programs as well as other after school activities; and Low Supervision, students who were unsupervised after school between one to three days a week. Data on students was collected at three points throughout the study: at the beginning of the study, at the end of the first year, and at the end of the second year. Classroom teachers and youth completed surveys to measure the social, academic, and behavioral impacts of programming on youth. Standardized test scores for math and reading were collected on each student as well.
Evaluation Type: Quasi-experimental
Summary of Outcomes: The study found that elementary students who regularly participated in high-quality afterschool programs experienced significant gains in math standardized test scores, work habits, and task persistence, compared to their peers who were routinely unsupervised afterschool. Math gains among elementary school students regularly participating in the programs over two years demonstrated gains of up to 20 percentiles in standardized math test scores compared to their peers who were routinely unsupervised during the afterschool hours. Additionally, elementary schoolers who regularly participated in the high-quality programs showed significant gains in their social skills and pro-social behaviors, and reductions in aggressive behaviors and reports of misconduct–such as getting into fights and skipping school.
For middle schoolers, regular participants had significant gains in their math standardized test scores and work habits, compared to their peers who were routinely unsupervised after school. Math gains among middle school students regularly participating in the programs over two years demonstrated gains of 12 percentiles in standardized math test scores compared to their peers who were routinely unsupervised after school. Additionally, regular middle school participants showed reductions in their misconduct and use of drugs and alcohol, as well as gains in work habits compared to students who were routinely unsupervised.
There were no significant changes in reading standardized test scores for regular participants in middle school or elementary school, compared to the low supervision group.
Associated Evaluation: https://www.purdue.edu/hhs/hdfs/fii/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/s_iafis04c04.pdf
Date Added: December 19, 2016