A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Young Scholars Program: An overview of the benefits that promising students gain from extended day programs

Year Published: 2006

An analysis of the effects of the Young Scholars Program on students in schools throughout North Carolina. Academic and attendance data collected on Young Scholars over the course of five years shows that participation in the program led to gains in math and reading proficiency, improved grade promotion, increased school day attendance, and increased parent involvement.

Program Name: Young Scholars Program

Program Description: Working with the Public School Forum in 1999, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation created an afterschool program that would combine the traditional supports provided in an afterschool program at the time, such as keeping students safe, with academic support that would engage young people’s minds but did not look like the school day. The result was the Young Scholars Program, which from 2000-2005 served nearly 1,000 elementary and middle school students in 19 North Carolina schools.

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Afterschool

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School

Program Demographics: Seventy-two percent of participants were African-American, 17 percent were Caucasian, four percent were Hispanic, one percent were Hispanic, and five percent were “other minorities.”

Evaluator: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Evaluation Methods: This study contains evaluation data on Young Scholars Program participants over a six-year period, from 1999 – 2005. Pre- and post-testing were used to evaluate proficiency gains in math and reading throughout the year. Data on school grades, promotion rates, school day attendance, and parent involvement were also collected annually over the course of the study.

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes: Young Scholars who participated at least 280 hours in the program averaged double-digit increases annually in both their performance on math and reading standardized test scores, and all participants consistently outpaced the states expected rate of academic growth. Additionally, the number of participants receiving A’s and B’s increased throughout program, an average of 38 percent, and the number of F’s students received decreased significantly, an average of 50 percent.

Gains were also seen when looking at students’ on-time grade promotion. The grade promotion rate of Young Scholars participants increased by 83 percent over the course of the five years of the program.

Participants’ regular school day absences decreased significantly over the course of the program—by 48 percent.

Parent engagement was another area the review of the Young Scholars Program examined. It found that the longer that students were involved in the program, the greater the parent involvement in the program. Among parents whose child was in the program for two years, they became consistently more involved in their children’s education by attending more parent/teacher meetings, attending more school events, and volunteering in the classroom.

Associated Evaluation: http://www.nccap.net/media/pages/2006_YSP_case_study.pdf

Date Added: December 19, 2016