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The New & Noteworthy section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue's theme.

Active Hours Afterschool. This website from the Afterschool Alliance compiles resources, tools, and information related to obesity prevention for after school programs. It includes news and research on how after school programs can prevent obesity, as well as local, state, and federal policy briefs related to fighting the epidemic. The Afterschool Alliance has also created its own national policy agenda arguing that after school programs should receive funding and other resources to prevent childhood obesity and has produced an issue brief, Active Hours After School: Childhood Obesity and Afterschool Prevention Programs, also available through the website.

The After-School Corporation. (2006). Increasing family and parent engagement in after-school. New York: Author. The After-School Corporation (TASC) has published this practical guide for after school staff interested in getting families and parents involved in their programs. Grounded in the experiences of 15 after school programs in the TASC network, it offers tips and materials for after school programs to promote parent engagement.

American Youth Policy Forum. (2006). Helping youth succeed through out-of-school time programs. Washington, DC: Author. This American Youth Policy Forum publication reports on the state of out-of-school time (OST) programs for older youth based on research reviews, site visits, and collaborative work with policymakers across the nation. It synthesizes evidence on the benefits of OST programs and reviews research on how and why teens participate in them. Special attention is also given to understanding how OST programs are building funding streams and promoting quality through staffing. The report also highlights a number of cities that have taken leadership on OST issues for adolescents and offers lessons learned, policy recommendations, and practice recommendations based on their work.

Birmingham, J., Pechman, E., Russell, C., & Mielke, M. (2005). Shared features of high-performing after-school programs: A follow-up to the TASC evaluation. Washington, DC: Policy Study Associates. Evaluators of the TASC programs reanalyzed data to identify 10 high-performing after school programs and investigate the programs and policies they held in common that contributed to their success. The authors attribute consistent positive outcomes to five program components: breadth in enrichment activities; a variety of opportunities for mastery and skill-building; an intentional focus on building relationships with schools, families, and participants; a strong staff and management team; and support from sponsoring agencies.

Chaplin, D., & Capizzano, J. (2006). Impacts of a summer learning program: A random assignment study of Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute. This study tested the effects of the BELL summer learning program, which aims to improve academic skills, parental involvement, academic self-perceptions, and social behaviors for low-income children. The evaluation finds that students randomly assigned to the BELL program spent more time reading and engaged in academic activities than those students in the control group, who typically spent more time with their parents and engaged in nonacademic activities. Furthermore, early outcomes demonstrated that students participating in BELL had significantly higher literacy test scores (equivalent to about one month's additional schooling) and were significantly more likely to have parents who encouraged them to read.

C. S. Mott Committee on After-School Research and Practice. (2005). Moving towards success: Framework for after-school programs. Washington, DC: Collaborative Communications Group. This framework for start-up and existing after school programs uses a theory of change approach to guide program planning, implementation, and improvement. The framework offers examples of program elements, short-term and long-term outcomes, performance measures, and data sources for program goals related to academic and other learning, social and emotional well being, health and safety, and community engagement.

The James Irvine Foundation. (2005). Museums after school: How museums are reaching kids, partnering with schools, and making a difference. San Francisco: Author. The first issue of Insight, which offers lessons learned from the James Irvine Foundation's grantmaking programs, is dedicated to understanding how museums can build after school programs. Based on evaluations of 10 California after school museum programs, this report describes how two of their grantees implemented after school programs. It also discusses four issues for effective after school programs at museums: partnerships with schools, institutional support, programmatic approaches, and financial sustainability.

Lind, C., Relave, N., Deich, S., Grossman, J., & Gersick, A. (2006). The costs of out-of-school-time programs: A review of the available evidence. Washington DC: The Finance Project and Public/Private Ventures. This literature review examines how out-of-school time programs are measuring their costs. Based on this and research on the costs of early childhood education, the authors suggest ways to determine full costs, examine their relationship to program quality, and develop cost estimate models applicable across various contexts.

Mahoney, J., Lord, H., & Carryl, E. (2005). An ecological analysis of after-school program participation and the development of academic performance and motivational attitudes for disadvantaged children. Child Development, 76(4): 811–825. This longitudinal study of 818 students in low-income urban neighborhoods investigates the relationship between youth outcomes and patterns of after school care, including the type and frequency of care. It finds that disadvantaged youth in after school programs have significantly higher reading achievement and teacher-reported expectancies for success than those in alternative forms of after school care, and that these positive outcomes are amplified for students with high engagement in after school programs.

National Governor's Association Center for Best Practices. (2005). Supporting student success: A governor's guide to extra learning opportunities. Washington, DC: Author. Building off the momentum of No Child Left Behind's focus on OST programs and the evidence base making the case for these programs, this report encourages governors to increase the quantity and quality of extra learning opportunities (ELOs) and offers strategies to enhance ELOs at the statewide policy level. These strategies focuses on building programmatic and systems-level connections to improve ELO structure and quality. This report also includes examples of successful state initiatives targeted at ELOs for each of these strategies.

National Association of Elementary School Principals. (2005). Making the most of after-school time: Ten case studies of school-based after-school programs. Alexandria, VA: Author. This report profiles 10 diverse after school programs that are run within school buildings. It focuses on a variety of program and administrative factors, from how each program deals with professional development to evaluation and assessment.

Policy Studies Associates. (2006). Everyone plays: A review of research on the integration of sports and physical activity into out-of-school-time programs. Washington, DC: Author. This report investigates how OST programs can be key players in combating the growing obesity epidemic in children and youth. It examines youth development and OST program research to unpack the factors that contribute to youth participation in sports and physical activity, the outcomes associated with such participation, and the characteristics of effective OST sports and physical activity programs.

Raley, R., Grossman, J., & Walker, K. E. (2005). Getting it right: Strategies for after-school success. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. This report draws on lessons learned from Public/Private Ventures' evaluations of over 100 after school programs and other research over the past 10 years. It offers strategies for after school programs in the areas of youth recruitment and retention, staffing and management, and budgetary priorities.

Resources for Afterschool. This new website from the Collaborative Communications Group is now publicly available. The website compiles a wide range of resources related to after school: research and evaluation, promising practices, professional development, public awareness and communication, policy development, financing strategies, opportunities to consider, and a bibliography.

Walker, G., Wahl, E., & Rivas, L. (2005). NASA and afterschool programs: Connecting to the future. New York: American Museum of Natural History. This report makes the case for increased collaboration between the National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA) and the after school community. Based on an extensive 18 month study, a scan of how after school programs use science, and curriculum development and testing, this report explores NASA resources and their use in after school programs, and ultimately offers a series of suggestions to NASA on how to improve its integration into after school programs. Three prototype curriculum units with lesson plans and activities are also available with this report.

Witt., P., & Caldwell, L. (Eds). (2005). Recreation and youth development. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc. This book offers a historical and developmental perspective on who youth are and how youth services organizations serve them. It also unpacks theoretical frameworks for positive youth development and examines the role of recreation in meeting the multiple needs of adolescents. In particular, the authors view youth from an ecological perspective and illustrate the potential supports, opportunities, services, and programs available through recreation. Particular emphasis is also given to the diversity of youth and the context of their development.

Youth Service California. (2006). Service-learning in afterschool programs: Resources for afterschool educators. Oakland, CA: Author. This tool kit provides a broad array of resources to help integrate service learning into after school programs. It outlines seven elements of high-quality service learning and articulates indicators, examples, and tips to put service learning into practice. The tool kit also provides tools used in these steps by after school programs that have successfully incorporated service learning into their curriculum and activities, as well as additional resources for those interested in beginning or strengthening service-learning programs.

An expanded version of New & Noteworthy is also available.

New Resources From HFRP

Learning From Small-Scale Experimental Evaluations of After School Programs is a short Out-of-School Time (OST) Evaluation Snapshot that analyzes the methods and findings from seven small-scale experimental evaluations included in our OST Evaluation Database. This snapshot also offers suggestions for overcoming the challenges of conducting experimental evaluations in small and single-site programs. 

Harnessing Technology in Out-of-School Time Settings is an OST Evaluation Snapshot that draws on our OST Evaluation Database and Bibliography to review how OST programs and initiatives are using technology and evaluating its impact. 

Summer Success: Challenges and Strategies in Creating Quality Academically Focused Summer Programs is our newest Issues and Opportunities in OST Evaluation brief. It looks at evaluations of 34 academically focused summer programs in order to distill challenges and compile promising strategies for creating quality summer programs. 

The Study of Predictors of Participation in Out-of-School Time Activities examines how youth and their parents access OST programs. New papers and presentations available on our website focus on demographic differences in OST participation, how adolescents become involved in OST activities, and the intersecting roles of parenting and neighborhood characteristics in predicting OST participation. 

Resources from the Exploring Quality Standards for Middle School After School Programs summit are now available online. Summary documents review how after school programs serving youth ages 9–14 are assessing quality, present key findings from HFRP's scan of quality assessment tools, and provide highlights from the summit. 

Family Involvement in Early Childhood Education, the first research brief in our Family Involvement Makes a Difference series, synthesizes 6 years of research on family involvement during early childhood. It explores the theoretical framework for linkages between home and preschool settings and sets forth recommendations for policy, practice, and research. 

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