You are seeing this message because your web browser does not support basic web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing and what you can do to make your experience on this site better.

The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

Terms of Use ▼

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.

America's Promise–Alliance for Youth. Voices study: Research findings. Stamford, CT: Just Kid, Inc. Begun in 1997 with the collaboration of five U.S. presidents, America's Promise lays out five necessities for youth in America: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others. This study estimates the how the country has responded to these promises based on interviews with youth ages 10 through 17. It finds that there are gaps in what youth hope and expect for themselves, in addition to a lack of availability and desirability of some of these promises, although youth respond that they see themselves as agents of change within their communities.

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.

Bodilly, S., & Beckett, M. (2005). Making out-of-school time matter: Evidence for an action agenda. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Based on an extensive literature review, this report objectively outlines out-of-school time claims in five key areas: demand, outcomes, quality, participation, and capacity-building. It also highlights implications for research and policy within these areas. Based on their findings, the authors recommend a variety of strategies, particularly regarding assessment and dissemination, to buttress the policy debate.

Butts, J., Mayer, S. & Ruth, G. (2005). Focusing juvenile justice on positive youth development. Chicago: Chapin Hall Center for Children. Pointing out that the majority of juvenile offenders are charged with nonviolent offenses even while most intervention programs target the much smaller subsets of emotionally disturbed or violent youth, this issue brief argues for an intervention framework based on positive youth development (PYD) for the larger number of typical or average juvenile justice cases. Holding that young people can develop and flourish if they are connected to the right mix of social resources, a PYD framework for juvenile justice could be used to identify the critical resources that young offenders need, and devise methods of providing those resources in communities that lack them.

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.

Chaskin, R., & Baker, S. (2006). Negotiating among opportunity and restraint: The participation of young people in out-of-school time activities. Chicago: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago. This working paper investigates how and why youth participate in out-of-school time activities based on interview data with 99 tenth grade students. It focuses on the incentives and barriers for youth to become involved in out-of-school time programs, including peers and adults who recruit youth, school and neighborhood contexts, perceptions of access, and program quality and goals. This paper also uses four case studies to illustrate typical decision-making processes and out-of-school time activities for the youth who took part in the study.

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.

Family–School Relations During Adolescence. Conference held July 2021, 2006 at Duke University. Website video recordings and materials are available from this conference, which aimed to link research, practice, and policy to support family involvement in education during the adolescent years and included presentations by HFRP staff members Holly Kreider and Suzanne Bouffard. Other speakers ranging from national scholars to parents to principals also weighed in on the issues affecting the type and degree of involvement between schools and families.

Fickel, L., Fortune, A. & Padgette, H. C. (2005). Using NCLB funds to support extended learning time. Washington, DC: The Finance Project and The Council of Chief State School Officers. Besides the 21st CCLC program, with which the after school community is most familiar, there are several funding streams within NCLB that can also be used to support extended learning, and the 2001 reauthorization allows increased flexibility in their use. This strategy brief describes each of four funding streams other than 21st CCLC and discusses how they could be used to support extended learning in after school programs.

Halpern, R. (2004). Confronting the big lie: The need to reframe expectations of afterschool programs. New York: Partnership for After School Education. This critique argues that after school programs are “distinct developmental institutions” whose impacts on students are varied and discrete. The author notes that the majority of after school evaluations inappropriately focus on academic outcomes, particularly, on standardized achievement test scores. He proposes that after school evaluations be reframed through inductive and deductive processes to better serve the range of complementary purposes and outcomes of after school programs.

Hirshberg, D., Duang, D., & Fuller, B. (2005). Which low-income parents select child-care?: Family demand and neighborhood organizations. Children and Youth Services Review, 27(10): 1119–1148. This study examines the relationship between family and neighborhood characteristics and decisions about childcare during early childhood and after school. It finds that parents with more formal education, longer work days, and higher earnings were more likely to choose centers or formal after school programs for childcare, as opposed to home-based providers. This study also examines the effects of program availability within neighborhoods and discusses implications for theories about how diverse low-income parents make decisions about childcare.

Huang, D., Sung-Kim, K., Marshall, A., & Pérez, P. (2005). Keeping kids in school: An LA's BEST example: A study examining the long-term impact of LA's BEST on students' dropout rates. Los Angeles: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing. This report, which is part of a long-term study funded by the Department of Justice, investigates the relationship between participation in this after school program and dropout rates. The evaluators found that LA's BEST students are less likely to drop out of school than similar students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Their analysis also supported the claim that this impact is magnified for students who have been in the program longer and that there are differential effects of participation for students from different demographic categories.

Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. (2005). Charting the landscape, mapping new paths: Museums, libraries, and K–12 learning. Washington, DC: Author. The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences hosted a two-day workshop in the summer of 2004 to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the relationship between libraries, museums, and K–12 education. This report is broadly about how formal and informal learning institutions can work together to build a larger complementary learning community. It outlines the challenges, strategies, and action steps for connecting museums, libraries, and schools that developed based on participants experiences and case-by-case examples.

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.

Kauerz, K. (2006). Ladders of learning: Fighting fade-out by advancing PK–3 alignment. Washington, DC: New America Foundation Early Education Initiative. This research brief makes a case for better alignment between early education institutions and schools serving primary grades. It reviews the research on the benefits of prekindergarten (PK) and kindergarten, as well as the evidence base for how these positive outcomes fade out through the primary grades. This paper suggests that vertical, horizontal, and temporal alignment for schools serving children in PK through grade 3 can reverse the diminishing returns of early childhood education. It closes with policy recommendations for federal, state, and local governments.

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.

McDonald, L, et al. (2006). Afterschool multifamily groups: A randomized trial involving low-income, urban, Latino children. Children and Schools, 28(1): 25–34. This experiment tests the effectiveness of the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program, which utilizes after school hours to build parental social networks in schools. Compared to a control setting which encouraged parental involvement through pamphlets and flyers, parents participating in the FAST program were more likely to attend meetings. This experiment also found that teachers, blind to treatment conditions, reported that students whose parents participated in the FAST program had better academic outcomes, were less aggressive, and had more social skills.

Nair, P. (2006, July). Getting beyond the school as a temple. Edutopia. This article argues that “community schools” are founded on the traditional idea of school–community partnerships in which schools, being the brokers of knowledge, serve their surrounding communities. The author presents two alternative models for integrating the assets and functions of both schools and communities. Rather than solely perceiving the community as clientele, Community Learning Centers establish two-way partnerships of equal status between education institutions and communities. In the Community As School model, educators value communities as places of learning and offer real-world instruction outside the school walls.

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.

Rahm, J., Martel-Reny, M., & Moore, J. (2005). The role of after school and community science programs in the lives of urban youth. School Science and Mathematics, 105(6): 283–291. This ethnographic study explores the ways in which youth define and access hands-on and explorational science curricula in after school programs. The researchers find that after school-based science programming is essential to youth in urban, poor communities because these program offerings transform how young people interpret and relate to science. They argue that evaluations of after school science instruction should be broadened from a narrow focus on student achievement to a holistic view of youth development.

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.

What Works?: Seven Strategies for Success. Growing out of its study on school–business partnerships, the Daniels Fund has put together a website to help business and school leaders collaborate in more meaningful and effective ways. This website includes best practices and strategies for success, such as focusing on student achievement, to help schools and businesses build successful partnerships. It also provides implementation suggestions by highlighting the work of successful collaborations throughout the country and outlining common barriers and tips to overcome them.

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.

Zief, S. G., Lauver, S. & Maynard, R. A. (2006). Impacts of after-school programs on student outcomes: A systematic review for the Campbell Collaboration. London: The Campbell Collaboration. Focusing on program models that include academic support services, this review examines the evidence from recent experimental design evaluations on the impact of after school programming on youth context (student location, supervision, and safety); participation in activities; and behavioral, social, emotional and academic outcomes. The review finds multiple areas of disagreement with prior reviews in this field, but the reviewers note that the collected evidence is not sufficient to make any policy or programming recommendations and the pooled impacts need to be tested with further research.

* Because of limitations on space, we were unable to include as many new and noteworthy resources as we would have liked in the print version of this issue. This online version includes all citations listed in the print version along with several others. To be notified of any Web-only content in the future you can sign up to receive the electronic version of The Evaluation Exchange by email.

‹ Previous Article | Table of Contents | Next Article ›

© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project