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Program Description

Overview The Chinatown YMCA 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) provides a variety of services to students at risk of school failure in New York City, New York, in addition to a family program designed to increase parent and family capacity for involvement in their children's education. The primary goal of the center is to decrease the risk of educational failure by increasing participants' external (e.g., relationships with adults) and internal assets (e.g., effective study skills).
Start Date Fall 2003
Scope local
Type after school, comprehensive services
Location urban
Setting public school
Participants middle school students
Number of Sites/Grantees one
Number Served 80 in 2003–2004
Components Program components include an after school program, homework assistance, leadership clubs, and a family program. The after school program is offered Monday through Thursday from 3 to 7pm. It consists of study hall, computer instruction, a dance group, sports and recreation. The homework assistance is offered during the after school program. The leadership club, meeting Fridays 4–6pm, consists of coordinating volunteer activities within the community. Each teen is asked to volunteer a minimum of 2 hours per week, and may be invited to attend weekend and overnight trips with teen leaders from other YMCAs. Certified New York City teachers help staff these educational components of the program. The family program includes English as a second language classes, a Saturday math, reading, and writing tutorial program, computer instruction, and a karate program.
Funding Level $310,000 in 2003–2004
Funding Sources U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program


Overview Within the ongoing 5-year evaluation of the Chinatown YMCA's 21st CCLC, a study was conducted to determine if participation in the center's family program positively affected youth's school performance.
Evaluator Erik T. Bennett, National Center for Schools and Communities (NCSC), Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service
Evaluations Profiled Family Involvement and School Performance in the Chinatown YMCA 21st Century Community Learning Center
Evaluations Planned The Chinatown YMCA's 21st CCLC program will be evaluated annually by the NCSC.
Report Availability Bennett, E. T. (2004). Family involvement and school performance in the Chinatown YMCA 21st Century Community Learning Center. Unpublished master's thesis, Fordham University, New York.


Evaluation Erik T. Bennett
501 Delancey Street, Suite 501
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: 415-975-3877
Program Glenn MacAfee
Youth Director
100 Hester Street
New York, NY 10002
Tel: 212-219-8393
Fax: 212-941-9046
Profile Updated June 28, 2005

Evaluation: Family Involvement and School Performance in the Chinatown YMCA 21st Century Community Learning Center

Evaluation Description

Evaluation Purpose To answer the question: Is there a relationship between family participation in the Chinatown YMCA 21st CCLC and school performance among Chinese or Chinese American youth attending the center's after school programs?
Evaluation Design Quasi-Experimental: Among youth attending the center's after school program, comparisons were made between children of families participating in the family program (the treatment group), and children of nonparticipating families (the comparison group). Of the 80 youth attending the after school program in the year of the evaluation, 25 voluntarily participated in the family program and the remaining 55 attended only the after school program. The samples were further restricted to include only those identifying themselves as Chinese or Chinese American, those who attended for a minimum of 30 days between November 2003 and March 2004, and those whose classroom teachers met the March 21, 2004, deadline for completion of the data collection on study outcomes. These criteria yielded a final sample of 23 youth in the treatment group and 46 in the comparison group.

There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of child gender, but treatment group youth were significantly (p < .05) more likely to speak Cantonese at home than Mandarin/Fukinese or just English, and were also significantly (p < .05) more likely to be in sixth grade than seventh or eighth. There were no significant differences between the two groups in 9 out of 10 performance categories that measured need for school performance improvement prior to after school program participation. The one exception was classroom behavior, in which the comparison group had a significantly higher teacher-reported need for improvement (p < .05).
Data Collection Methods Document Review: Demographic information was obtained from program registration forms. Relevant information included each student's grade in school, gender, ethnicity, and language other than English spoken at home. Family attendance at the family program and youth's after school program attendance were collected from daily program attendance sheets.

Test/Assessments: School performance was operationalized by the Teacher-Child Rating System (T-CRS, Hightower et al., 1986), which measures teachers' perceptions of a child's improvement in 10 categories of school performance: turning in homework on time, satisfactory homework completion, classroom participation, frequency of volunteering in class, attendance, classroom attentiveness, classroom behavior, academic performance, preparedness to learn, and getting along with peers. Teachers are first asked whether the category was a target for improvement, and then if so, the degree of improvement the child showed in that category.

Hightower, A. D., Work, W. C., Cowen, E. L., Lotyczewski, B. S., Spinell, A. P., Guare, J. C., et al. (1986). The teacher-child rating scale: A brief objective measure of elementary children's school problem behaviors and competencies. School Psychology Review, 15, 393–409.
Data Collection Timeframe Data were collected during the 2003–2004 program year.

Summative/Outcome Findings

Academic The treatment group demonstrated significantly higher scores (p < .05) than the comparison group on improvement in turning in homework on time, improvement in satisfactory homework completion, improvement in academic performance, and improvement in attendance. No significant differences were found between groups for the other six categories of school performance improvement.

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