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Now Is the Time to Get to Work on Summer Learning12651GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​All the leaves have fallen from the trees. There’s a chill in the air. ’Tis the season…for planning your district’s summer learning program?</p><p>That’s right, district leaders. Decide in the fall to offer a program and begin the planning process by January and you’ll run into fewer roadblocks when summer rolls around. That’s just one of more than 60 recommendations in the second edition of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success</em>.</a> This report from the RAND Corporation updates guidance to districts interested in launching a summer learning program or improving an existing one. It’s based on evaluations of five urban school districts participating in the National Summer Learning Project (NSLP), a Wallace-funded effort to understand whether and how voluntary district-run summer learning programs can help promote success in school. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="heather-schwartz.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Now-Is-the-Time-to-Get-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning/heather-schwartz.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;241px;" />The report answers such questions as when districts should begin work on their summer program, how they should hire and train teachers, what they should consider in choosing or developing a curriculum, which actions can help boost attendance and keep students on task, how to create a warm and welcoming environment&#160;and how to provide engaging enrichment experiences. Heather Schwartz, one of the authors of the report, guided us through some of the highlights.*</p><p><strong>How did you arrive at the recommendations in the guide? </strong><br> To develop our recommendations, we drew from over 900 interviews with summer teachers and administrators, 2,000 hours of observations of summer classes and 1,200 summer staff surveys that we collected over four summers. We believe this is the most comprehensive data currently available about voluntary, academic summer programs run by school districts and their community partners.</p><p><strong>What's new in this second edition? How has your thinking evolved since the first edition?</strong><br> Although most of the lessons from the first edition still stand, the second edition provides further and more detailed recommendations. For example, by the second edition we had learned that students who received a minimum of 25 hours of mathematics instruction and those receiving 34 hours of language arts in a summer performed better on the subsequent state math and ELA tests. These findings informed our recommendations in the second edition about the duration of the summer program, the number of hours of academics&#160;and ways for instructors to use intended instructional time more productively. </p><p><strong>You provide a wealth of recommendations in the guide. Could you briefly highlight one or two of the most important?</strong><br> Our most emphatic recommendation is to commit in the fall to a summer program. This means dedicating at least half of the time of a summer program director to actively start planning the summer program no later than January. The early planning should include attention to enrichment as well as to academics.</p><p><strong>What did you learn about the cost of a high-quality summer program? What can districts to do to make their summer programs cost-effective?</strong><br> The cost per student who attended at least one day of a program in summer 2014 ranged from $1,070 to $1,700 with an average of $1,340. Since staff is the largest component of a summer budget, an important way to control costs is to hire staff to achieve desired ratios based on projected daily attendance, not the number of enrollees. Of course, program designers should weigh the savings from cost-cutting measures against potential negative impacts on program quality. Other ways to lower costs include partnering with community organizations for enrichment activities, reducing the number of summer facilities since each carry fixed costs to operate them, centralizing some planning activities to avoid duplicated work, extending school-year curricula for use during the summer and continuing the program over time to capitalize on initial start-up investments. </p><p><strong>Can you give a preview of what's still to come from the National Summer Learning Project?</strong><br> There are four more reports coming out of the NSLP. In the first, we examine how district, city, state and federal policy support and constrain summer programming and we offer recommendations for policymakers and practitioners on navigating this policy landscape. In the second, we examine how student learning unfolds over the course of a calendar year, taking a close look at summer learning, in two urban school districts. In the third, we follow the students in the randomized controlled trial to see if those who went through the NSLP programs have different outcomes in seventh grade than the students in the control group. And, finally in the fourth report, we report on the efforts of NSLP communities to improve access to quality summer learning programming. The case studies in this final report should prove useful to other community leaders across the country.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed. </em></p><p><em>For additional hands-on tools and guidance, including a sample program calendar, see the online </em><a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning Toolkit</a><em>. </em></p><div><div>&#160;</div>&#160;</div> Wallace editorial team792018-12-11T05:00:00ZTalking to RAND’s Heather Schwartz about what makes for a successful summer learning program12/11/2018 3:00:53 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Now Is the Time to Get to Work on Summer Learning Talking to RAND’s Heather Schwartz about what makes for a successful 19https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Helping Out-of-School-Time Providers Get Explicit…About Social and Emotional Learning10293GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Talk to out-of-school-time (OST) providers about the growing interest in social and emotional learning (SEL) across the country, and they’re liable to say, “Finally!” Afterschool and summer programs have&#160;often set out to be&#160;places where children build healthy relationships, learn to navigate social situations and discover what they’re good at and passionate about.&#160; </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="jones_183_janetsterns.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/helping-out-of-school-time-providers-get-explicit-about-social-and-emotional-learning/jones_183_janetsterns.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;241px;height&#58;327px;" />Now, OST providers, along with scholars, schools, and foundations, are thinking more deeply than ever about what exactly SEL is and what it takes to promote it. </p><p>As part of that effort, Wallace commissioned Harvard Professor of Education Stephanie Jones to analyze 25 widely used SEL programs. Jones and her team recently published a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/social-and-emotional-learning-in-out-of-school-time-settings.aspx">research brief</a>, one in a series, that looks specifically at how those programs can be applied in OST settings (only three of the programs were designed primarily for OST). We asked Jones to walk us through the implications of her research for OST organizations.*</p><p><strong>What unique contributions can OST providers make to children’s social and emotional learning?</strong></p><p>Unlike the majority of schools, OST programs tend to have fewer curricular demands, giving them greater flexibility and more opportunity for SEL programming. OST settings also typically provide greater opportunity for students to engage in informal conversations with peers and adults and build positive relationships, which we know is critical to SEL. </p><p><strong>Many OST providers would say that SEL is inherent to what they do. You note, however, that few have “a primary or explicit focus on developing and fostering specific SEL skills.” What are the advantages of adopting a curriculum with a specific focus on SEL?</strong></p><p>It's true that many OST programs address SEL skills in their mission, support a climate that fosters SEL skills, or use general SEL practices and behavior management approaches—and those things are important. But research shows that only programs that follow the elements of SAFE (Sequenced set of activities, Active forms of learning, Focus on building SEL skills, and Explicit SEL learning objectives) improved children's skills and behavior. Adopting an evidence-based curriculum with a specific focus on SEL is one way to make sure those SAFE elements are present. Moreover, evidence-based curricula have usually been tested and refined to ensure the best possible results, and typically come with a variety of supports such as lessons or activities, staff training, and resources like coaching or assessment tools for monitoring progress and improvement.</p><p><strong>How can OST providers interested in adopting an SEL program get started? What are the first steps?</strong></p><p>We recommend OST programs begin by collecting data that will help them make informed decisions. This might include collecting school climate and disciplinary data from a partner school, or talking to families, OST staff, schools, community leaders and other stakeholders about their vision for SEL and the needs they hope the program will address. Drawing from that information, organizations can then identify and prioritize specific needs and goals. Finally, they can use our <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx">Navigating SEL report</a> to identify evidence-based programs and strategies that best meet those needs. There’s a worksheet at the back of the report designed to help them through the process.</p><p><strong>You emphasize the importance of adapting pre-packaged SEL programs so they fit an OST provider’s individual context. Can you give an example of what this looks like in practice?</strong></p><p>An OST program that focuses on building literacy might choose SEL strategies that use books, stories, or poems, whereas an OST program with a focus on sports or health might choose to rely more heavily on strategies that feature games or kinesthetic activities. Similar adaptations can be made to help programs better fit specific behavioral needs, cultural perspectives, student interests and more. It might also make sense to adapt a program to better fit the timing of an afterschool program—perhaps a single lesson is delivered in short periods over the course of multiple days.</p><p><strong>Another brief in this series introduces the concept of “kernels” as a cost-effective and flexible way to build social and emotional skills. Can you give us an overview of your </strong><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/kernels-of-practice-for-sel-low-cost-low-burden-strategies.aspx"><strong>work on kernels</strong></a><strong>? What are they? How can they help OST providers?</strong></p><p>Kernels of SEL practice are short, targeted strategies used by effective programs to build specific skills and effect specific behavioral changes in children. In contrast to more comprehensive SEL programs, a toolkit of SEL kernels is low-cost; requires little time, training, or instruction for staff; and can be customized to individual, classroom, cultural, and site needs. They may be particularly helpful to OST providers in three ways&#58; 1) They’re easy to integrate with the existing structure and mission of an OST program in a variety of ways, either as behavior management tools, short transition activities, or more structured lessons; 2) they enable staff to choose strategies that best suit the needs and interests of the children in their program, keeping the OST space fun and engaging; and 3) they provide opportunities for OST providers to align their SEL work with in-school efforts in a way that is additive rather than repetitive.<br></p><p><img src="/knowledge-center/PublishingImages/stephanie-jones-QA-lg-feature.jpg" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>&#160;</p><p><em>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792018-03-27T04:00:00ZHarvard’s Stephanie Jones on Adapting SEL Programs for OST Settings5/23/2018 5:08:36 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Helping Out-of-School-Time Providers Get Explicit…About Social and Emotional Learning As part of that effort, Wallace 221https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How to Get Kids and Parents Psyched for Summer Learning10299GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>The National Summer Learning Project—a collaboration between The Wallace Foundation, the RAND Corporation and five urban school districts—has produced <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Learning-from-Summer-Effects-of-Voluntary-Summer-Learning-Programs-on-Low-Income-Urban-Youth.aspx">promising evidence</a> that voluntary-attendance summer learning programs can help students succeed in school. But “voluntary” means that districts have to entice families to enroll. </p><p>As part of the project, we engaged Crosby Marketing Communications to help the districts participating do just that.</p><p><span aria-hidden="true"></span><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="JRosenberg_V3_2X2_5.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/How-to-Get-Kids-and-Parents-Psyched-for-Summer-Learning/JRosenberg_V3_2X2_5.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;374px;" />Crosby conducted focus groups of parents in three cities and found that, while they are motivated by the idea of preparing their children for the next grade, they also believe summer should be a break from the rigors of the school year. The term “summer learning” was not a familiar one, and “summer school” elicited a negative reaction because it evoked a remedial program. Crosby, a firm with expertise in what is known as “social marketing,” worked with the districts to develop social marketing campaigns that would overcome these obstacles. All five exceeded their recruitment goals.</p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/recruitment/pages/default.aspx">A new guide, developed by Crosby, and companion website,</a> presents lessons learned from that successful collaboration and advice to districts interested in launching or improving their own recruitment efforts. We talked to Jeff Rosenberg, an executive vice president at Crosby, about the guide and what he’s learned about encouraging students to attend summer learning programs.*</p><p><strong>Why is it so important for school districts to do a recruitment campaign for their summer learning programs?</strong></p><p>There are two main reasons. The first is, of course, to motivate parents and students to register. The second is that districts want to engage with the students who can benefit the most. To do that, you have to be intentional in who you reach out to and how you communicate.</p><p><strong>What is social marketing? How can school districts use it to recruit for their summer learning programs?</strong></p><p>Social marketing refers to using the principles and practices of marketing for the common good, that is, to raise awareness of a social issue or promote positive behavior change. At Crosby we have a lot of experience in social marketing. For example, we developed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national campaign encouraging people to sign up as organ donors. </p><p>By definition, a recruitment campaign for a summer learning program is social marketing. In the case of the National Summer Learning Project, we helped the districts practice what’s known as “community-based” social marketing—using the existing levers in a community to generate behavior change. That involved, for example, relying on the people in the community who are most trusted by parents and students—principals, teachers, and guidance counselors—to deliver the message and promote enrollment.</p><p><strong>What were the most essential/effective techniques that the districts you worked with used to recruit students?</strong></p><p>What the districts found most important was being consistent and assertive in their outreach. One mailing home was not enough to make a connection. The second thing was using several types of outreach. Sending a flyer home by “backpack express” can work, but as all parents know, those flyers don’t always make it to them, so you don’t want to rely on that one approach. The districts also found phone calls to parents to be effective, as well as recruitment events. Third, engaging directly with students is extremely valuable, whether it’s in the form of an event like a pizza party, a piece of mail addressed specifically to them, or a conversation with a teacher. </p><p><strong>Were there any activities that did not prove to be worth the effort or expense?</strong></p><p>A couple of districts conducted home visits, and while they certainly yielded some registrations, they may not justify the intense effort they require. Some districts tried raffles. Parents who sent in a registration form were automatically entered to win a prize. These can work, but we suspect that some parents who registered their children didn’t actually intend to send them to the program; they just wanted a chance at the prize.</p><p><strong>How can districts use the new </strong><a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/recruitment/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning Recruitment website</a><strong> to develop a summer learning marketing campaign?</strong><br> <br> The website is designed so that someone can come in and develop an entire recruitment plan from A to Z. But it can also be a resource for a district that’s already actively recruiting and is just looking for some tips and tools to up its game. There’s guidance on how to develop a written plan. There are also a number of templates from a registration flyer to robocall scripts to talking points that teachers and principals can use when they reach out to parents and students. </p><p><strong>Do you have any final advice for school districts?</strong></p><p>When parents register their children for your summer learning program, view that as the beginning of a relationship. Follow up with a confirmation letter. Consider a “get ready for summer” event in the spring. Schedule robocalls to remind parents and students when your program starts. You’ll find templates in the guide. It’s crucial to use the time between the end of your registration period and the beginning of your summer learning program to get parents and students excited about what’s to come. That will help boost day one attendance.</p><p><em>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p> Wallace editorial team792018-03-06T05:00:00ZCreator of new online guide offers up advice on recruiting for voluntary summer programs3/6/2018 5:20:01 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How to Get Kids and Parents Psyched for Summer Learning Creator of new online guide offers up advice on recruiting for 296https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Helping Afterschool Systems Find a Home10292GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning <p>Afterschool providers, schools, government agencies, private funders…they all want to give young people opportunities for growth, learning and fun. But they all have different roles and ways of working, so knitting their efforts together into coordinated systems is no easy task. Cities that set out to build, manage and sustain afterschool systems can use a little guidance along the way.</p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="sharon_deich1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Helping-Afterschool-Systems-Find-a-Home/sharon_deich1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;319px;" />That’s where the consulting firm FourPoint Education Partners, formerly Cross &amp; Joftus, comes in. From 2012 to 2017, FourPoint provided technical assistance (TA) to the nine cities participating in Wallace’s “next-generation” afterschool system-building initiative, helping them solidify systems that were already in place. (An earlier Wallace initiative had supported five cities starting systems from scratch.) FourPoint drew on that work for a new paper, <em><a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Governance-Structures-for-City-Afterschool-Systems-Three-Models.aspx">Governance Structures for City Afterschool Systems&#58; Three Models</a></em>, describing three different models for setting up and running an afterschool system.</p><p>We caught up with Sharon Deich, a FourPoint partner, to discuss her role in the initiative and get her perspective on the past, present and future of afterschool system building. </p><p><strong>Describe the work you did as a TA provider for the initiative. </strong></p><p>First, we helped the cities think about how they were going to support their infrastructure when their Wallace money went away. Hand in hand with the finance work was the governance work. How do you create anchor points in the community for the work to deepen and grow, even if one of your key champions—like a mayor, a superintendent or a project lead—were to leave? The third piece was partnerships. Who else do you need to have at the table and then how do you plug them into your governance structure? The last piece was strategy. We worked closely with Wallace, thinking about where the initiative was going and what the needs and opportunities were.</p><p><strong>What is the most important thing you learned over the course of the initiative?</strong></p><p>We came in with the notion that you build a system and then, “Here it is.” But the [actual systems] were very dynamic. More than half the cities changed the home of their system or the organizational structure. In Denver, they started out with an initiative in the mayor’s office and ended up with a networked approach where the mayor’s office, the Boys &amp; Girls Club and the school district were jointly managing the work.</p><p><strong><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Governance_v1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Helping-Afterschool-Systems-Find-a-Home/Governance_v1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />How do cities go about finding the right governance structure for their system?</strong></p><p>One consideration is, what’s the primary work of the system? Some systems focus on [program] quality, some on data, some on creating partnerships. They all touch that elephant in different places. If you’re building [new] programs, you might need a different home than if you’re trying to boost the quality of the work. Another factor is, who are your champions? If your mayor is a big champion it may be more logical to be in the mayor’s office or one of the city agencies. </p><p><strong>What do you still not know about system building that you still hope to learn?</strong></p><p>One of the hardest things about system building is communicating what you mean by “system building.” When I work in mainstream education, I often say, “It’s not about what one school is doing. It’s about how the district is supporting all the schools.” I don’t think there’s an equivalent in this mushy space where afterschool lives. Then how do you convince people that investment in system pieces is as important as dollars for programming? </p><p><strong>What does the future of afterschool system building look like to you? </strong></p><p>In this current environment, I can’t see afterschool growing and getting a lot of attention. I worry about the money for 21st Century [Community Learning Centers, a source of federal funding for afterschool]. So, it’s really important that afterschool be part of a broader package of supports and services that school districts and communities want for their kids. Whether it’s social and emotional learning, enrichment, homework help, meals—afterschool can be a delivery vehicle.</p><p>&#160;</p><p>For more information about afterschool systems, check out <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/growing-together-learning-together.aspx">Growing Together, Learning Together</a>.</p><p>&#160;</p> Wallace editorial team792018-01-18T05:00:00ZA paper describes three models for setting up and running an afterschool system.4/4/2018 3:47:42 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Helping Afterschool Systems Find a Home Talking Technical Assistance with Sharon Deich of FourPoint Education Partners 262https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
In Baltimore, Young People Lead the Call for Afterschool and Summer Programs10222GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>There are always a lot of dedicated people in the room when Wallace’s grantees, research partners and other colleagues come together as part of a professional learning community, or PLC. But at the final meeting of our<a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx"> summer learning </a>PLC in Baltimore recently, one attendee stood out. At age 19, Samirah Franklin is already making a difference in her community and beyond. As lead organizer of the Baltimore Youth Organizing Project, she headed a successful campaign to prevent a 25-percent cut in the city’s funding for youth programming.</p><p>Franklin’s graduation from high school in 2015 coincided with a groundswell of activism following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody—one of a number of such incidents nationwide. That summer, she was painting murals as part of a summer jobs program. She had no idea when she signed up for the program that she’d be attending leadership development and community organizing classes in the afternoons when it was too hot for outdoor work. But those classes were the spark that helped her determine the direction of her life. Franklin is living proof of what a good summer program can do.</p><p>As part of a panel discussion on “the power of local action,” Franklin made such a strong impression that we asked to speak with her one-one-one about her advocacy work.*</p><p> <strong>You became an activist in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death. How did you come to focus your attention on youth programming like afterschool and summer programs? How is youth programming connected to social justice?</strong></p><p>“What to do with Baltimore’s young people” is a hot topic in the city. Yet anytime there’s a deficit or money that needs to be shuffled around, youth programming is the first thing to go. We had an idea of what the community wanted because we’re from the community, but we still went out and listened to over 400 young people about what their main concerns were. They said they need more and better rec centers, more and better afterschool programs, year-round employment. A lot of young people are supplementing income for their families. </p><p> <strong>When The Wallace Foundation talks to decision-makers about afterschool and summer learning, we emphasize the need to close the opportunity and achievement gaps between children from low-income families and their wealthier peers. When you talk to civic leaders, what is the argument you make to persuade them?</strong></p><p>It’s never about, “do these programs work?” Everyone knows they work. It’s about priorities. If you know who voted you in, that’s who you cater to. So, our organization quadrupled voter turnout in our neighborhoods, doing serious voter registration drives. We had to show we have adults behind us and they will be voting. Sometimes you wonder, “Maybe if we tell our personal stories, maybe if we do this, maybe if we do that…” It’s not about that. It’s a power analysis. We do the work to understand who we need to move.</p><p> <strong>What role do you think philanthropic institutions like Wallace have to play in the advocacy work you do? How can foundations be an ally to young people in cities like Baltimore?</strong></p><p>In Baltimore, we let philanthropic dollars come in and take over the city’s responsibility to prioritize afterschool programs. A lot of philanthropic organizations do a great job, but they should focus on truly building capacity in the community, equipping the parents of the kids in their programs with the tools to say, “This foundation did so much for us, but it’s time for the city to step up.”</p><p> <strong>What does success look like to you? What is your vision for young people in your community and others like it? How do you measure progress along the way?</strong></p><p>When we see people voting for the first time, we know we’re having small successes. But we also see a murder rate that keeps rising, so we know the impact we’re having isn’t on a great enough scale. I know we won’t save every young person in the city; it’s about the long term. I read a quote from the mayor of Baltimore in 1911 saying, “blacks should be confined in isolated slums,” and that’s exactly what happened. Creating systems that undo that injustice is how I measure success. You have to impact public policy because public policy is ultimately what controls our lives in Baltimore. </p><p> <strong>What advice would you give a young person who wants to make a difference in her community but doesn’t know where to start?</strong></p><p>If there isn’t an organization to join in your city, you might have to start it. Get in a relationship with a few good people. There’s always someone around you who’s spoken about making change. That’s who you work with. Do that relational work. You’ve got to go door-to-door. It can be hard and a little scary, but that’s the slow and patient work of organizing. </p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-27T05:00:00ZOrganizer Samirah Franklin on “Creating Systems That Undo Injustice”4/4/2018 4:24:13 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / In Baltimore, Young People Lead the Call for Afterschool and Summer Programs There are always a lot of dedicated people in 151https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional Learning10226GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>What’s in a name? In the fields of education and youth development, the name we give an emerging idea can cause confusion or controversy and even make a difference in whether it is embraced or rejected.</p><p>Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way we talk about learning that does not fall into the category of traditional academics. Interest in helping young people manage their emotions, build positive relationships and navigate social situations has been growing in recent years. But the discourse surrounding this work is rife with vague and competing terminology—from the colloquial (“character,” “grit”) to the clinical (“non-cognitive skills,” “growth mindset”). </p><p>That’s why <a href="http&#58;//www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/08/14/542070550/social-and-emotional-skills-everybody-loves-them-but-still-cant-define-them">this <em>nprEd</em> article</a> by Anya Kamenetz is so valuable. As an education journalist, Kamenetz was bothered by the proliferation of jargon on this topic. So she created a glossary, updated in summer 2017, to help non-wonks sort through it all.</p><p>This caught our eye at Wallace because we had taken on a similar project. In 2016, in preparation for a new initiative, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/SEL-Feedback-and-Communications-Insights-from-the-Field.aspx">we commissioned Edge Research</a>, a Virginia-based market research firm, to look at more than 40 terms and report back on what they meant, how often they were used and how effective they were in motivating parents, educators and policymakers.</p><p>Edge conducted in-depth interviews with 45 leaders in education and afterschool, an online survey of another 1,600 professionals, and focus groups with parents. Like Kamenetz, they concluded there is no “silver bullet” term that works for everyone and in all contexts. They did, however, find that the term “social and emotional learning,” while not without its pitfalls, was familiar and clear to practitioners and policymakers in both K-12 and afterschool and accessible to parents once it was explained.</p><p>That is, in part, why we decided to name our new initiative <a href="/knowledge-center/Social-and-Emotional-Learning/Pages/default.aspx">Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning</a>. </p><p>Martin West of the Harvard Graduate School of Education tells Kamenetz that the “semantic debate” may already have been settled in favor of “social and emotional learning” and its variants, “but more from exhaustion than from progress toward consensus.” We at Wallace have found working with Edge on this knotty naming problem more invigorating than exhausting, and we hope the results will help researchers, philanthropic organizations, policymakers and practitioners.</p><p> We also recognize that, when discussing the well-being of our young people, a “one-size-fits-all” approach is not the way to go. Each community has different needs and different sensitivities. References to “character” make some people cheer and others suspicious. Associating the word “emotional” with the word “learning” may provoke eye rolls in some places and applause in others. </p><p>It’s important to respect these differences. If we want our children to learn to relate to others in a positive and skillful way, it starts with us.</p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-15T05:00:00ZWhat’s in a name? In the fields of education and youth development, the name we give an emerging idea can cause confusion or controversy and even make a difference in whether it is embraced or rejected.12/4/2017 4:16:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional Learning NPR and Wallace Share Interest in Terminology Used to Describe 650https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
To Build Afterschool Systems, Communities Must “Figure It Out, Then Figure It Out Again”10291GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Seeing is believing, the saying goes, and Priscilla Little has seen the benefits of afterschool systems up close for more than two decades. From 1996 to 2010, she oversaw the Harvard Family Research Project’s afterschool efforts. In 2012, she became the manager of Wallace’s “next-generation” <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/Pages/default.aspx">afterschool system building effort</a>, the successor to an initiative, begun in 2003, to increase access to high-quality afterschool programming by coordinating the work of program providers, government agencies, private funders and other players. </p><p>Now that her time at Wallace has come to a close, we asked Priscilla to reflect on her experience in this evolving field.*</p><p> <strong>How has the field of afterschool system building changed since you started working with Wallace?</strong></p><p>On a base numbers level, there are more communities trying to do it. And we now have cross-sector community collaborations that weren’t in place 10 years ago. Afterschool systems may start off as straight-up networks of programs, but they quickly embrace the fact that they’re operating in a larger community context. They recognize that they need to connect with other initiatives that touch young people and try to be more efficient, streamlined and coordinated in their approach. More afterschool systems are also working intentionally with school districts now, partly in response to education reform and greater openness on the part of schools. Another thing I’m seeing is increasing language about afterschool as a solution to workforce challenges—not just because it solves a childcare issue for the workforce but because it promotes the kind of skills employers need. It’s not that afterschool programs are doing anything different, but the way they’re being talked about is different.</p><p> <strong>What is the most important thing you’ve learned about system building in your time with Wallace?</strong></p><p>One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the importance of coordination that<a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Growing-Together-Learning-Together.aspx"> fits the local context</a>. What was a revelation for many of the sites in the Wallace initiatives is that coordination is going to change over time because community context changes. The notion of “one and done” is just not realistic. I could tell you many stories of systems that incubate in one place and land in another, and that’s an inherently good thing. That disruptive change is healthy for a system. Communities just want to figure out, “What is this going to look like?” And I tell them, “Good enough, good until. We’ll figure it out, and when something new comes along, we’ll figure it out again.” </p><p> <strong>What do you not know about system building that you still hope to learn?</strong></p><p>What I keep getting asked is, “How do we sustain this work absent big resources from foundations?” How does it become part of the course of nurturing children to have these systems in place? Beyond the systems approach, how do we change education so that afterschool becomes part of the equation without school districts co-opting it? Wallace’s new <a href="/knowledge-center/Social-and-Emotional-Learning/Pages/default.aspx">Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning initiative</a> is partly about how we can help both school and afterschool systems do what they do well but coordinate better.</p><p> <strong>What does the future of afterschool system building look like to you? </strong></p><p>Continuing to build systems is important because they’re good for providers and kids. The next frontier is changing the conversation so that it starts with equity and what young people need to be successful, not what we can do. We’re quick to jump to institutions and settings without asking, “What is your vision for young people in this community? How can the organizations in the community support that vision?”</p><p>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-02T04:00:00ZInsights from Former Initiative Manager Priscilla Little3/20/2018 6:44:11 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / To Build Afterschool Systems, Communities Must “Figure It Out, Then Figure It Out Again From 1996 to 2010, she oversaw the 254https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Do We Define Success for Young People?10296GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>In 2013, Wallace awarded a competitive grant to the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research to answer a sweeping question&#58; What, besides the three R’s, does a child need to succeed in life? </p><p>The Consortium authors drew on research across a range of fields and disciplines, as well as academic theory and the insights of practitioners, but before they could come to any conclusions, they had to address an even more basic question&#58; What is success, anyway? </p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align&#58;left;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="NAGAOKA_headshot_2017.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/How-Do-We-Define-Success-for-Young-People/NAGAOKA_headshot_2017.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;144px;" />In the realms of education scholarship and philanthropy, success is often equated with being prepared for college and career, in part because <a href="http&#58;//www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/children-families.aspx">socioeconomic status is an important factor in overall well-being</a>, and in part because we have a decent idea of how to measure college and career readiness. But Wallace and the Consortium saw a more expansive definition. The report the Consortium released in 2015, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Foundations-for-Young-Adult-Success.aspx"> <em>Foundations for Young Adult Success&#58; A Developmental Framework</em>,</a> says that, in addition to socioeconomic factors, success means “that young people can fulfill individual goals and have the agency and competencies to influence the world around them.” We talked with the report’s lead author, Jenny Nagaoka, about the thinking behind this definition of success.*</p><p> <strong>What were the considerations that led to the Consortium’s definition of young adult success?</strong></p><p>It’s one of the fundamental questions of human existence, right? It was interesting for me because one core area of my research is the transition from high school to college, so college and career readiness is my comfort zone. Like most work in the field, the call for proposals focused on college and career, but we really shifted in our thinking when we started talking to experts. Whether they’re working in a college access program or in higher ed, they see students as human beings. They care not just about whether students have a job and a degree but how they relate to their community&#58; Are they happy? Are they leading satisfying lives, not only professionally but personally? And how can the adults in their lives support that?</p><p> <strong>The framework defines the key factors for success in young adulthood as agency, integrated identity, and competencies (meaning the ability to complete tasks and perform roles). What does it mean, in concrete terms, to have agency and be able to influence the world around you? </strong></p><p>It can be something as small as, if you’re a college student, and you can’t finish your paper by next week because you have three other papers due, do you realize you can talk to your professor, explain your circumstances, and get an extension, that that’s something you might actually have some control over? Or it can be as big as seeing and experiencing racial inequities and becoming engaged in a larger movement.&#160;&#160;</p><p> <strong>Is it possible to be successful in life without fulfilling the goals you set when you’re young?</strong></p><p>Our goals and realities are bound to change over time, but part of the idea of integrated identity is making sense of who you were, who you are now and who you might become. If you wanted to be a painter when you were younger, maybe it’s not what your career ended up being, but you might say, “That was an important part of who I was, and I still on a certain level think of myself as an artist, maybe I can figure out how to integrate that into my life going forward.” </p><p> <strong>Now that the report is a little more than two years old, is there anything you would change about this definition of success?</strong></p><p>There are a lot of questions I don’t have a clear answer to, like, to what extent is valuing individual identity and agency specific to American culture? I’m Japanese American, and Japanese culture is more oriented toward group identity. You’re still undergoing this process of figuring out your place in the world and how to navigate it, but the unit of agency may be more about your family. </p><p> <strong>&#160;</strong></p><p>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</p><p>&#160;</p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-02T04:00:00ZTalking with University of Chicago Researcher Jenny Nagaoka about “One of the Fundamental Questions of Human Existence”3/20/2018 6:42:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Do We Define Success for Young People Talking with University of Chicago Researcher Jenny Nagaoka about “One of the 317https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Afterschool Systems Show Promise for Learning and Enrichment10220GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>“Proof of principle.” It’s a clinical-sounding phrase derived from the search for new medications.</p><p>But oh, what excitement it generated here at Wallace when we first read it in print in 2010, because the phrase also means that something has shown promise and warrants further development. There it was, on pg. 74 of a RAND Corp. report, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Hours-of-Opportunity-Volumes-I-II-III.aspx"> <em>Hours of Opportunity</em>, </a>which examined Wallace-supported afterschool program efforts in five cities. For years, organizations in those communities—Boston; Chicago; New York City; Providence, R.I.; and Washington, D.C.—had been working to see if a then-novel concept was possible. </p><p>The idea? To have the major groups involved in afterschool programs—parks, libraries, schools, recreation programs, government agencies and others—collaborate to build a coherent system of high-quality afterschool programming, especially for the neediest children and teens. </p><p>The cities had embarked on this effort in the early 2000s, not knowing whether afterschool coordination on a wide scale and involving numerous players was possible. But apparently, the after-school systems idea had something to it. “This initiative provided a proof of principle—that organizations across cities could work together toward increasing access, quality, data-based decision-making, and sustainability,” RAND concluded. </p><p>In other words, the cities had demonstrated the feasibility of launching afterschool systems with the potential to improve programs and make them more readily available. Ultimately, that meant kids might have a better shot at filling their spare time with enrichment and learning, rather than risk. </p><p>Hours helped guide what we called our next-generation afterschool effort, in which nine other cities with system work underway received support to boost their efforts, especially in the collection and analysis of data. That work, in turn, gave rise to several other notable reports. One, an updated Wallace Perspective called <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Growing-Together-Learning-Together.aspx"> <em>Growing Together, Learning Together,</em> </a>found that building strong afterschool systems required four key elements&#58; leadership from all the major players, a coordinating entity, use of data and efforts to bolster program quality.&#160; </p><p>By 2013, we had some reason to believe that system-building was more than a flash in the pan. A Wallace-commissioned scan found that at least 77 of the nation’s 275 largest cities were endeavoring to build afterschool systems. </p><p>What’s the latest figure? The answer will have to wait for another study. </p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZOrganizations band together to create a powerful network of afterschool programming4/4/2018 4:36:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Afterschool Systems Show Promise for Learning and Enrichment Organizations band together to create a powerful network of 158https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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