Wallace Blog Search Results

Search Blogs by Keyword
Browse by Date
clear all

 

 

Making Sure Every Student Succeeds…In the Summertime4150GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​Summer has long been thought of as a break from the rigors of school. Increasingly, though, summer is becoming a time for programs&#58; academic programs, sports and arts programs, programs that enable young people to explore their interests or build new skills. Policymakers, educators and others see summer programs as an opportunity to move the needle on academic and other outcomes and to help close the gaps in opportunity and achievement between students from low-income families and their more affluent peers. But with so many different types of programs out there, they may find themselves wondering which are worth investing in.</p><p>A new Wallace-commissioned report from the RAND Corporation has answers for anyone who needs help navigating the world of summer programs. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investing-in-successful-summer-programs-essa-review.aspx"><em>Investing in Successful Summer Programs​​​</em></a><em> </em>looks at the available research and offers detailed descriptions of 43 programs—some commercially available, some locally developed—that meet the top three of four levels&#160; of credible evidence of effectiveness described by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The rigor of the research behind these programs makes them eligible for certain significant sources of ESSA funding.&#160;</p><p>We talked by email with the lead authors of the report, Catherine Augustine and Jennifer Sloan McCombs, about how the evidence on summer learning stacks up and how providers and funders alike can put it to use.*</p><p><strong>What is the need that this report is intended to fill?</strong></p><p>Policymakers and practitioners all want to select evidence-based programs and approaches in order to maximize benefits for children and youth. Further, federal and state grant opportunities increasingly require practitioners to demonstrate that their proposed programs are evidence-based.&#160;Now, practitioners can use this report to demonstrate that their programs are evidence-based or to add evidence-based features to their programs, which should improve them. Funders can also use this report to get a better understanding of the types of summer programs that are evidence-based. This guide doesn’t just focus on academic summer programs—it contains information about programs promoting social and emotional well-being and career-related outcomes, as well.</p><p><strong>Why does summer programming matter?&#160;</strong></p><p>First, summer is an opportune time to provide programming that supports positive developmental outcomes or meets particular needs of certain children and youth, such as mental health needs. Second, summer programming may be particularly important to mitigate the opportunity and achievement gaps that exist between children from low-income families and their higher-income peers. We know from other research that lower-income children and youth are less likely to engage in sports, join clubs, or take private lessons. They are also more likely to stay indoors, and they have reduced access to healthy meals during the summer. We want all children to have access to enrichment during the summer for its own sake but also because participating in sports, clubs, lessons and the like leads to outcomes we care about such as identifying skills and interests that can be pursued throughout one’s life. Summer programming also matters because children and youth from lower-income families fall behind their wealthier peers academically over the summer. Finally, we want children and youth to have safe places to be during the summer, with healthy meals.&#160;</p><p><strong>​What are the headlines from your review of the evidence on the effectiveness of summer programs?&#160;What have you learned about what benefits summer programs can generate for children?</strong></p><p>This review affirms that many types of summer programs can benefit children and youth. We found evidence of effectiveness for academic learning, learning at home, social and emotional well-being, and employment and career summer programs.&#160;Also, we found programs can be developed that benefit youth at all grade levels.</p><p><strong>How can program providers use the report to guide their decision-making?</strong></p><p>First, they can see if any of the 43 programs we highlighted as evidence-based contain the same features as their programs. If so, they can use the guide to argue that their program is evidence-based if they are applying for state or federal funding. Second, if their programs do not look like any of the programs in this guide, they can consider augmenting their programs to more closely resemble the ones we have identified as evidence-based. Third, if they do not want to change their program, but would like to have it rigorously evaluated, they can use this report to design an evaluation that could meet the highest three evidence tiers of ESSA, providing them with greater grant writing opportunities in the future. In addition, providers can use it to consider the range of programs that are available to meet particular needs of children and youth.&#160;</p><p><strong>What advice do you have for a provider who may be seeking federal funding for a program that isn’t in the report and which doesn’t already have established evidence of effectiveness?</strong></p><p>The provider should first check to determine if their program contains the same design features as any of the evidence-based programs we found to be effective. If that is not the case, providers should check to see if the funding stream they’re pursuing allows evidence at the Tier IV level. The programs described in this report meet the highest three evidence tiers defined in ESSA, but there is a fourth tier.&#160;Tier IV allows program providers to argue that their program is evidence-based if there is rigorous research underscoring at least part of the program’s logic model or theory of action. Tier IV also stipulates that the program (or one just like it) is currently being evaluated. If the provider can demonstrate that at least part of the program’s logic model is supported by rigorous research and that the program is currently being evaluated, the provider could apply for federal funding streams that allow Tier IV evidence.&#160;</p><p><strong>What lessons does your review of the evidence have for state and federal policymakers?&#160;What can they do to promote effective summer programs?</strong></p><p>State policymakers can share this review with practitioners in their state to raise awareness of the types of summer programs that have been found to be evidence based. They could encourage practitioners to design or amend programs to be similar to those described in the review. They can use this review to determine if programs proposed for state funding are indeed evidence-based. Federal policymakers can do the same when reviewing proposals. Finally, if they are allocating research funding, they can use the information to target research funding towards under-studied programs or populations.&#160;Most of the rigorously studied programs are academic learning programs offered in schools, focused on reading, and targeting elementary students. There were far fewer rigorous studies conducted for other types of programs or outcomes.</p><p><em>​*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>​<br>Wallace editorial team792019-07-01T04:00:00ZRAND researchers on using evidence to build, and secure funding for, summer learning programs7/1/2019 7:16:19 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Making Sure Every Student Succeeds…In the Summertime RAND researchers on using evidence to build, and secure funding for 390https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Building an Effective Afterschool Program…With the Evidence to Back It Up4473GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>So you want to start an afterschool program or expand the one you’ve got. You have demand in your community and an idea of what kinds of activities you want to offer. You even have a space lined up. What you need now is funding. The good news is that the federal government makes money available for afterschool under a number of funding streams in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), particularly through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. (President Trump’s latest budget proposal would do away with 21st Century funding in the 2020 fiscal year, but the program has survived other recent efforts at elimination.) In order to be eligible for that money, however, you may need something else&#58; strong, research-based evidence that your program can be effective in improving outcomes for young people. &#160;</p><p>Fortunately, there’s a body of evidence about the effectiveness of afterschool programs already out there. To help providers tap into that research, Wallace commissioned <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/afterschool-programs-a-review-of-evidence-under-the-every-student-succeeds-act.aspx">a report</a> from Research for Action, an independent organization with a focus on education. The report reviews virtually all the available studies of afterschool programs from 2000 to 2017 and identifies those programs that meet ESSA requirements for credible evidence. Research for Action found more than 60 programs—covering all grade levels and almost every type of program—that fall into the top three of four levels of evidence described in ESSA. The report is accompanied by a guide that provides details about each program and summaries of the studies included in the review. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Ruth-Neild copy.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Building-an-Effective-Afterschool-Program-With-the-Evidence-to-Back-It-Up/Ruth-Neild%20copy.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />We talked to Ruth Neild, the report’s lead author and recently-named president of the Society for Research on Education Effectiveness,&#160; about why afterschool should be more than an afterthought and how providers and policymakers can use her work to create programs that make a difference for students.*</p><p> <strong>What is the need that this report and companion guide are intended to fill?</strong></p><p>ESSA encourages, and, in some cases, requires, providers and districts to use evidence-based practices, and it has specific standards for different levels of evidence. This raises a question&#58; Folks in the afterschool space and the district aren’t researchers, so how in the world are they going to know what the evidence is? How are they even going to access it since a lot of it is behind paywalls? Our contribution to the field is that we’re bringing that evidence out into the open for everyone to take a look at. We did a comprehensive scan of the literature on every afterschool program we could find and reviewed it against the ESSA standards, so districts and providers don’t have to do that for themselves. </p><p> <strong>Why does afterschool programming matter for young people?</strong></p><p>Afterschool programming obviously has the potential, at minimum, to keep students safe and supervised. It also has the potential to help students keep pace academically. A lot of programs, for example, include tutoring and academic enrichment. Beyond that, it has the potential to provide enrichment, including interest exploration and physical activity, that complements the school day and, in some cases, may not be available during the school day. Examples of that include arts, apprenticeships, internships, and self-directed science activities like robotics. In addition to standards of evidence, ESSA talks about a “well-rounded education.” Afterschool can help with that.</p><p> <strong>What are the headlines from your review of the available evidence on the effectiveness of afterschool programs?</strong></p><p>One of the important things this review shows is that, when you do a comprehensive search and assessment of the most rigorous evidence, you find there are many programs that have positive effects and that, taken together, these programs have positive effects on a range of outcomes, whether you’re talking academics, physical health, attendance, or promotion and graduation. I think that is news, actually. There have been questions in the past based on a small handful of studies about whether there are net benefits of afterschool programs. But when you do a comprehensive search and you pull all the studies together and look at the average effects, for most outcomes the average effects are positive, and there are plenty of programs that have had positive impacts on students. </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Afterschool_Illustration2.1.png" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Building-an-Effective-Afterschool-Program-With-the-Evidence-to-Back-It-Up/Afterschool_Illustration2.1.png" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;<em>The report's companion guide provides summaries, such as this one, on the research about the effectiveness of specific afterschool programs. </em></p><p> <strong>How can program providers use the report and guide in their decision-making?</strong></p><p>For providers, we summarize both branded and unbranded programs. Branded programs are formally organized and have a formal model. They may have a manual and a name. Some afterschool programs are branded, but probably most of them are homegrown models. For providers who might be thinking about purchasing products from the branded programs, the guide is a place to go and check a summary of their evidence. For providers who are developing a homegrown model, looking to see what others have done is a way of doing a tune-up on your own offerings. It helps you to think, “Here’s what I’m offering. What might I be able to expect in terms of outcomes for my kids?” </p><p> <strong>What advice do you have for a provider who may be seeking federal funding for a program that doesn’t already have established evidence of effectiveness?</strong></p><p>First of all, in the afterschool context, a lot is left to the states to determine, so it’s important to know what level of evidence your state is requiring. Another thing providers should do is look in the guide to see if there is a program with important similarities to the one they’re offering that’s been shown to have a positive impact. When you’re putting in evidence to apply for federal funding, that evidence doesn’t haven’t to be from your particular program; it could be from a like program. </p><p>Another important thing to know is that Tier 4 [the fourth level of evidence described in ESSA], offers a door through which a program can be offered, as long as there’s a compelling research-informed argument for why the program would have an impact <em>and</em> it’s being studied for effectiveness. Our review highlights some areas evaluators and programs should keep in mind as they’re figuring out what their evaluations should look like. For example, it’s important to think about getting a large enough sample size, otherwise your program is going to appear to have no statistically significant effects—even if it’s actually effective.</p><p>The afterschool field should also be thinking about what kind and intensity of outcomes afterschool programs can realistically produce. We found an awful lot of programs that use standardized test scores as an outcome. Test scores are easily available from school records. The problem is they’re very hard to budge. Think about school improvement grants&#58; Millions and millions of dollars went into intensive school-day interventions, and it was hard to get a bang out of that. It seems potentially harmful to hold afterschool programs to that standard. The amazing thing is that afterschool programs have done it, but we would encourage providers and funders to think hard about whether there are other meaningful measures that can be used to capture what these programs are trying to change. Sometimes, funders may need to help providers develop those measures.</p><p> <strong>What lessons does your review of the evidence base hold for state and federal policymakers? What can they do to promote effective afterschool programming?<br> </strong> <br> Providers, districts, and schools can be lauded&#58; Great job. You’ve shown that afterschool programs can be evaluated in rigorous ways and have some positive outcomes. Where the field needs to go next is to conduct better studies that test particular approaches, not just a mishmash of different approaches and outcomes. For example, if you’re going to have a program that’s trying to affect academic outcomes, really take a look at what it takes. How much time does it take? Can you offer it two days a week or do you need to offer it five days a week? What kind of staffing do you need to have? Are there requirements or incentives for participation you need to have?</p><p>States are in a great position to incentivize or require providers to develop a learning agenda because they’re re-granting a billion dollars collectively through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. There is evaluation money built into that program. But I don’t see great examples of states developing clear learning agendas with their grantees. That seems like the next step to me.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792019-03-26T04:00:00ZEducation researcher Ruth Neild on afterschool research and the funding requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act3/26/2019 5:33:09 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Building an Effective Afterschool Program…With the Evidence to Back It Up Education researcher Ruth Neild on afterschool 385https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Looking Toward a Nation at Hope16104GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>“I don’t see this as an initiative – I see this as the way we do schools.” </p><p>That comment by LaTanya McDade, chief education officer in Chicago Public Schools, captured the spirit at the launch in Washington, D.C., of a new report&#58; <a href="http&#58;//nationathope.org/report-from-the-nation/"><em>From A Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope&#58; Recommendations from the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.</em></a> </p><p>The Wallace Foundation was one of a group of foundations funding the commission’s work, which has unfolded over the past two years or so, and was one of more than 100 signatories to its recommendations.</p><p>Although they have no direct authority, national commissions can play important roles in promoting dialogue and defining issues. In 1983, the landmark report <em>A Nation at Risk </em>was credited with sparking the standards-based accountability movement. In a nod to that report, the new report’s title, coined by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, referenced the power of that earlier report as an agenda-setting device–but with the twist that its findings give us new hope for progress. </p><p>If <em>A Nation at Risk </em>focused on a particular kind of accountability, <em>A Nation at Hope </em>urges a broader focus on tapping the <em>combined </em>forces of academic learning and social and emotional learning&#58; “After two decades of education debates that produced deep passions and deeper divisions, we have a chance for a fresh start. A growing movement dedicated to the social, emotional and academic well-being of children is reshaping learning and changing lives across America. On the strength of its remarkable consensus, a nation at risk is finally a nation at hope.”</p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="SEAD-Report-Launch-ch1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Looking-Toward-a-Nation-at-Hope/SEAD-Report-Launch-ch1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>At the heart of the report is a finding that “Social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and academic development are deeply intertwined in the brain and in behavior and together influence school and life outcomes, including higher education, physical and mental health, economic well-being, and civic engagement.” This means that providing more opportunities for acquiring social and emotional skills has the chance to improve both academic outcomes, and the ability to compete in the labor market, the report concludes.</p><p>An implication, said Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a professor at the USC Rossier School of Education, is that educators focus both on transferring knowledge to students, and seeking to understand them and create a climate where learning can flourish. In addition to recognizing that we need to “enable children to relate well to other people and manage emotions,” we need to recognize that “the process of building knowledge can often be connected to emotions.” </p><p>Rooted on the finding that academic learning and social and emotional learning are “intertwined,” the report makes key six recommendations&#58; </p><ul><li>Set a vision for student success that prioritizes the whole child.</li><li>Transform learning settings so they are physically and emotionally safe and foster strong bonds among students and adults.</li><li>Change instruction to teach students social, emotional and cognitive skills; embed these skills in academics and schoolwide practices.</li><li>Build adult expertise in child and adolescent development.</li><li>Align resources and leverage partnerships across schools, families and communities to address the whole child.</li><li>Forge closer connections between research and practice to generate useful, actionable information for educators.</li></ul><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="SEAD-Report-Launch-ch2.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Looking-Toward-a-Nation-at-Hope/SEAD-Report-Launch-ch2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>The livestreamed launch saw a broad range of support for the commission’s work.</p><p>Josh Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable representing the nation’s 200 largest corporations employing 17 million people, said that over the past two years, concerns have grown among his members that while “they can find people, they can’t find people who are prepared technically and with the soft skills they need to enter the workforce.” In 2017, he noted, when asked about the greatest headwinds they face, for the first time concerns about the labor force nudged out regulation; by 2018, labor was the lead concern by a two-to-one margin. Businesses, he said, are already engaged in some way “to try to make sure that the education system is preparing graduates to do the jobs they have.” </p><p>From the policy community, Gov. Mitch Daniels applauded the notion that SEL was a “missing ingredient” in educational attainment, saying “this report is timely, necessary and the gap is not going to be filled by the environments that the children go home to after schools.” He also urged inclusion of social and emotional learning in the curricula of the nation’s 1,300 colleges of education, one of the recommendations in the report.</p><p>Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell offered that “movements will spread when there are narratives of people doing this right,” and suggested that parent-teacher associations and others could share stories of success that can be emulated and adapted locally rather than in a “top-down” manner. </p><p>Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, said a focus on social and emotional learning was a strong fit with the League’s emphasis on excellence and equity. “There is something commonsensical about this. For us to raise the next generation, we have to imbue them with a range of skills. Now we have to be much more intentional about it because of changes in family structure, diversity and globalization.”</p><p>He, like others, urged that community-based organizations providing afterschool be part of the solution. “It’s going to take a symphony, it’s going to take an orchestra, I want to make sure afterschool providers are in the band and not in the stands.”</p><p>That was a theme also shared by Josh Garcia, deputy superintendent in Tacoma Public Schools, a Wallace grantee, who emphasized the importance of having multiple partners and not just one. He described an “accordion strategy” used over the past decade to shape the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative that comprised four shifts&#58; schools, parents, afterschool providers and partnerships between all three. By accordion, he meant devising plans, listening to the community for ideas and input, and then closing the accordion to revise the plan–then repeating the process. Garcia credited the plan for helping boost high school graduation ratesfrom 55 percent in 2010 to 89 percent in 2018, along with significant decreases in absenteeism, and tardiness and expulsions.</p><p>LaTanya McDade of Chicago Public Schools emphasized the value of partnerships with research organizations, noting the Chicago schools partnership with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, and emphasizing the value of public-facing reports that both mark progress and hold the district and its partners accountable. “When you expose the data in a meaningful way, then you are dealing with a common set of facts, and that builds understanding in the community that this work really matters.”</p><p>An example of research that affected practice was a study by the Consortium highlighting differential disciplinary patterns across schools. Fixing that involved changing adult practice, she noted. For example, Sabrina Anderson, a principal in Chicago Public Schools, described how they now begin each morning with a chance for students to share anythingthat would stop them from learning. When conflicts do arise, students in a dispute go to the “peace center” in the classroom, turn over a water bottle filled with glitter and watch the glitter fall to the bottom–reminding them to take the time to listen and talk through their differences. </p><p>Panelists, as well as Tim Shriver, co-chair of the commission, urged organizations and individuals to act on the recommendations.</p><p>“The question before is all of us is can we mount the energy on the implementation and execution side and can we hold together this cross section which includes teachers, and business and community providers to push sensible change,” said Morial of the National Urban League. “What’s exciting about this is this is the next generation of education reform with excellence and equity as its guiding principle.”</p><p>And Becky Pringle, vice president of the National Education Association, returned to the theme that in outlining a consensus, the report created the ground for action at the local and state levels&#58; “I am energized that we are putting students at the core of this work. The report is so comprehensive and so well structured. Thank you. We have the research, we have the evidence…This is power, and together we will be worthy of our students.”</p><p>Wallace’s own work focuses on learning more about the intersection of schools and out-of-school time organizations in providing opportunities for students to acquire social and emotional skills. You can read about what we’ve already learned about social and emotional learning <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">here</a>. </p> Lucas Bernays Held182019-01-15T05:00:00ZNew report from national commission taps combined forces of academic learning and social and emotional development1/16/2019 3:36:15 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Looking Toward a Nation at Hope New report from national commission taps combined forces of academic learning and social 2291https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
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 836https://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 558https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How to Get Kids and Parents Psyched for Summer Learning16100GP0|#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 517https://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 515https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
In Baltimore, Young People Lead the Call for Afterschool and Summer Programs16115GP0|#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 276https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional Learning16117GP0|#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 1424https://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”16095GP0|#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 512https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

​​​​​​​