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Getting the Most Out of Data Collection for Out-of-School-Time Systems10974GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​Collect reliable data, mine it for insights and act wisely on the information&#58; That’s a recipe for continuous improvement for any organization. Out-of-school-time intermediaries, the organizations that oversee communitywide systems of afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time (OST) programs, recognize the value of effective data analysis. But deciding what data to collect, how to collect it and, most importantly, how to use it to drive improvement can be overwhelming. </p><p>A new tool—<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/framework-for-measurement-continuous-improvement-and-equitable-systems.aspx"><em>Putting Data to Work for Young People&#58; A Framework for Measurement, Continuous Improvement, and Equitable Systems</em></a><em>—</em>aims to help. The tool updates an earlier version from 2014 and was developed by <a href="https&#58;//www.everyhourcounts.org/" target="_blank">Every Hour Counts</a>, a national coalition of citywide OST organizations that seeks to increase access to high-quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students. The framework itself consists of 11 desired outcomes for an OST system at the systemic, programatic and youth level. Each outcome features a set of indicators to measure progress toward it and the types of data to collect along the way. The data-collection efforts of three OST intermediaries—<a href="https&#58;//www.bostonbeyond.org/" target="_blank">Boston After School &amp; Beyond</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.mypasa.org/" target="_blank">Providence After School Alliance</a>, and <a href="https&#58;//www.sprocketssaintpaul.org/" target="_blank">Sprockets in St. Paul</a>&#160;—informed the updated tool, as well as an accompanying guide written by RAND Corp. researchers Jennifer Sloan McCombs and Anamarie A. Whitaker, who led an evaluation of how the intermediaries used the framework. </p><p>Recently The Wallace Blog spoke with McCombs and Jessica Donner, executive director of Every Hour Counts, about the framework and the experiences of the intermediaries. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.<br> </p><p><strong>How did you determine the updated framework’s 11 outcomes and the related data indicators?<br> <br> Donner&#58;</strong> The selection of outcomes was driven by the on-the-ground experiences of the three intermediaries, the Every Hour Counts network, the knowledge brought to bear on the project by research partners and the existing literature on effective practice. The data indicators were developed by RAND based on their research expertise, the experience of the three intermediaries and RAND’s criteria to minimize burden on providers, intermediaries, staff and students, and efficiency for data collection and utility. This framework builds on prior iterations, specifically one developed with American Institutes for Research in 2014.<br> </p><p><strong>What did you learn from the three intermediaries as they used the 2014 framework?<br> <br> Donner&#58; </strong>We worked with these intermediaries because they had the bandwidth and expertise to hit the ground running with the framework. What we learned is that even highly accomplished intermediaries face tremendous challenges with data collection and use—staff capacity, research expertise, how to narrow down a host of outcomes and indicators to measure those outcomes. Where did they start? We had this framework, but the process was very overwhelming.<br> </p><p>We undertook the framework update and intentionally designed a tool that would make the data collection and use process more digestible, such as tips for staging the work and previewing a menu of options. We also infused racial equity questions throughout the framework. These questions are especially critical now as communities grapple with missed learning opportunities, particularly for students of color. The updated tool helps communities be efficient, effective and strategic with data, all in the service of high-quality programs for young people, particularly those who lack access due to structural inequities. That’s what we’ve always been about—recognizing inequities in opportunities and forwarding that agenda.<br> </p><p><strong>What did the intermediaries find were the framework’s key benefits?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> The core benefit was that the framework focused system leaders on data use, not just data collection. It really provides a roadmap to assess and align the goals and activities of an OST system and how to measure the outputs of those activities—not just for the sake of measuring progress toward goals, but also to drive systems improvement.<br> </p><p>Systems are constantly evolving. Very often, they get bogged down collecting data that once had a clear purpose but is now no longer utilized. In some cases, using the framework led the intermediaries to measure less but utilize more. It’s a bit like cleaning out your closet. Letting go of something you haven’t worn in a long time makes room for something else. Not using data that’s collected is a waste of resources and an opportunity cost for other activities. There’s also the burden of data collection on programs and youth. It’s very important that everything that systems ask of programs and youth has value that can be communicated back to them. <br> </p><p><strong>What are the toughest challenges for effective data collection and analysis?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> One challenge for OST systems leaders is the development of data systems and protocols that allow for the collection and safe storage of accurate data. This is easily forgotten by people who don’t have a background in research or data science. It’s not intuitive. To help system leaders overcome this, we wrote <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/putting-data-to-work-for-young-people.aspx"><em>Putting Data to Work for Young People&#58; A Ten-Step Guide for Expanded Learning Intermediaries</em></a> in 2019.<br> </p><p>OST systems also don’t tend to be robustly funded. System leaders have to make choices on a continuous basis about where to invest monetary and human capital resources. And that leads to difficult decisions. I don’t know any OST system that’s able to do everything it wants.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <br> </p><p><strong>In addition to using surveys and management information systems, the framework suggests low-budget options for gathering data, such as interviews with program leaders and youth representatives. Was this deliberate?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> It was an intentional choice. The goal of the framework is for systems to collect data that they can use to inform decision making. Some indicators are very expensive and time-consuming to measure well. But systems don’t have to measure everything that they do. There are other mechanisms that give people an opportunity to reflect on their work in a way that can drive future activities. System leaders can use touchpoints with community stakeholders to learn the extent to which their work is meeting the intended objectives. Some activities, like talking with youth council representatives, have benefits beyond measuring progress toward a particular goal. They build voices into the system and improve equity. <br> </p><p><strong>Donner&#58;</strong> When Jennifer and the team at RAND worked with the three intermediaries, they steered them toward open-source, free and accessible data-collection tools so they wouldn’t face a funding cliff later. They were realistic with their recommendations so systems would not need a massive grant to sustain their data collection work. <br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> Because we’re researchers, I think people expected that we would push them to measure more and at the highest level of rigor for everything. That was not our approach. We really wanted to help them build processes that were sustainable and that they could implement themselves over time.<br> </p><p><strong>The</strong> <strong>sample worksheets in the guide suggest that OST intermediaries don’t need to measure everything to track progress and make informed decisions. How can they make smart choices about the data they do collect and analyze?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> It's far better to measure three things reliably and use it to drive improvement, than to measure 10 things not particularly well and not have the capacity to use any of it. As system leaders go through the framework and want to measure this and this and this, they should really think about where they can derive the greatest value and what they have the capacity to accomplish well. What pieces of data are highest leverage? How can they make the most out of every data point so that stakeholders can make decisions that advance goals and continuous improvement processes? We encourage system leaders to ask themselves&#58; what do you have the capacity to collect, store, analyze and use right now?​<br> </p><p><strong>How did the framework help the three intermediaries improve their data efforts? And how will it continue to be used in the field?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> Intermediaries in the study used the framework in many different ways.&#160;As small examples, Sprockets [in St. Paul] used data to more explicitly communicate with various stakeholders, including community members, funders, and policymakers.​ For Boston After School &amp; Beyond, the framework propelled how it communicates data with programs in its network, and therefore, how programs utilize data themselves for their own improvement. Providence Afterschool Alliance really took stock of the data they needed, the data they didn’t, and how to share&#160;data back to providers.<br> </p><p><strong>Donner&#58;</strong> Every Hour Counts is forming a learning community with a cohort of city organizations who will work intentionally with the tool over the next year to use data to drive improvement. Intermediaries come in many shapes and sizes, but there is a common through line of the importance of system indicators, program indicators and youth indicators, which all intersect with each other. The framework is designed to meet communities wherever they are in the process. We’re eager to see how it helps them move from point A to B.&#160; </p>Jennifer Gill832021-10-06T04:00:00Zafterschool systems; cities; citywide systems; research; education research; OST10/7/2021 7:42:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Getting the Most Out of Data Collection for Out-of-School-Time Systems Developers of OST assessment tools discuss how to 266https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program9774GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​It’s been said thousands of times but bears repeating&#58; the summer of 2021 promises to be a most unusual one as schools, districts, nonprofits, parents and others roll up their sleeves to help counteract some of the learning losses of the pandemic—and simply bring children together again safely. Then again, what could be more normal than corralling a group of children in summer, whether to learn how to multiply fractions or swing a bat? <br></p><p>As Summer Learning Week begins, we’ve pulled together an unofficial list of Wallace’s Top 5 Summer Learning Publications. A majority of the research stems from the experiences of five urban school districts and their partners who formed Wallace’s <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/summer-learning.aspx">National Summer Learning Project</a> (NSLP) from 2011 through 2016. While the most current findings and popular tools headline the list, there is much more to be discovered in the <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning section</a> of Wallace’s Knowledge Center, all of which can be easily downloaded free of charge.<br> <br> </p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" alt="Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;286px;" /></a> <span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;"></span> <div><strong>1.</strong><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">The </a> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">First Stop for Summer Learning Practitioners</a>&#160;</div><p>Based on the RAND Corporation’s evaluations from the NSLP, <em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed </em>addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations around such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. For example, do you know the recommended month to begin planning a summer program? (If you guessed January, gold star.) Many more specific recommendations and guidance await your perusal. <br><br></p> ​ <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" alt="Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;287px;" /></a><strong>2.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx">Running a High-Quality Program Shows Meaningful Results</a><br> <em>Every Summer Counts&#58; A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project </em>also stems from RAND and the NSLP and finds both short-term and long-term benefits among students who consistently attended voluntary five- to six-week summer learning programs. The largest and longest study of its kind, the research confirms previous studies finding that after the first summer high-attenders outperformed control group members in math, and after the second summer, high-attenders saw advantages in math, language arts and social-emotional skills. This report shows that even three years after the second summer, while academic benefits had decreased in magnitude and were not statistically significant, they remained educationally meaningful. All of this suggests that summer programs can be an important component in how school districts support learning and skill development, particularly for children from low-income families who may face widening achievement and opportunity gaps in any summer, let alone this one post-COVID.<div><br><p></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" alt="toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;200px;" /></a><strong>3.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">A Hands-On How-To Guide for High-Quality Summer Learning</a><br> This online resource hub houses more than 50 evidence-based tools, templates and resources used successfully by NSLP’s districts and their partners. Additional resources created by field experts round out the offerings, all of which are aligned to RAND’s key research findings and contain guidance for how to use them. Each section of the toolkit includes a timeline for when you should start thinking about the various components of planning and design. Maybe you’re late to the toolkit for this summer, but fear not, you can begin many of the pre-planning and logistical steps for next summer this fall. <br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" alt="Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;113px;" /></a><strong>4.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx">What Parents Want from Out-of-School Programs This Summer</a><br> For this recently released study, Edge Research and Learning Heroes surveyed parents of K-8th grade children, out-of-school-time (OST) professionals, field leaders and others to explore the unique role OST programs play in youth development compared with home and school as well as the impact of COVID-19 for this summer and beyond. Among the many nuggets, the researchers found that parents were indeed concerned about the impact of the pandemic, with many expressing fears that their children were struggling academically, socially and emotionally. Overall parents identified three priorities for what they’d like to see summer programming address for their children&#58; their social and emotional health, providing them with physical outdoor activities and helping them discover their passion and purpose. ​​<br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" alt="Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;278px;" />​</a><strong>5.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx">Federal Funds Are Now Available for Summer Learning</a><br> Complementing parents’ concern for their children’s academic, social and emotional well-being, the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act has made funds available to states and districts to speed up recovery from the effects of the pandemic, including addressing learning loss. In <em>Evidence-based Considerations for COVID-19 Reopening and Recovery Planning&#58; Summer Learning with Academic and Non-Academic Activities, </em>Wallace has distilled evidence from our summer-learning work that may be helpful in informing choices about how to spend those funds, as well as how to implement key strategies. The paper includes an annotated bibliography with links to resources and tools (more than we could fit in this Top 5 list, so it’s a bonus!). ​<br><br></p></div>Wallace editorial team792021-07-09T04:00:00ZEverything from planning district-wide summer programs to maximizing resources available under the American Rescue Plan Act—and Wallace’s popular summer learning toolkit7/9/2021 1:56:13 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / 5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program Everything from planning district-wide summer programs to 408https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Study Finds Cost a Key Barrier to Summer Programs for Youth9939GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​As the summer of 2021 begins, many students and families are struggling to recover from the isolation, disruption and instructional loss of the pandemic. Summer programs could help. But according to a recent study that looks in-depth at summer learning in 2019 and 2020, student participation in programs remains low, despite some recent growth and soaring parent satisfaction. For every child in a summer learning program in 2019, another was waiting to get in, according to a recently released report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/america-after-3pm-time-for-a-game-changing-summer-with-opportunity-and-growth-for-all-of-americas-youth.aspx">Time for a Game-Changing Summer, With Opportunity and Growth for All of America’s Youth</a><u>.</u></p><p>Commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance and conducted by Edge Research, the study is based on responses from more than 29,500 U.S. families and builds on household surveys conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2014. It also includes national findings from smaller surveys of parents and program providers conducted in summer and fall of 2020 and spring of 2021, and offers a snapshot of how children and youth spent their summers before and during the pandemic.</p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Study-Finds-Cost-a-Key-Barrier-to-Summer-Programs-for-Youth/NikkiYamashiro-crop.jpg" alt="NikkiYamashiro-crop.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;183px;height&#58;222px;" />The Wallace Blog caught up Nikki Yamashiro, vice president of research at the Afterschool Alliance, to discuss the implic​ations of the survey and what they might mean for a post-pandemic world. </p><p><strong>In the summer of 2019, participation in summer programming was at the highest level ever recorded by </strong><strong>America After 3PM, but the demand is far from being met. Can you talk more about this? </strong></p><p>This is a great place to start—these are two of the key findings from our report. It’s true, <a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/AA3PM-2020/AA3PM-Time-for-a-Game-Changing-Summer-2021-Executive-Summary.pdf">we found that between 2008 and 2019, participation in summer programs was on the rise</a>, but despite this increase, for every child in a summer program in 2019, there was another who would have been enrolled if a program were available. Similar to what we found regarding unmet demand for afterschool programs in our America After 3PM report, “<a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/AA3PM-2020/AA3PM-National-Report.pdf">Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks</a>,” the number of children who are missing out on the opportunities that summer programs offer is immense. Overall, 13.9 million children, nearly 1 in 3 not in a program during the 2019 summer, would have been enrolled in one. </p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Study-Finds-Cost-a-Key-Barrier-to-Summer-Programs-for-Youth/AA3PM-Summer-Participation.png" alt="AA3PM-Summer-Participation.png" style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p>What this tells us is that not only is there a tremendous demand for summer programs in the U.S., there is an overwhelming need for increased access to affordable summer programming in the U.S. When we take a look at who’s participating in programs, we found that higher income children are nearly three times more likely to participate in a structured summer experience than children from lower income families.</p><p><strong>Why are kids from families with low incomes missing out on summer programs? What barriers are they facing and what kind of support/funding can help?</strong><br></p><p>To sum it up in one word, cost. The cost of summer programs is by far the largest hurdle for families with low incomes. Our study found that more than two in five parents with low incomes who didn’t have a child in a summer program (44 percent) report that cost was an important reason why they chose not to enroll their child, nearly 10 percentage points above that of higher income households (35 percent). Transportation and not knowing what programs were available are also notable barriers, with more than one in five parents with low incomes reporting these as a factors keeping their child out of a summer program. </p><p>Unfortunately, this disparity of who can and who can’t afford programs isn’t exclusive to the summer—we found that families in the highest income bracket spend more than five times as much on out-of-school-time activities for one child annually than families in the lowest income bracket.</p><p>A bright spot is the infusion of funding through the American Rescue Plan to state and local education agencies that is being used to support summer enrichment, comprehensive afterschool and learning recovery programs. Through this investment in summer, as well as in afterschool programs, our hope is that more children and families will be able to connect to programs in their community. </p><p><strong>How have parents’ priorities when it comes to summer programs changed since COVID-19? What is the impact of the pandemic on future demand?</strong></p><p>This most likely isn’t a surprise to parents who are reading this, but for families who wanted a structured summer experience for their children, we didn’t find a significant shift in the leading factors parents said were most important to them in 2019 and what was most important to them in 2020. Outside of safety and cleaning precautions against COVID-19, which were new priorities for parents in 2020, the key drivers behind parents choosing their child’s summer activity, both before and during the pandemic, were a safe environment, knowledgeable and caring staff, and opportunities to build social skills. &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</p><p>A <a href="https&#58;//mercuryllc.app.box.com/s/wse3fs55ll635j7oi92gsv3a0uyw6uwz/file/817680950770">recent survey of parents</a> asking about plans for this summer found that most families are prioritizing outdoor, physical, social, and/or non-traditional enrichment programs (62 percent). </p><p><strong>According to the survey, 79</strong><strong> percent</strong><strong> of summer programs plan to offer in-person and/or virtual activities for kids this year. What are some of the new challenges the providers face this summer due to COVID-19?</strong></p><p>That’s an excellent question. We have a survey in the field right now to ask summer program providers exactly that. The purpose of the survey is to gain an understanding of the supports and services they’re providing this summer and the challenges they’re encountering in this second summer of the pandemic. Based on anecdotal stories from the field about plans for this summer and what we found in <a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/Afterschool-COVID-19-Wave-2-Brief.pdf">last year’s summer provider survey</a> and a <a href="https&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/covid/Ongoing-Look-at-Afterschool-in-the-Time-of-COVID-19.cfm">recent spring 2021 provider survey</a>, we anticipate that staffing issues will continue to be a challenge, specifically hiring enough staff for in-person programming and the programs’ capacity to provide in-person services to every young person who would like to attend. Together with the recent survey of parents mentioned earlier, where more than 3 in 5 parents report that they feel comfortable sending their child to in-person summer experiences (63 percent), signs point to an increased demand for summer programs compared to the summer of 2020, but only time will tell. We’re looking forward to reporting back what we uncover. </p><p><strong>What would you like policymakers to take away from this survey?</strong></p><p>It’s my view that the findings from the survey all boil down to one fundamental premise—to meet the need for summer programming among families, in particular families with low incomes, greater investment in summer learning is critical. We found that parents value the time during the summers for their children to discover new interests, build connections, and be active and outdoors. Parents have increasingly wanted more structured summer opportunities for their children. And, during the pandemic, families counted on summer programs for supports ranging from helping their child stay connected to their peers to connecting families with community resources. Yet for many children and families, summer programs are out of reach. Taken together, these findings paint a picture of the importance of more opportunities for summer learning. With nearly 14 million children who would be enrolled in a summer program if one were available to them, the need for additional investment in summer programs to make certain that all children are able to access quality, affordable summer learning opportunities is undeniable.</p>Jenna Doleh912021-06-23T04:00:00ZDespite high demand, especially with the pandemic, summer programs are still out of reach for too many children.6/23/2021 5:00:25 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Study Finds Cost a Key Barrier to Summer Programs for Youth Despite high demand, especially with the pandemic, summer 775https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Why Are So Many Kids Missing Out on Afterschool? 10217GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For the past few years, participation in afterschool programs has dropped precipitously. ​Families of 24.6 million children—<a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/AA3PM-2020/AA3PM-National-Report.pdf">an ​​increase of 60 percent&#160;since 2004</a>—are una​​ble to access a program and many report cost as a barrier, according to a new survey from the Afterschool Alliance.</p><p>The study, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/America-After-3PM-Demand-Grows-Opportunity-Shrinks.aspx"> <em>America After 3pm&#58; Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks</em></a><em>, </em>identifies trends in afterschool program offerings and shares overall parent perceptions of afterschool programs. With responses from more than 30,000 U.S. families, this survey builds on the household surveys conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2014. While it offers a pre-pandemic snapshot of how children and youth spend their afternoons, it also includes findings from a separate survey of parents conducted in fall 2020, to capture the pandemic’s impact on afterschool. </p><p>The Wallace Blog caught up with Jennifer Rinehart, Senior VP, Strategy &amp; Programs at the&#160;Afterschool Alliance, to discuss the implications of the survey and what they might mean for a post-pandemic world. </p><p> <strong>This is the fourt​​h edition of <em>America After 3PM</em>. Why did you start collecting these data and what is the value in continuing to do so?</strong></p><p> <em>America After 3PM</em> was the first research undertaking at the Afterschool Alliance and continues to be a pillar of our work. In the early 2000​s, we realized very quickly that there wasn’t a data source that provided a comprehensive view of how kids in America spend their afterschool hours, and we set out to remedy that. As a field building, policy and advocacy organization, we recognized that having good research and data would be critical to our success in helping all young people access quality afterschool and summer programs. And we knew it wasn’t enough to have just a national snapshot. We’d need families from every state, families at all income levels and all races and ethnicities, to really tell the story of who has access to afterschool and summer programs, who is missing out, and why. Through the fourth&#160;edition of America After 3PM, we surveyed more than 31,000 families to capture this in-depth and detailed portrait of the afterschool hours across the U.S.</p><p> <strong>Unmet demand for afterschool programs continues to be a major issue, but access and availability of programs is still a concern. Can you talk more about this?</strong></p><p> <em>America After 3PM</em> paints a picture of the huge unmet demand for afterschool programs, with the heaviest burdens falling on low-income families and families of color. The families of nearly 25 million children are unable to access a program. That’s more than ever before; for every child in an afterschool program in America, three more are waiting to get in.</p><p>More families report that cost and transportation, as well as overall lack of programs, are barriers today than in 2014, and that is especially the case for families with low-income and families of color.</p><p> <strong>Despite this demand, your recent survey found that participation in afterschool programs has actually decreased for the first time since Afterschool Alliance started doing the survey. Do you have any thoughts on why?</strong></p><p>That’s right. We found that about 8 million children and youth are enrolled in afterschool programs today. That’s down from just over 10 million in 2014.&#160; We know from parent responses that cost and access are the biggest barriers to participation.&#160;&#160; </p><p>Even more troubling than the decline in participation are the inequities in terms of which students can access programs. The number of children from low-income households participating in afterschool fell from 4.6 million in 2014 to 2.7 million in 2020. The number of higher-income children in afterschool fell by just under 450,000 over the same period. </p><p>Publicly funded afterschool and summer programs like the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) and state-funded programs have been a backbone of support for many young people from low-income households. However, these investments are not keeping up with the demand for programs, and a significant number of low-income young people are being denied the opportunity to participate in afterschool programs. We are very concerned that low-income families who in the past could manage to pay for programs can no longer do so.</p><p> <strong>We know that children in low-income families have more limited learning and enrichment opportunities outside of school compared to their higher income peers. How does having afterschool opportunities help to close this opportunity gap?</strong></p><p>The opportunity gap and the achievement gap are clearly connected. If we can begin to close the gap in terms of who has access to afterschool and summer learning and enrichment, we can also begin to close the achievement gap.&#160; </p><p>Quality afterschool programs have a long history of expanding opportunity for young people by supporting academics and learning, but also by supporting the whole child and helping struggling families. Afterschool programs help children with schoolwork; provide opportunities to explore subjects like science, technology, engineering and math; give them time to be social and active; help them develop life skills and more. The research base is clear that kids who regularly participate in afterschool programs can improve their work habits and grades, attend school more often, get excited about learning and have higher graduation rates.<br></p><p>The opportunity gap goes beyond access to afterschool and summer programs. In <em>America After 3PM</em>, we also ask about other types of enrichment in the after school and summer hours—things like sports, music and art lessons, and more—and how much families spend on those out-of-school-time opportunities. </p><p>Similar to other research on the opportunity gap, we found that higher income families report greater access to afterschool, summer and other out-of-school activities, and higher-income families spend more than five times as much on those opportunities than families in the lowest income bracket [roughly $3,600 vs. $700 per year]. </p><p> <strong>According to the report, more than 8 in 10 parents surveyed said that afterschool helps working parents keep their jobs. What other feedback did you hear from parents? </strong></p><p>Parents recognize a wide array of benefits associated with participation in afterschool programs.&#160; Parents agree that afterschool programs provide time for kids to engage with their peers and reduce unproductive screen time (85 percent), get kids more excited about learning and interested in school (74 percent) and reduce the likelihood that youth will use drugs or engage in other risky behaviors (75 percent).<br></p><p>And, the benefits of participation extend to parents as well. When asked about supports they receive from programs, 78 percent of parents with a child enrolled in afterschool report that programs help them keep their jobs, and 71 percent say that programs allow them to build their skills through classes or workshops offered. </p><p>Given that wide range of benefits, it’s no surprise that parents give afterschool programs very high marks. Ninety-four percent of parents are satisfied with their child’s program. This is the highest level of satisfaction in the history of <em>America After 3PM</em> and is an indication that programs are providing high-quality programming that meets the needs of kids and families.</p><p> <strong>How have parent perceptions about afterschool and its value changed since COVID-19? What is the impact of the pandemic on future demand?</strong></p><p>While most of the data for <em>America After 3PM</em> were collected pre-pandemic (January through early March of 2020), we also fielded <em>America After 3PM</em> oversample surveys in a handful of localities from April through June, which provide a glimpse into how parents’ thinking about afterschool did or didn’t change in the midst of the pandemic. </p><p>While these data are from a smaller sample of households, we found that at the household level, parents without a child in an afterschool program in the aggregate oversample were just as likely to say that they would likely enroll their child in an afterschool program if one were available as parents surveyed at the start of the year (59 percent vs. 59 percent). </p><p>In a nationally representative follow up survey conducted in October 2020, parents also reported similar barriers to participation in the midst of COVID. While the biggest barriers were COVID-related, beyond those COVID concerns, we saw the same top barriers related to cost and access.&#160; </p><p>These data suggest that as we move towards recovery and focus on what children need to thrive and what parents need to get and keep jobs, we can expect to return to previous levels of demand for programs, and we will need to provide supports for afterschool programs to increase the capacity of existing programs and make sure more of them are available to meet the needs of all kids and families.</p><p> <strong>How can we use the findings of this study to help provide children with affordable, quality afterschool programs and what kind of support and/or funding is needed?</strong></p><p>While there have been modest increases to federal funding for afterschool since 2014, the increases have not been enough to keep up with the costs of providing a high-quality afterschool program. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, the investment in 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) is actually $10 million less today than it was in 2014. Several states have increased their funding for afterschool and those investments are critical in helping keep low-income young people in afterschool programs in those states. California is a notable example with higher than average participation levels in afterschool due in part to its state investment.&#160; </p><p>We need to use these data to convince governments at all levels, businesses, philanthropies and others to prioritize funding for afterschool programs. </p><p> <strong>What would you like policymakers to take away from this survey?</strong></p><p>Afterschool and summer programs were a key support for young people and families prior to the pandemic and have been rising to the moment during the pandemic to meet the needs of children and families. All our children and youth need access to the enrichment opportunities and resources afterschool programs provide and it’s clear from <em>America After 3PM</em> that too many were missing out prior to the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the disparities in access. </p><p>As we move forward, we need to be smart and invest in our future. There’s no question that afterschool is a smart investment for kids, families, our workforce, our economy and our country.​&#160;Supporting afterschool is essential to help children succeed in school and in life and to help us emerge from the pandemic strong.<br></p>Jenna Doleh912021-03-03T05:00:00ZSurvey finds satisfaction with afterschool programs are growing, but cost and access are preventing participation.4/7/2021 7:46:44 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Why Are So Many Kids Missing Out on Afterschool National survey finds high demand for afterschool programs, but cost 571https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Cross-sector Collaborations for Education Show Promise, Face Challenges3441GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning<p>Complex social issues must be solved with a comprehensive approach. That’s the idea driving a recent surge in cross-sector collaborations anchored in communities and aimed at improving local educational outcomes, especially for low-income students. In one study, researchers from Teachers College at Columbia University <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/collective-impact-and-the-new-generation-of-cross-sector-collaboration-for-education.aspx">found 182 such place-based collaborations nationwide</a> working to improve students’ readiness for and success in early childhood, K-12, and post-secondary education. </p><p>A&#160;companion study (also from Teachers College), <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-impact-a-closer-look-at-local-cross-sector-collaborations-for-education.aspx"><em>Building Impact&#58; A Closer Look at Local Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education,​</em>&#160;</a> now examines&#160;eight collaborations, which often include philanthropies, school districts, businesses, higher education and social service agencies. Prior to the study's release, Carolyn Riehl, an associate professor at Teachers College, presented a few&#160;of the&#160;&#160;findings at a ​​Collective Impact Convening in Chicago. She was joined by Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, and Danae Davis, executive director of Milwaukee Succeeds, one of the collaborations featured in the study. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Panel-photo-1.1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Cross-sector-Collaborations-for-Education-Show-Promise-Face-Challenges/Panel-photo-1.1.jpg" style="margin&#58;170px 5px;width&#58;442px;" />While cross-sector collaborations were often overly optimistic about their initial goals, there’s reason for “cautious optimism” about their future, Riehl told a crowd gathered at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. They will likely take “more time than the usual window of opportunity social programs are given for making an impact,” she said, but they are bringing together partners who have rarely cooperated before, soothing local political tensions and making steady progress. </p><p>Here we highlight some key questions posed by the panel and preview findings from the upcoming report, which Miller called, “one of the most in-depth studies of the cross-sector collaboration approach.”</p><p> <strong>Can local collaborations mount comprehensive change?</strong></p><p>Several of the eight collaborations studied set out to provide supports from early childhood through post-secondary education, but only one—Say Yes Buffalo—has come close to meeting that promise so far, the study found. That group convinced the city to provide “a broad menu of wraparound support services” for students, Riehl said. “The ‘carrot’ that enticed the city to commit was that Say Yes promised college scholarships for all eligible public school graduates in the city. The stick was that if the city reneged on the support services, there would be no more scholarships.”</p><p>Other collaborations studied had expanded services on a more gradual and limited scale and not yet met their goals. Obstacles included getting participants to agree on strategies and a shortage of funding and organizational capacity. Still, the vision to provide comprehensive services “seems to give people a sense of purpose and significance, a horizon to reach for,” she noted. </p><p> <strong>How do collaborations address education?</strong><strong><br></strong><br> “The politics and pragmatics of collaborations working closely with school districts turned out to be much more complicated than we might imagine,” Riehl said to appreciative laughter. The initiatives studied often supported instructional improvement by launching afterschool programs or by backing a district’s strategic plan, but appropriately refrained from trying to drive instructional reforms.&#160;&#160;</p><p>But districts also were often hesitant to work closely with cross-sector collaborations, the study found. One reason, Riehl said, seemed to be a desire to avoid expensive, complicated and politically challenging work. Pressure to focus on immediate testing and accountability concerns may have played a role. Districts also commonly want to be viewed as the “source and motivator” of their own improvement, she noted, and working with an external collaboration might imply that the district couldn’t manage improvement on its own.</p><p>Collaborations did make one significant contribution to core education reform, the study found&#58; they calmed entrenched interests and tensions that often surround urban school systems. They reduced “the sense of frustration and urgency,” Riehl said, and created “an environment more conducive to school system stability and productivity. This may not be the kind of ambitious change implied in the rhetoric of collective impact, but it did count for something in local contexts.”</p><p> <strong>How do collaborations address equity in their systems?</strong><strong> </strong></p><p>Most collaborations were motivated by the desire to end disparities in academic performance for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. Yet at their start, they refrained from naming the problem directly or addressing other inequities that affect education, such as housing, employment, community safety and services. But over time, collaborations have become more explicit and intentional about equity, the study found. Researchers attributed that in part to the influence of national networks supporting collaboratives and growing national attention to class and race disparities, especially in the wake of the 2016 presidential campaign. &#160;<br><br> Still, collaborations generally continued to be made up of community leaders, “often without involving the people most impacted by inequity and poor education,” she observed. The original idea was to involve “powerful decision-makers in systemwide change” but that approach, she said, might ultimately fail to galvanize widespread support, including from those they intend to serve. </p><p> <strong>What can influence sustainability in a collaboration? </strong></p><p>“Goodwill and enthusiasm for the idea of collective impact gave these initiatives their start and seem to be boosting them along,” Riehl reported. Other factors aiding sustainability include effective “backbone” organizations to manage the collaboration, leaders with strong interpersonal skills, and national networks providing technical assistance, networking, strategies, funding and other supports. &#160;<br> Davis of Milwaukee Succeeds, which belongs to the national StriveTogether network, said that her collaborative has sustained itself since 2011 despite launching amid local education politics “that had been toxic for 25 years.” The city’s education landscape included a high-poverty school system struggling to raise student achievement, a large number of independent charter schools and private (mostly religious) schools enrolling students with vouchers. &#160;</p><p>Keeping all three education systems working together through the collaborative, she said, “is no small feat.”</p><p>She attributes their commitment to a shared desire to benefit children, a refusal to allow the collaborative’s forum “to be hijacked for political reasons,” such as elections, and insistence among the five major foundations funding the work that the three education systems show evidence of partnership. “That sends the message that you want to stay in the tent,” she said.</p><p>Early on, the collaboration also realized that it would get more traction if it placed school system priorities at the forefront, she added.</p><p>While Milwaukee Succeeds had to scale back on its ambition to tackle the whole “cradle to career spectrum” at once, it has had some wins, Davis said. After a technology manufacturing company promised the county 13,000 jobs, the collaborative helped to convene 18 local two- and four-year colleges and universities to come up with a workforce development plan that included raising college enrollment and completion. &#160;</p><p>“That was a huge deal,” she said. “I don’t know how many of you have worked with higher ed—it’s worse than the Titanic in terms of turning it around. And they are moving with great speed.”</p><p>In another win, they convinced state legislators to fund a statewide expansion of a tutoring program for early readers that the collaborative had brought to Milwaukee. Business partners in the collaborative made the request, backed by data, she said, and philanthropic partners promised funding for a quarter of the cost.</p><p> <strong>What does the immediate future look like for collaborations?</strong></p><p>Davis said she regrets that the collaborative neglected grassroots involvement at the start and so is not well-known in the wider community. Eight years in, they are working to forge those relationships. An important step, she said, will be finding ways to support grassroots agendas. To build community buy-in, she advised “don’t bring them to your table, go to their table.” &#160;</p><p>Miller added that in his own personal experience, he’s found that a cross-sector collaboration needs support both from elites to bring resources to the table and from grassroots participation to give the effort legitimacy. Some collaborations he’s participated in, he said, owed their success in large part to “a lengthy, exhaustive process” for identifying where the interests of each overlapped. &#160;</p><p>Riehl and Davis agreed that sustaining cross-sector collaboration long-term will depend on the skill of “backbone” organizations like Milwaukee Succeeds to forge and manage diverse relationships and become more representative of the communities they serve. </p><p>“This process takes a long time,” Riehl said. “People get bored and stop coming, they argue, there’s conflict, factions develop, so it really takes a steady hand to get everyone rowing in the same direction.”<br><br> But, she said, “we’ve seen lovely instances where partner agencies have changed their strategies because they want to be part of the action.”</p><p><em>To learn more about the Teachers College study of cross-sector collaborations in education,</em> see <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/putting-collective-impact-into-context.aspx">Putting Collective Impact Into Context</a> <em>and</em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/collective-impact-and-the-new-generation-of-cross-sector-collaboration-for-education.aspx?_ga=2.17155889.962354234.1561754504-1014093728.1520357385">Collective Impact and the New Generation of Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education</a>. </p>Photo&#58; ​Will Miller, president, The Wallace Foundation; Danae Davis, executive director, Milwaukee Succeeds; Carolyn Riehl, associate professor, Teachers College<br>Elizabeth Duffrin972019-06-18T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.1/16/2020 4:30:17 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Cross-sector Collaborations for Education Show Promise, Face Challenges Upcoming report examines collaborations and their 1690https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Keeping the Lights On for Afterschool10263GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​This week, in more than 8,000 communities across the country and at U.S. military bases worldwide, afterschool programs will open their doors to showcase the skills students gain and the talents they develop at their afterschool programs. We expect more than a million people to participate in <a href="http&#58;//www.afterschoolalliance.org/loa.cfm" target="_blank">Lights On Afterschool</a>, the only national rally for afterschool.</p><p>This event began 19 years ago, when afterschool programs were little known but badly needed. In those days, most people could quickly and easily articulate the need for afterschool programs, but few knew what the term meant. A weekly chess club? Seasonal football or cheerleading practices? A monthly volunteer activity? </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="group_of_kids_at_table.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/group_of_kids_at_table.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;425px;" />Neither policymakers nor educators had reliable information about where the country’s children were and what they were doing each afternoon after school closed. Police and prosecutors knew too many were unsupervised and on the streets. First responders and health care providers knew too many were at risk for substance abuse, sexual activity and other dangerous behaviors. Educators knew not enough were getting homework help and enriching, engaging activities. Business and college leaders knew they weren’t using that time to hone the communications and team-building skills that ready them for jobs or college. And millions of parents knew–all too well–the anxiety that came with crossing your fingers each afternoon, hoping against hope that your kids would be okay until you got home from work.</p><p>All that has changed. </p><p>Today, more than 10 million children are in afterschool programs. By overwhelming majorities, the public recognizes that these programs provide comprehensive supports and activities that improve students’ prospects in school and in life, boost families, make communities safer and strengthen our workforce, according to a <a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/research.cfm" target="_blank">national public opinion survey</a> the Afterschool Alliance released this week. <a name="_Hlk526952191"></a></p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Balloons-and-teen-students-.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Balloons-and-teen-students-.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;406px;" />What got us here? A combination of factors, including afterschool providers, educators and school system leaders who were willing to advocate for the programs they knew children and families needed; <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">a growing body of research</a> documenting the benefits afterschool and summer learning programs provide; strong policies that built on that research; and a field that has been receptive and innovative in both applying lessons from research into practice and finding new ways to engage students in learning.&#160; We can actually see evidence of these factors at work during Lights On Afterschool this month. Students nationwide are showing off the skills they’re learning after school, from engineering robots to public speaking to performing music and plays they wrote themselves. </p><p>Many Lights On Afterschool events feature mayors and city leaders, who have emerged as champions of programs that give working parents peace of mind, reduce juvenile crime and engage businesses in preparing the workforce of tomorrow. And nearly every governor has issued a proclamation in support of Lights On Afterschool Day. </p><p>We have a lot to be proud of, but we also have a long way to go. While programs have stepped up, and more elected officials recognize the value of these programs, demand for afterschool and summer options still far outpaces supply. Most families today need afterschool and summer programs, but for every child in an afterschool program, two more are waiting to get in.</p><p>Where will we be in another 19 years? We certainly hope that, before long, no child will be without the afterschool program she or he needs. But whether that happens depends on all of us. Business, philanthropy, government, communities and parents each have a role in play in charting the course of afterschool and summer programs.&#160; It is my sincere hope that by 2040, afterschool and summer are treated as the integral part of a child’s education we know them to be.&#160; </p> <em>Jodi Grant is executive director of the </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.afterschoolalliance.org/" target="_blank"> <em>Afterschool Alliance</em></a><em>.</em>Jodi Grant882018-10-23T04:00:00ZAnnual Lights On Afterschool Event Highlights the Benefits and Value of Afterschool Programs Across the U.S.10/23/2018 7:59:24 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Keeping the Lights On for Afterschool Annual event highlights the benefits and value of afterschool programs across the 928https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Interest in Social and Emotional Learning Heats Up24081GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>There is growing consensus among educators that children must develop skills beyond academics to succeed in the classroom and in life. Often grouped under the term “social and emotional learning,” (SEL), these skills, when nurtured and developed, can ​help kids manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and navigate social situations, among other things. </p><p>As the field of social and emotional learning continues to build momentum, our work at Wallace has begun to focus on helping teachers, afterschool educators and others define what SEL skills are, why they matter, and how practitioners can incorporate them into their programs. Late in 2016, we gleaned a sense of the curiosity on this topic when we held <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sel-feedback-and-communications-insights-from-the-field.aspx">a webinar</a> with insights from the field collected by Edge Research. The researchers found that practitioners and policymakers were familiar with the term social and emotional learning and that educators in both K-12 schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs considered building SEL skills a priority.&#160; </p><p>Still nothing prepared us for the keen interest in what’s become our runaway hit&#58; <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx"><em>Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out</em></a>. This in-depth guide to 25 evidence-based programs—aimed at elementary schools and OST providers—seeks to help practitioners make informed choices about their SEL programs. Using the guide, practitioners can compare curricula, program features and methods across top SEL programs, based upon their own needs. Users can also see how programs can be adapted from schools to out-of-school-time settings, such as afterschool and summer programs. </p><p>The apparent need for what is, in effect, the first consumer guide to SEL cannot be overstated&#58; In just several months the 349-page publication has been downloaded almost 10,000 times from our website, and practitioners have been sharing it widely across social media. The guide was written by noted SEL expert Stephanie Jones at Harvard. Complementing the SEL guide is a special edition of <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Future-of-Children-Social-and-Emotional-Learning.aspx">The Future of Children</a>, a compilation of articles showing that SEL skills are essential for kids and that teachers and OST staff need professional development to help children develop them. Multiple authors, all preeminent voices in the field, urge a greater focus on outcomes at the classroom level and age-appropriate interventions. They also begin to wrestle with the complicated question of how to measure SEL skill development. </p><p>Taken together, these products are helping to build a&#160;canon&#160;for social and emotional learning. We have more publications currently in the works to keep up with new insights and knowledge in this ever-growing field. </p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZWallace Foundation products help inform the emerging field of social and emotional learning, focusing on what we know about SEL programs and practices4/4/2018 7:24:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Interest in Social and Emotional Learning Heats Up New products help inform the emerging field of social and emotional 950https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Summer Learning Programs Benefit Youth with High Attendance24110GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>At first the conclusion seems almost too obvious to state&#58; Voluntary summer learning programs benefit low-income youth in both math and reading…if children attend. </p><p> But unpack it a bit further and you begin to see both the groundbreaking nature of the research leading to this conclusion, as well as the real barriers that often keep young people, particularly those in under-resourced areas, from attending summer programs. </p><p>&#160;Research on summer programs has largely been confined to&#160;mandatory &quot;summer school&quot;&#160;or voluntary opportunities that many families are not able to afford. But what might happen if children elected to attend summer programs run by the school district, so educators could ensure a level of quality and continuity with the school year? Would this make an impact for kids? </p><p> We created the <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/VIDEO-Ready-for-Fall.aspx">National Summer Learning Project </a>to help answer these questions. As part of the project, we commissioned the RAND Corporation to study five districts with large-scale voluntary summer learning programs to help them improve their programs and then survey the impact on participating students. RAND published its cumulative findings in a 2016 publication&#58; <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Learning-from-Summer-Effects-of-Voluntary-Summer-Learning-Programs-on-Low-Income-Urban-Youth.aspx"> <em> Learning from Summer&#58; Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth</em>. </a>The big eye-opener was that kids who attended the five-to-six week programs for 20 or more days benefitted in both reading and math. </p><p> Other key findings thus far include&#58; </p><ul><li> Early planning is key&#58; According to RAND schools need to begin the planning process by January at the latest. <br></li><li>High-quality instruction matters&#58; Ideally, teachers should have subject matter and grade-level experience to make connections between the summer and what students are learning throughout the year. <br></li><li>Attendance must be nurtured and tracked&#58; It’s important that kids feel welcome in the program so they’ll attend, and we now know how essential high attendance is to success. </li></ul><p> Future publications from the project will include an operational guide, hand-on tool kits and resources, as well as an online recruitment guide. All research and tools link back to the primary conclusion&#58; Good results are possible if you can get children in the door and keep them there. </p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZThe Wallace Foundation’s National Summer Learning Project and RAND Corporation provide evidence that summer learning programs bring academic and other benefits4/4/2018 4:58:22 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Summer Learning Programs Benefit Youth with High Attendance Study provides evidence that summer learning programs bring 392https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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