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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 219https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Summer Learning Programs Benefit Youth with High Attendance10230GP0|#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 130https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Interest in Social and Emotional Learning Heats Up10300GP0|#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 177https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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