Working Together to Support Out-of-School Time Learning
The bell rings, signaling the start of afterschool for a half million children in the Central Valley. For too many this time is unsupervised, marked by the risks associated with boredom and unstructured time.
The risky behaviors: bullying, drugs, gangs, alcohol, sexual activity, pornography, crime, suicide, and other self-destructive activities. […]
Evidence-based programming is now a major thrust in expanded learning, which includes afterschool programs. While a multitude of research about the impact of expanded learning exists, it is not always easy to uncover the best research. Fortunately, new publications and resources are emerging to provide helpful tools for expanded learning practitioners.
Three recent studies are examples of outstanding reports that provide useful data to shape expanded learning programs and practices. Their sponsoring organizations continue to provide a wealth of information for industry leaders.
The Partnership for Children & Youth’s newly released Time Well Spent report discusses strategies to help students get the most from expanded learning time. Directives such as, “Build on existing assets as you create a broad-based expanded learning system and infrastructure” and “Support the system’s capacity for continuous improvement” are just a couple of recommendations this study makes to help practitioners be more effective and efficient with their time. […]
Zumba, project-based learning, and brightly colored vests for staff are just a few innovative ways that the afterschool program at P.W. Engvall Elementary School in Lemoore is “standing out” for the California Department of Education’s quality standards for expanded learning.
The Learning in a Fun Environment (L.I.F.E.) After School Program, operated by West Hills College (WHC) Lemoore and currently at eight sites, launched at P.W. Engvall Elementary just this past August. The program, staffed by West Hills College students, has already seen participation rise.
“Our kids are enjoying their time there. They’re learning. They’re being productive,” said L.I.F.E. Director Oscar Villarreal, who emphasizes the program’s mission is to broaden intellectual capacity. “Because they’re growing, they’re wanting to know what else is [out] there.” […]