Research

Central Valley Afterschool Foundation
An April 2008 report of 80 afterschool program sites by the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation reveals increases in school-day attendance, English language learning and improved test scores. Afterschool program participants improved their school-day attendance by 14 days between the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years. What’s more, 23% of English Learners who attended afterschool programs in the Central Valley were reclassified as fluent in English, compared to about 7% for all students in the region. The study reported that 40% of afterschool students who fell below grade level improved their test scores within a year.
Source:  Afterschool Programs in the Central Valley Benefit Children and Youth, April 2008, Central Valley Afterschool Foundation

great workExpanded Learning Opportunities
As traditional afterschool programs, with their emphasis on youth development, give way to new models for expanded learning opportunities (ELO), Ellen Gannett, M.Ed., provides suggestions for how to facilitate stronger school-community partnerships: (1) Hire campus-wide out-of-school-time directors under the direction of the school principal, (2) prioritize and strengthen summer programming, (3) consider blended staffing patterns during both the academic year and the summer, (4) bring together in-school and out-of-school staff for professional development and peer support meetings, (5) promote accountability among partners, and (6) create an out-of-school time advisory committee.
Source: Expanded Learning: Opportunities for Partnerships with a New Twist and a New Name, National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College

Promising Afterschool Programs
Research conducted in eight states by Policy Studies Associates, known as the Promising Afterschool Programs study, suggests that disadvantaged elementary and middle school students who regularly attend high quality afterschool for at least two years are academically further ahead of peers who spend more out-of-school time in unsupervised activities. The researchers found, during the course of the three-year project, that the more engaged students were in supervised afterschool activities, the better they did on a range of academic, social and behavioral outcomes.
Source:  Making the Case: A 2009 Fact Sheet on Children and Youth in Out-of-School Time, The National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
“The Impact of After-School Programs that Promote Personal and Social Skills,” found that “Youth who participate in after-school programs improve significantly in three major areas: feelings and attitudes, indicators of behavioral adjustment, and school performance. More specifically, after-school programs succeeded in improving youths’ feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem, school bonding (positive feelings and attitudes toward school), positive social behaviors, school grades and achievement test scores.” A meta-analysis spanning 73 separate studies of afterschool programs was conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago-based Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
Source:  Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs, Afterschool Alliance, July 2008

after school booksAmerican Youth Policy Forum
A 2006 American Youth Policy Forum study reveals a correlation between frequent attendance in out-of-school-time activities and an increase in academic achievement, school attendance, time spent on homework, extracurricular activities, improved effort in school, and better student behavior. Out-of-school-time programs support youth development and offer excellent opportunities students to develop skills in supervised, safe and engaging environments.
Source:  Making the Case: A 2009 Fact Sheet on Children and Youth in Out-of-School Time, The National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College

Nellie Mae Education Foundation Report
Dr. Beth Miller reports in a Nellie Mae Education Foundation Report called “Critical Hours” that afterschool programs can increase engagement in learning by providing middle school students with opportunities to meet needs that schools often can’t, such as personal attention from adults, a positive peer group, and activities that hold their interest and build self-esteem.
Source:  Making the Case: A 2009 Fact Sheet on Children and Youth in Out-of-School Time, The National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College

UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation
Students who enrolled in LA’s BEST afterschool program improved regular school-day attendance according to the UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation. Additionally, students indicated higher aspirations for finishing school and going to college. In a longitudinal study among LA’s BEST students, UCLA researchers found drop-out rates were 20% lower than the overall district drop-out rate.
Source:  Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs, Afterschool Alliance, July 2008

Arts Educational Partnership
An Arts Educational Partnership publication suggests that engagement in the arts—visual arts, dance, music, theater, and other disciplines—nurtures the development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies. Arts-focused afterschool programs can increase academic achievement, decrease youth involvement in delinquent behavior and improve youth attitudes toward themselves, others and their futures.
Source:  Making the Case: A 2009 Fact Sheet on Children and Youth in Out-of-School Time, The National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College

elementary-girlChapin Hall
Chapin Hall’s Study of the After School Matters program in Chicago showed that students who participated missed fewer days of school than their classmates who did not participate in the program. Students who participated most frequently failed fewer core academic courses (English, math, science, and social studies)—even though the program is not aimed at improving academics. Researcher believe that as students look forward to after school, creating an incentive to attend school regularly, the program was able to improve academic performance concurrently.
Source:  Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs, Afterschool Alliance, July 2008

Pathways to Progress
Pathways to Progress students in St. Paul, Minnesota demonstrated notably better attendance than students not in the program. Participants attended 18.44 more school days and missed 9.57 fewer school days than their nonparticipant peers.
Source:  Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs, Afterschool Alliance, July 2008

University of California, Irvine
A statewide evaluation of California’s After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program by the University of California at Irvine suggested mathematics proficiency increases as students’ levels of participation in the program increases.
Source:  Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs, Afterschool Alliance, July 2008

LA’s BEST Program
Afterschool participation appears to have a dramatic effect in reducing the hazard of dropping out for low-income students, according to a 10-year study of LA’s BEST. The greater the low-income status at the baseline and the longer participation in the program, the greater the chance of keeping these students in school.
Source:  Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs, Afterschool Alliance, July 2008

The After School Corporation (TASC)
Participants in the TASC program who were at greatest academic risk made the largest math gains compared to other students. Math benefits were most clearly evident for students who scored in the lowest of four proficiency levels in the year prior to TASC participation. Among students from low-income families, the TASC evaluation uncovered afterschool benefits in math after two or more years of active participation.
Source:  Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs, Afterschool Alliance, July 2008