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Research,  February 28, 2006

High-Performing After-School Programs Share Five Common Characteristics

"Recent research echoes what the after-school field has found over the course of the past decade, that after-school programs can contribute to increased student achievement. But, perhaps most interesting, the study found that after-school programs that helped lead to improved achievement don't necessarily focus on academics. According to the study, successful after-school programs do not replicate the school day. Instead, these after-school programs are safety zones where students received homework help and were able to explore new ideas and interests. And students were able to develop long-term supportive relationships with adults and peers.

Successful programs had a variety of arts, recreation, and literacy activities and allowed the students free time as well. This research underscores the importance of after-school programs offering a wide variety of youth-oriented activities, a staff with diverse backgrounds, experienced site coordinators, partnerships with community-based organizations, strong relationships with the day school staff and ongoing communication with participant families. High-performing after-school projects share the following characteristics around programming, staffing, and support systems: (1) A broad array of enrichment opportunities; (2) Opportunities for skill building and mastery; (3) Intentional relationship-building; (4) A strong, experienced leader/manager supported by a trained and supervised staff; and (5) The administrative, fiscal, and professional-development support of the sponsoring organization."

URL: http://www.sedl.org/pubs/fam107/fam107.pdf
Referred by: PEN Weekly Newsblast
Posted by wrivenburgh on February 28, 2006 | Research
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