This is a companion guide to the report, Putting It All Together: Guiding Principles for Quality After-School Programs Serving Preteens.
Commissioned by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health (the Foundation), Public/Private Ventures developed six guiding principles for after-school program quality based on lessons learned by the Foundation and a literature review (see Putting It All Together: Guiding Principles for Quality After-School Programs Serving Preteens). They were selected because they 1) have documented associations with positive emotional and behavioral health outcomes for participants and 2) can be implemented at a program level. In most cases, the elements of quality identified were based on studies of after-school programs that served both elementary- and middle-school children; therefore, the standards for quality are generally applicable to both age groups. The six principles are:
For each principle, this guide provides a description, some examples
of what successful implementation of that principle looks like for a program,
and a list of resources to learn more about the relevant research and
ways to improve in each area. The examples are illustrative and do not
provide a full set of indicators of successful implementation. In addition,
the list of resources is not exhaustive; the intent of the guide is to
highlight the most current and/or relevant research for each principle,
including information on how to strengthen programs according to the principles.
The sixth principle, Continuous Program Improvement, includes a section
on self-assessment and evaluation tools. Using a tool provides a systematic
way of looking at program quality—an important aspect of the improvement