Effective and Promising Summer Learning Programs and Approaches for Economically-Disadvantaged Children and Youth: A White Paper for the Wallace Foundation (2009)
A meta-analysis of summer learning programs found that there is very little research on such programs, despite the consensus that children and youth who reside in economically disadvantaged households and who live in low-resource, urban neighborhoods are more likely to lose ground in reading over the summer than their middle- and upper-income peers. Based on a review of the literature and 43 summer learning programs, the authors conclude that effective and promising summer programs for disadvantaged youth share three critical characteristics: they are affordable and accessible; they involve parents; and they involve the community. Both experimental and non-experimental studies found that creating an accessible environment for children, parents and the community was a key factor in summer learning program success.
Author/Publisher: Terzian, Mary, Kristin Anderson Moore and Kathleen Hamilton
Building, Engaging, and Supporting Family and Parental Involvement in Out-of-School Time Programs (June 2007)
The authors of this brief reviewed several evaluations of family participation in out-of-school-time programs to identify: how this involvement can help both children and families; challenges programs face in efforts to engage parents; and how programs can encourage and sustain involvement. The brief includes specific examples of how programs can address barriers to participation. It concludes with a summary of how one program, the National Organization of Concerned Black Men, added parent-engagement activities to its programming.
Author/Publisher: Horowitz, Allison and Jacinta Bronte-Tinkew. Child Trends.
Family Strengthening in Youth Development (May 2005)
This brief discusses how youth-serving programs can involve parents as decision-makers. It presents strategies for how national organizations and initiatives serving youth have empowered parents as partners in their work. It also provides recommendations for increasing family involvement for other agencies delivering youth programming.
Author/Publisher: Family Strengthening Policy Center. Policy Brief No. 6. An Initiative of the National Human Services Assembly.
Multiple Choices After School: Findings From the Extended-Service Schools Initiative (2002)
The Extended-Service Schools (ESS) Initiative created 60 after-school programs in 20 communities across the country. This report highlights who participated in the program, what the quality of activities were, the benefits of the program for the participants and the cost of the program. Staff from the ESS reported that maintaining contact with parents helped promote student engagement, positive behavior and stronger academic performance.
Author/Publisher: Grossman, Jean Baldwin, Marilyn L. Price, Veronica Fellerath, Linda Z. Jucovy, Lauren J. Kottloff, Rebecca Raley and Karen E. Walker. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.
Engaging with Families in Out-of-School-Time Learning (2004)
This brief provides an overview of how researchers evaluate family engagement in out-of-school-time programs. It defines three strategies for engaging with families: 1) family support for improving children's learning, 2) support to families and 3) general parent involvement. It also highlights strategies used to engage families from two evaluations, the Extended-Service Schools Initiative and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Author/ Publisher: Harris, Erin and Chris Wimer. Harvard Family Research Project, No. 4.
Focus on Families! How to Build and Support Family-Centered Practices in After School (2006)
This guide has recommendations for programs trying to improve their family engagement practices. It has four sections: 1) research on the benefits and challenges of engaging families in after-school programs; 2) four strategies that after-school programs can use to engage families, drawing from current research and program examples; 3) in-depth profiles of three after-school programs actively working to engage families; and 4) evaluation tools for collecting family engagement information that can be used to strengthen a program's connection with families.
Author/Publisher: Harvard Family Research Project and Build the Out-of-School-Time Network (BOSTnet).
Pathways to Success for Youth: What Counts in After-School (2005) http://www.uwmb.org/MARS-Report.pdf
The Massachusetts After-School Research Study (MARS) looked at after-school programs serving elementary and middle school students from 10 communities across the state. The purpose of the study was to identify program characteristics related to high-quality implementation and to look at links between program quality and youth outcomes.
Author/Publisher: Massachusetts After-School Research Study (MARS) Report. United Way of Massachusetts Bay.