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What Makes an Extended-Learning Day Different?

New York-based nonprofit TASC (The After-School Corporation), has released its 2010 annual report along with a video that follows two 4th graders through a day at their expanded-learning-time school, Thurgood Marshall Academy in Harlem, to show how an ELT school differs from the traditional 6.5-hour-day model.

Along with other efforts in the out-of-school-time and extended-learning realm (profiled in an earlier blog post), TASC helps 17 expanded-learning-time schools in New York implement best-practice ELT models that add roughly 430 more hours (35 percent) than the standard American school day, totalling 1,600 hours a year. The TASC-supported ELT schools make use of public and private funding as well as community partnerships to carry out their expanded-learning programs, at an additional cost equivalant to about 10 percent of the school day. TASC, founded in 1998, helped after-school, summer, and expanded-learning-time programs serve roughly 51,000 kids this past year.

In the video, Thurgood Marshall Principal Sean Davenport highlights how the school, which serves 200 students mostly from underprivileged backgrounds, has used the extra time to provide additional hours for arts, sports, and other enrichment, as well as core academics. As described in the annual report, students in the ELT schools are provided with three meals a day and many opportunities, ranging from capoeira, a Brazilian martial arts and dance form, and drama classes to eight different ways to learn to read, that most New York public school students do not have.

Next school year, TASC plans on working with schools outside New York to implement ELT models.

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