August 2011 Archives

Out-of-school-time providers take notice: Communities focused on closing the achievement gap in and outside the classroom through cross-sector partnerships and strong leadership may be recognized for their efforts. The 2012 All-America City Awards, a 52-year-old program for cities run by the National Civic League, has changed course this year to focus on how communities tackle one particular issue: 3rd grade reading proficiency. The NCL has partnered with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national coalition of funders and organizations that hopes to increase the number of low-income children reading at grade level by 3rd grade within the next decade. To ...


Chicago currently has the shortest school day in the nation.


From its origins as a campus-based after-school program run by Harvard University students in the early 1990s, Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) has grown to an award-winning summer and after-school program that serves more than 15,000 students in cities in six states. This summer, BELL was recognized with a $3.8 million grant from the Walmart Foundation through the sponsorship National Summer Learning Association that will enable it to serve 8,000 more middle school students during the summer within the next three years. In both the summer and after-school programs, elementary and middle school students receive literacy ...


A new strategy guide from the National League of Cities discusses how data can be used to strengthen citywide systems for out-of-school time. Increasing numbers of cities are moving toward city-supported systems for OST, the brief says, and data are essential to measuring the scope and impact of these systems. Data can be helpful in linking participants from school day to after-school, what demographics are or are not being served, and finding and accessing area resources. The guide suggests six strategies for using data to strengthen city systems: collecting attendance information, conducting research on needs/wants of the community, identifying ...


Education teams in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Washington are the winners of $50,000 grants sponsored by the C.S. Mott Foundation that will be used to enhance and support expanded/extended learning programs in their respective states. The teams include state legislators and education officials, after-school network directors, and policy advisers. This is the third part of an initiative launched in 2007 by the Mott Foundation, the National Governors Association Center for Best practices, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Council of Chief State School Officers . The NGA Center, NCSL, and CCSSO will work directly with ...


Providence's trademark after-school program, AfterZones, has been shown to reduce absences and improve the academic performance of its middle school participants, according to research released today from Public/Private Ventures. AfterZones are "campuses" that include schools and community facilities where students attend after-school programs. The concept was created by the Providence After School Alliance in 2005. Leveraging support from then-Mayor David Cicilline, as well as a number of other community leaders and local organizations, Providence developed a citywide system for after-school programs. The program has served as a model for other cities and was one of five included in a ...


The National Summer Learning Association has just announced the winners of its annual Excellence in Summer Learning Award. This year marks the highest number of awards that the NSLA, a Baltimore-based nonprofit focused on promoting summer programs and summer learning, has recognized since the program started in 2005. The award is based on overall programming quality as it relates to in-depth academic content and strengthening youth-development outcomes. In addition to content, awards are given based on strong staffing, partnerships with schools and organizations, parental engagement, and the building of 21st-century skills, among other criteria. "These programs each have a very ...


Hi all-- I'm working on a story on the changes and future of 21st CCLC funding. I'm interested in hearing from people who have faced challenges with program sustainability, given struggles to find outside partners and additional resources. If so, email me at [email protected]


While there has been growing interest in summer learning loss, Aim High, a Bay Area-based summer program, has been reducing summer brain drain and improving academic outcomes for underprivileged students for two and a half decades. Aim High, a nonprofit, just served 1,200 middle school students in this, its 25th summer, and was recommended as one of the top summer programs in the country by the National Summer Learning Association . NSLA awarded Aim High its Excellence in Summer Learning Award in 2008, which, according to the NSLA, commends outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and ...


Those who missed last week's 21st Century Community Learning Centers conference, or are looking for a chance for professional development and networking opportunities with other providers/instructors in the out-of-school-time realm, can access the Department of Education's new website: You for Youth. Profiled in a session at last week's conference, the site offers a number of features for OST professionals. There are multimedia videos on project-based learning, school day alignment, STEM, and partnerships. Several coaching modules offer ideas for program curriculum and step-by-step instructions for implementation. A searchable state map includes a listing of every state's programs that receive 21st ...


Even with access to Kindles and iPads, public libraries are still in demand, and readers, particularly young ones, still abound. In fact, libraries appear to be playing an important role in providing out-of-classroom reading-program opportunities for youths this summer, and just not for a cool place to beat the heat, or for free Web surfing. According to a recent study by the American Library Association, libraries across the country are seeing increased traffic and greater demand for access to materials (digital and print), tech services and training, as well as youth programs both in the summer and school year. Yet ...


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