March 2012 Archives

Out-of-school programs can reduce negative behaviors like drug use and improve students' attendance, grades, and test scores, says a new report released today that draws comprehensive findings from more than 60 after-school studies. The details behind those findings and more comprehensive information on the report will be officially released this afternoon in conjunction with the launch of the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project, an initiative and website that promote expanded and extended learning efforts nationwide, supported by some of the leading foundations and organizations in the out-of-school-time realm.The Noyce Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, ...


The Nellie Mae Foundation is awarding $16.4 million in grants over a three-year period that will support, among other efforts, expanded learning and out-of-classroom experiences for school districts in New England, the foundation has announced. More specifically, these grants will support "student-centered approaches to remodel education" that include community partnerships, the use of added time to the traditional school calendar, and innovative experiences outside school walls. These grants were awarded to districts in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, but are part of larger efforts by the foundation to support student-centered learning that includes funding further research on the student-centered ...


While after-school programs can help curb childhood obesity by serving healthy meals to participants, out-of-school programs serving snacks and meals often vary greatly in how healthy they are, says an article in the latest edition of Afterschool Matters, from the National Institute on Out of School Time at Wellesley College. The article profiles survey research and interviews conducted by the institute that examined some of the barriers and challenges after-school providers face in providing healthy meals and snacks to participants, and what can be done to make it easier for these programs to serve nutritious food. As written about by ...


Extending the school year by 20 days has helped one Arizona district turn around its underperforming schools and drastically improve students' reading scores, reports a recent article. The Balsz Elementary district in northern Phoenix shifted to a 200-day calendar when Superintendent Jeffery Smith took the reins for the 2008-09 school year. Three years ago, the district had low student enrollment, and many students were failing to meet federal and state performance standards. Around 90 percent of the students in the district are on free or reduced price lunch plans. Today, reading scores have increased as much as 40 percent for ...


The latest proposals for the New York City budget have many out-of-school advocates worried that 47,000 children will lose access to after-school programs and child-care services next year, reports The New York Times. According to the article, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposals build on several years of cuts to these programs. The number of children in the city's Department of Youth and Community Development's after-school programs, which I wrote about last spring, dropped from 85,513 in 2009 to 52,000 in 2012, or a 40 percent reduction. The new proposal would cut 420 after-school programs in the city. On ...


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