Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, expresses her concerns on expanded learning time on The Washington Post's "The Answer Sheet" blog this week, based on some recent research. Grant discusses a study released by the Government Accountability Office, which found 26 states using SIG grants said they would likely not continue their expanded learning efforts when the SIG grants that supported them ran dry. She also talks about the Education Sector report I blogged about previously, and the issues it raises on using added time most effectively to improve student outcomes. According to Grant, ELT is often "expensive, ...


California is officially launching a statewide summer learning initiative today, spearheaded by the Partnership for Children and Youth, a Bay-area-based nonprofit, and with the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The initiative, or the Summer Matters campaign will support summer programs that focus on combating summer learning loss for low-income children. As part of the campaign, the best summer programs will be highlighted with a map of "hot spots," and new efforts will be encouraged across the state, particularly through work with education and policy leaders and community organizations. The Packard Foundation is supporting the five-year initiative, which ...


Toyota is giving a $1.5 million grant to longtime out-of-school provider the Boys & Girls Clubs to launch a nationwide effort to prep teenagers for college. D2D, or Diplomas to Degrees, is a college-readiness initiative that was piloted in Boys & Girls Clubs in 10 cities this past year, but will now be scaled up in more than 1,000 clubs across the country with the support of the grant, according to a recent announcement. The initiative focuses on exploration of both college and careers through mentorships, internships, visits to higher education institutions, and lessons on how to obtain financial assistance ...


At the National Afterschool Association conference in Dallas last week, the Afterschool Alliance released its fourth annual compendium of briefs on major topics in after-school and profiles of some leading programs. "Afterschool in Action: How Innovative Afterschool Programs Address Critical Issues Facing Middle School Youth," supported by the MetLife Foundation, includes issue briefs on: aligning after-school with the regular school day, bullying prevention, service-learning, and promoting literacy, as well as features on five programs that received $10,000 awards from the foundation in 2011 for addressing these areas at their sites. (MetLife also underwrites Education Week's Teacher channel.) This year's ...


Interest has increased in adding more time to the school day, but many schools are ill equipped to put time to the most effective use for improving student and school outcomes, says a new report from Education Sector, a Washington-based think tank focused on education policy. In the report, Education Sector looks at nationwide trends with schools implementing expanded learning models, in addition to focusing on schools that used ELT as a turnaround strategy to receive federal School Improvement Grants. According to "What More Learning Time Can (and Can't) Do for Turnarounds," a few approaches to expand learning have been ...


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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