Next month, more than 1,350 Cincinnati at-risk students will spend an extra month in school, in the district's third annual Fifth Quarter summer extended-learning program, which has proved to reduce summer learning loss and ease students' transition into the next grade level. The program, which was initiated by schools Superintendent Mary Ronan to help promote turnaround in underperforming schools, was just profiled in a report from the Coalition for Community Schools, part of the Institute for Educational Leadership, which helps facilitate community partnerships with schools around the country to provide enhanced educational opportunities. Cincinnati schools are all included in ...


To be successful, after-school programs need to complement, but not resemble the school day, a new article from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development says. While improvements in academic performance may be the effects of good after-school programs, those that have the strongest impact on achievement do not make academics the focus. The article, written by Jane David, appears in ASCD's May issue, "Schools, Families, Communities," and reports that though there has been a significant increase in after-school programs in the past decade-plus, the quality is very disparate. Analyzing several past studies on after-school programs, David found strong community ...


After-school programs in Chicago are receiving funding from billionaire-inventor James Dyson to run engineering and technology courses at their sites this fall, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. Dyson, who developed a well-known line of vacuum cleaners and other appliances, has pledged a half-million dollars for the course at 20 after-school programs that will teach kids how to design their own engineering projects and encourage interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. If successful, Dyson said the program will likely be replicated at other after-school programs in large, urban districts around the country, particularly those with high percentages ...


High school and college students from Chicago's South Side expressed concern about finding summer jobs to several state legislators at a summit on teenage unemployment on Monday. According to the Chicago Tribune, there will be a loss of 18,000 summer jobs for young people in Illinois due to federal funding cuts, which have reduced or eliminated many city and state youth-employment programs around the country. According to the National Summer Learning Association, the summer months are a peak time for academic learning loss and delinquent behavior, particularly for low-income youths. In addition to providing an income, summer jobs for ...


Out-of-school-time programs were listed as a turnaround strategy in 70 percent of the school improvement plans for 1,400 underperforming schools in several Midwestern states, a new report says. Researchers at the Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory Program, supported by the federal Department of Education examined improvement plans from Title I schools in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio. They found 980 of them listed before-school, after-school, and summer programs as a means to improve school performance. Roughly 90 percent also listed increased parent involvement as a goal to help student achievement. The federal government requires schools to submit plans that ...


A new project that tries to find strategies on how after-school programs can improve student attendance during the regular school day was outlined in a webinar,"Leveraging the Power of Afterschool to Reduce Chronic Absence," I listened in on last week. The project is supported by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and is a combined effort of the Maryland, Utah, and Pennsylvania after-school networks and Attendance Works, a national initiative that seeks to lower student-truancy rates in all 50 states, particularly through improving the attendance of those who are chronically absent or miss more than 10 percent ...


A couple weeks ago, I wrote a few items about New York state and New York City's innovative and expansive out-of-school-time programming. Given the pressing budget issues at the state level, as well as some time sensitive projects in the city, I had to hold my Q&A with Jeanne Mullgrav, commissioner of the city's Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), until this week. As I mentioned earlier, DYCD administers city, state, and federal funding to New York City programs that support needy and underserved children, families, and the community. Mullgrav's responsibilities are extensive and include overseeing the funding ...


Middle school students in California have been raising abalone to return to the ocean and have organized efforts to show the community that overfishing has caused a crisis for the local abalone population. A group of 7th graders in Colorado hosted a town meeting with local residents and energy experts to address the pros and cons of their town's uranium mining. High school students in Vermont launched an ongoing lobbying campaign to get their state legislature to pass a smoking ordinance that prevents adults from smoking in cars around children. And 4th graders in Washington planned a festival and forum ...


This Friday, April 15, marks the annual Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world and the only service day just for young people. The event, sponsored by Youth Service America, will go through the weekend, as millions of youths participate in more than 3,000 projects in 100 countries and all 50 states. Later this week, I'll bring you more about the event, but first I'm going to delve into some background and context on youth participation in service and service-learning today. I asked some questions of Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and ...


Let's put aside talk of budget cuts and programming struggles today and instead focus on some positive news in the out-of-school-time realm. Nominations are currently being taken for the MetLife Foundation and Afterschool Alliance's 4th annual MetLife Afterschool Innovator awards, the only national awards exclusively for programs that operate during after-school hours. The innovator awards honor after-school programs that have developed and executed commendable programming that addresses at least one of this year's focus areas: providing opportunities for service learning for middle school students; aligning after school with the middle school day; addressing middle school bullying; and supporting literacy for ...


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