A Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in Missouri is drawing attention for its data-based tracking system—a system that allows the organization to flag "Little" brothers and sisters who are having trouble in school before their problems snowball. The ABC Education Initiative now tracks 400 children in the St. Louis schools, writes reporter Jesse Bogan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The story (which was distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services) appears on the edweek.org website. "The program looks for historical patterns in behavior and red flags, such as if a child falls to an 'F' in math and reading, or gets...


Getting kids to read during the summer—even if they're reading about Britney Spears—is a crucial way of fighting summer learning loss and cultivating their future interest in reading, according to a study covered in The New York Times. "One of the most notable findings of the study was that children improved their reading scores even though they typically weren't selecting the curriculum books or classics that teachers normally assign for summer reading. That conclusion confirms other studies suggesting that children learn best when they are allowed to select their own books," the Times reports. In a study that...


A Senate subcommittee added $100 million to the proposed fiscal 2011 appropriation for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program yesterday. This sounds good, right? But not so fast, as after-school advocates say the addition may actually take money away from after-school programs and shift those dollars to efforts to support longer school days and years. Calling the subcommittee vote a "a grave and potentially costly error," Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant asserted in a statement released today: "At a time when 15 million children and youth in this country have no safe, supervised activities after the school days ...


The jury (or Congress) may still be out on fiscal 2011 funding for the Obama administration's Promise Neighborhoods program, but it's certainly popular with nonprofits and universities. According to ed.gov, the U.S. Department of Education has received 339 applications for its one-year Promise Neighborhood planning grants. The department plans to award up to 20 planning grants of $400,000 to $500,000 each. Click here, and you can see the applicant pool broken down geographically, by organization type, and by priority area. For instance, you'll see that California has the most applications (45), with New York coming in ...


Time magazine writes about summer learning loss and new ways of approaching summer school.


The Afterschool Alliance is one of many groups urging Congress to pass child-nutrition legislation as soon as possible. "With 1 in 4 kids at risk of hunger and 1 in 3 obese or overweight, the time for action is now," the Alliance and more than 100 other national organizations assert in this ad. Other advocates include the American Academy of Pediatrics, 9to5-National Association of Working Women, Catholic Charities USA, and the National PTA. My Education Week colleague Christina Samuels has details on the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010, which cleared a key House panel this month and ...


Education Week has an interesting story on online credit recovery that I highly recommend to anyone interested in new ways to reach high school students at risk of failure or dropping out. Perhaps, this topic isn't the traditional coverage area for this blog, but I see it as another piece of the larger out-of-school-time puzzle. Reporter Mary Ann Zehr reports that Boston, Chicago, and New York City already or soon will be offering online credit-recovery programs for high school students who have fallen behind in their course credits. She says policies vary on whether students must be in school taking ...


Creativity is the unifying theme for the programs featured in a variety of recent news and feature articles.


A report finds a growing need to develop research questions and methods to evaluate out-of-school STEM programs.


Providing high-quality after-school and summer learning is one way to improve in-school learning.


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