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Select a category below to narrow the list of publications about out-of-school time. Click on a column heading to sort, and then select a title to view the publication. If you are looking for a specific document, topic, or author, visit our Publications & Resources section to conduct an advanced search.
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We are committed to keeping you up to date on what's new in family engagement. View our list of links to current reports, articles, resources, and events in the field.
This resource highlights tools, publications, and reports that provide examples of promising practices for and guidance on data sharing for afterschool and expanded learning programs and systems.
In this paper, we draw on the experiences of national organizations and a set of community schools that have built learning partnerships, and examine seven key elements that we find to be essential in building them. Our paper serves as a guide to school districts and their partners as they consider whether and how to implement a partnerships for learning model. It also informs those who have already established these partnerships and wish to reflect on how to maximize partnership—and student—success.
This brief provides examples of year-round learning programs along with recommendations for policymakers looking for ways to increase youth engagement in learning,
Harvard Family Research Project’s Senior Research Analysts Heidi Rosenberg, Erin Harris, and Shani Wilkes explore how the relationship between families and afterschool is shifting from a focus on increasing afterschool program participation toward a focus on parents’ supporting children’s learning and development in afterschool settings.
Samantha Grant, a program evaluator at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development, and a parent, offers guidance to families looking to make good decisions about their children’s out-of-school time activities.
Priscilla Little, an independent consultant working in afterschool research and evaluation, reflects on the transformation of afterschool from being merely a “safe haven” for kids whose parents are working to a core component of a holistic education. She also highlights six strategies for engaging families in afterschool programs.
Jane Werner and Lisa Brahms, from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, discuss the Museum’s innovative MAKESHOP studio space, which invites children and families to co-create projects and transforms the traditional museum visit experience.
The latest issue in our Research Update series reviews evaluations and research studies that showcase innovations in afterschool programs supported by 21st CCLC funding.
This is the second brief in our ELO Research, Policy, and Practice series with the National Conference of State Legislatures. In this brief, we explore the ways that families and expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) must work as equal partners in order to ensure ELOs are contributing to children's learning in meaningful ways.
Afterschool Evaluation 101 is a how-to guide for conducting an evaluation. It is designed to help out-of-school time (OST) program directors who have little or no evaluation experience develop an evaluation strategy. The guide will walk you through the early planning stages, help you select the evaluation design and data collection methods that are best suited to your program, and help you analyze the data and present the results.
Today’s children and youth are increasingly exposed to new forms of learning beyond the classroom, especially in the form of out-of-school time programs and digital media. Developments in these areas have opened up new ways that families can become involved in their children’s education and development. In this FINE Newsletter Commentary, HFRP’s Heidi Rosenberg and M. Elena Lopez discuss the new roles for families in supporting student learning.
This new book on family involvement in out-of-school time (OST), edited by former HFRP staff members Holly Kreider and Helen Westmoreland, includes information on promising practices, benefits, and concerns related to family involvement in OST, and features a chapter written by former HFRP staff members Suzanne Bouffard, Kelley O’Carroll, Helen Westmoreland, and Priscilla Little.
As part of HFRP's continuing effort to help practitioners and evaluators choose appropriate evaluation methods, this guide describes measurement tools and assessments that can be obtained and used for on-the-ground program evaluation. Whether you are conducting first-time internal evaluations or large-scale national studies, these evaluation instruments can be used to assess the characteristics and outcomes of your programs, staff, and participants, and to collect other key information.
This presentation examines the “essential data” that OST providers and intermediaries should consider collecting for an evaluation, and the important role families can play throughout the process.
Cities around the country are building systems that seek to make the most of public and private resources to provide widespread, high-quality, out-of-school time (OST) opportunities. Participation in OST programs not only benefits young people, but also the cities in which they live—with the potential to help reduce crime and create a more skilled workforce. This guide by the National League of Cities and HFRP provides municipal leaders and their key partners with strategies for collecting and using information to strengthen citywide OST systems.
In the first brief in our ELO Research, Policy, and Practice series with the National Conference of State Legislatures, we examine the benefits of expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) for older youth as well as the policy implications of recent research. Helping Older Youth Succeed Through Expanded Learning Opportunities provides examples of positive youth outcomes, common characteristics of high quality programs and initiatives, and policy recommendations based on these findings.
There is growing national discussion about the need to create a more expansive definition of learning to include all the ways that youth can access educational opportunities—not just through the traditional school model, but also through afterschool activities, time spent with the family, and increasingly, through interaction with digital media. This brief introduces and analyzes one approach to expanded learning that provides students—often in distressed areas—with access to quality learning environments across the year.
This Research Update addresses the benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs for older youth, based on data from eight recent evaluations and research studies profiled in our OST Research and Evaluation Database.
Out-of-school time (OST) programming can be a crucial asset to families in rural areas where resources to support children’s learning and development are often insufficient to meet the community’s needs. This issue in our Research Update series addresses the benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs in rural areas.
Out-of-school time (OST) programs that focus on girls’ involvement in STEM can play an essential role in improving female representation in these traditionally male-dominated fields. OST programs offer girls a non-threatening and non-academic environment for hands-on learning that is collaborative, informal, and personal. However, barriers to quality implementation and outcome-based evaluation present challenges for STEM programs serving girls. This Research Update highlights findings from the evaluations and research studies in the OST Database that focus on STEM programs for girls.
This article in Afterschool Matters discusses strategies used by OST programs with high rates of participation.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative provides funds for afterschool programs across the country and is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to afterschool programming. This issue in our Research Update: Highlights from the OST Database series, discusses the features and benefits of afterschool programs funded by the 21st CCLC initiative.
This Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) policy brief, prepared for New Jersey After 3’s Expanded Learning Time Summit in September 2010, describes the potential benefits of participation in a range of well-implemented ELO programs and initiatives for students of all ages, including afterschool and summer programming, and underscores the benefits of strong partnerships for learning between schools and out‐of‐school learning supports. It concludes with a set of key policy factors to consider when adopting different ELO approaches.
This new report from Harvard Family Research Project and Public/Private Ventures highlights key strategies to promote out-of-school-time program participation among older youth.