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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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Explore the world of anywhere, anytime learning with us! Read how researchers and practitioners are helping to close the opportunity gap by creating innovative spaces, developing strategic collaborations to ensure children’s success, and engaging families and children as partners in meaningful learning experiences, both in and out of school.
Learn how a shift from “program-centered” to “learning-centered” family engagement in children’s out-of-school time (OST) learning can benefit youth, their families, and the OST programs themselves. In this Spring 2014 Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities article, researchers Heidi Rosenberg, Shani Wilkes, and Erin Harris note that OST programs that take this approach see parents as essential partners in their children’s learning, invite parents to learn alongside their children, share information with parents about their children’s learning, and solicit frequent feedback from families.
What steps can programs take to help families successfully transition to school and afterschool? How can families make informed choices about afterschool opportunities? What information do families need in this process? This video demonstrates how Cambridge, Massachusetts, is addressing these and related questions to help connect families to afterschool learning and enrichment opportunities prior to school entry.
Creative anywhere, anytime learning experiences take center stage at Imajine That Museum and Educational Play Space, where families bring their children to play, socialize, and learn together as a family. Read this exciting Q and A with Susan Leger Ferraro and Fran Hurley, about how Imajine That provides an array of innovative learning opportunities to enthusiastic families.
Three experts reflect on their work in engaging families in a digital learning environment. We asked them to address the question, How can institutions offer relevant and useful guidance to parents and families about scaffolding their children’s digital media use?
Katie Salen Tekinbaş outlines strategies and activities that New York City public school Quest to Learn has implemented to ensure that families are engaged in the digital learning life of students.
Culture expert Marsha L. Semmel notes that museums and libraries are increasing their offerings for families in support of such vital 21st-century learning skills as problem solving, digital media literacy, and creativity. Learn how these institutions play important roles in addressing our children’s digital learning needs.
Dynamic Pittsburgh! Hundreds of the city’s PreK–12 educators, artists, technologists, and families are working together to remake learning.
Through connected learning, says Mizuko Ito, schools, museums, and libraries are employing innovative strategies, leveraging digital media to make learning more relevant and engaging to youth, and linking the crucial spheres in a learner’s life—peers, interests, and academic pursuits.
HFRP director Heather B. Weiss examines how families and others involved with children and youth can ensure that children obtain the access, supports, and opportunities that they need to get the full benefits of digital media for learning.
Are you interested in using social media to find out how families can navigate digital media to enhance children’s learning? Start here—we guide you to organizations and individuals that bring the latest DML research into public focus!
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.