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Family Involvement News: September 2013

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.

Harvard Family Research Project (September 17, 2013) Research Report

Data Sharing Resources for Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs and Systems

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.

Harvard Family Research Project (March 2013) Research Report

Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success

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.

Erin Harris , Shani Wilkes (January 2013) Research Report

Year-Round Learning: Continuity in Education Across Settings and Time Through Expanded Learning Opportunities

This brief provides examples of year-round learning programs along with recommendations for policymakers looking for ways to increase youth engagement in learning,

Erin Harris , Ashley Wallace (December 2012) Research Report

Joining Forces: Families and Out-of-School Programs as Partners in Supporting Children’s Learning and Development

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.

Heidi Rosenberg , Erin Harris, Shani Wilkes (June 28, 2012) Research Report

Raising Expectations for Out-of-School Time

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.

Samantha Grant (June 28, 2012) Research Report

A Field is Born: Reflections on a Decade of Afterschool

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.

Priscilla Little (June 28, 2012) Research Report

MAKESHOP: Family Engagement in Exploration, Creativity, and Innovation

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.

Jane Werner , Lisa Brahms (June 28, 2012) Research Report

Research Update 8: 21st Century Community Learning Centers—Stable Funding for Innovation and Continuous Improvement

The latest issue in our Research Update series reviews evaluations and research studies that showcase innovations in afterschool programs supported by 21st CCLC funding.

Christopher Wimer , Erin Harris (May 2012) Research Report

Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children’s Learning

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.

Erin Harris , Heidi Rosenberg, & Ashley Wallace (April 2012) Research Report

Afterschool Evaluation 101: How to Evaluate an Expanded Learning Program

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.

Erin Harris (December 12, 2011) Research Report

New Learning Opportunities Mean New Opportunities for Engagement

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.

Heidi Rosenberg , M. Elena Lopez (December 5, 2011) Research Report

Book Excerpt: Promising Practices for Family Engagement in Out-of-School Time

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.

Suzanne Bouffard , Helen Westmoreland, Kelley O'Carroll, and Priscilla Little (December 5, 2011) Research Report

Measurement Tools for Evaluating Out-of-School Time Programs: An Evaluation Resource

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.

Evelyn Brosi (October 2011) Research Report

Webinar Archive—OST Data and Evaluation: Collecting and Sharing Data to Support Communities

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.

Sarah Deschenes , Erin Harris, Evelyn Brosi (October 24, 2011) Conferences and Presentations

Strategy Guide: Collecting and Using Information to Strengthen Citywide Out-of-School Time Systems

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.

Lane Russell , Priscilla Little (August 2011) Research Report

Helping Older Youth Succeed Through Expanded Learning Opportunities

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.

Erin Harris , Sarah Deschenes, & Ashley Wallace (August 2011) Research Report

Year-Round Learning: Linking School, Afterschool, and Summer Learning to Support Student Success

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.

Sarah Deschenes , Helen Janc Malone (June 2011) Research Report

Research Update 7: Out-of-School Time Programs for Older Youth

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.

Chris Wimer , Erin Harris (May 2011) Research Report

Research Update 6: Out-Of-School Time Programs In Rural Areas

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.

Erin Harris , Helen Malone, Tai Sunnanon (March 2011) Research Report

Research Update 5: STEM Out-of-School Time Programs for Girls

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.

Katie Chun , Erin Harris (January 2011) Research Report

Participation Over Time: Keeping Youth Engaged from Middle School to High School

This article in Afterschool Matters discusses strategies used by OST programs with high rates of participation.

Sarah Deschenes , Priscilla Little, Jean Grossman, Amy Arbreton (January 2011) Research Report

Research Update 4: 21st CCLC-Funded Afterschool Programs

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.

Erin Harris (November 2010) Research Report

Expanded Learning Opportunities in New Jersey—Pathways to Student Success

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.

Priscilla M. Little (September 23, 2010) Research Report

Engaging Older Youth: Program and City-level Strategies to Support Sustained Participation in Out-of-School Time (RESEARCH SYNOPSIS)

This research synopsis summarizes the findings from Engaging Older Youth, a new report from Harvard Family Research Project and Public/Private Ventures that highlights key strategies to promote out-of-school-time program participation among older youth.

Sarah N. Deschenes , Amy Arbreton, Priscilla M. Little, Carla Herrera, Jean Baldwin Grossman, Heather B. Weiss, with Diana Lee (April 2010) Research Report

© 2014 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project