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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.
All Publications & Resources
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.
Recognizing the critical role that staff play in promoting quality OST programs, in this brief we examine OST professional development efforts and offer a framework for their evaluation.
This paper examines the bidirectional relationship between (a) parental involvement in education and out-of-school time (OST) activities and (b) youth participation in OST activities. Using longitudinal data from the National Education Longitudinal Study, the paper examines the direction of the parent involvement-youth participation relationship and whether youth OST participation mediates the relationship between parental involvement and youth academic and social outcomes.
This paper examines whether demographic differences exist in getting youth “in the door” of OST activities, as well as in the number of activities and the amount of time youth spend in activities. Results from two nationally representative datasets show that disadvantaged youth were less likely to participate in a variety of activities than their peers and that they participated in fewer activities.
This Snapshot examines the range and scope of activities being implemented in current out-of-school time programs to set a context for understanding the links between program activities and positive outcomes for youth.
This Snapshot describes the common data collection methods used by current out-of-school time programs to evaluate their implementation and outcomes.
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 brief offers an overview of how out-of-school time programs can evaluate their family involvement strategies and practices. It draws on findings from our OST Evaluation Database, interviews, and email correspondence.
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 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.
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.
This article in Afterschool Matters discusses strategies used by OST programs with high rates of participation.
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 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.
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.
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.
This publication explores how out-of-school time programs use evaluation to inform their programming and serve older youth and their families.
The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) Out-of-School Time Program Evaluation Bibliography and Out-of-School Time Program Research and Evaluation Database both provide information on evaluations that have been conducted on sports/recreation and health-related out-of-school time (OST) programs, among other categories.
This brief provides examples of year-round learning programs along with recommendations for policymakers looking for ways to increase youth engagement in learning,
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.
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.
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.
This Snapshot provides an overview of how researchers are evaluating out-of-school time programs’ engagement with families.
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.
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.