A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Rhode Island 21st Century Community Learning Center Program Evaluation: Descriptive Report

Year Published: 2014

An evaluation of Rhode Island’s 42 21st CCLC grantees to measure participating students’ perceptions of their programs, including students’ sense of competence and perceived supportive social environment, opportunity for choice and autonomy, and opportunity for leadership and responsibility. Key findings include that students who participated in the program mostly agreed that they had a sense of competence in reading, math, and science, and that they believed that the program helped them in academic and social/personal skill building.

Program Name: Rhode Island's 21st CCLC Program

Program Description: Rhode Island’s 21st Century Community Learning Center program—which has received federal support through the 21st CCLC initiative—serves high-needs communities across the state providing local afterschool and summer programming to 42 grantees operating 59 centers during the 2012-2013 school year. Across all centers, a total of 13,631 students were served, for an average of 231 students per center.

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Afterschool, Before school

Location: Rhode Island

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School

Program Demographics: More than 60 percent of students participating in Rhode Island’s 21st CCLC program qualified for free or reduced price lunch. Approximately 10 percent of students served were limited English proficient and 4 percent were students with special needs. Among regular program attendees, 36 percent of students were Hispanic, 36 percent were white, 25 percent were African-American, 4 percent were Asian, and 2 percent were Native American.

Program Website: http://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/EducationPrograms/After-School21stCenturyCLCs.aspx

Evaluator: Vinson, M. & Hutson, M. American Institutes for Research.

Evaluation Methods: Data on grantee characteristics and the student population served was collected through the Annual Performance Report (APR) completed by grantees annually. Using the Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes Youth survey (SAYO-Y), a total of 1,366 surveys were collected from students in grades 4-8, who participated in the 42 21st CCLC programs across Rhode Island. Data was evaluated for the overall student body, and split by grade level and by participation level (under 30, 30-59, 60-89, or 90+ days).

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes: Based on students surveyed who participated in the programs, the evaluation found that a high proportion of students believed that the program had helped them with their academic and social skills, with the mean scale score falling within the “Mostly Agree” category. Analyzing students’ sense of academic competence in reading, math, and science, the evaluators found that the mean scale score of students participating in the program fell within the “Mostly Agree” category. When comparing students’ sense of competence in reading, math, and science based with the number of days they participated in the 21st CCLC program, students who attended the program more regularly were more likely to agree with the statements, up until the 90 day or more threshold.