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Year Published: 2010
A study of middle school participants in New York City’s Beacon Initiative, which served 21,000 middle schoolers during the 2008-2009 academic year. Student survey responses indicated that the Beacon program supported students academically by improving their homework completion, grades, reading comprehension, and math performance. Students participating in the program also overwhelmingly agreed that they felt safe and that they belonged at the Beacon Center, and that the program taught them how to help others. Students also reported that they felt it was important to be involved in their community.
Program Name: Beacon Community Centers
Program Description: The Beacon Community Centers, founded in the early 1990s, were first developed to provide community resources to high-need neighborhoods in New York City. The Beacon Middle School Initiative was launched in 2007 by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development to target more resources to provide middle school youth structured programming in academic enhancement, life skills, career awareness, civic engagement, health and fitness, and culture and arts. During the 2008-2009 school year, the Middle School Initiative served 21,000 middle school students at 80 Beacon Centers.
Scope of the Evaluation: Local
Program Type: Summer, Afterschool
Location: New York City, NY
Community Type: Urban
Grade level: Middle School
Program Demographics: Thirty-eight percent of participants were African-American, 38 percent were Hispanic, eight percent were Asian or Pacific Islander, eight percent were white, and 7 percent were other. Less than half of participants were girls (44 percent).
Program Website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dycd/services/after-school/beacon.page