A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

The Relationship between Intensity and Breadth of After-School Program Participation and Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Short-Term Longitudinal Study

Year Published: 2012

This short-term longitudinal study examined 719 2nd grade through 8th grade students participating in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas during the 2009-2010 school year. Report card data and attendance information was collected. This analysis found that participation in afterschool programming increased students’ overall GPA and school attendance rates.

Program Name: Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas

Program Description: The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, established in 1965, served more than 6,000 K-12 students annually during the 2015-2016 school year. Clubs offer diverse programming opportunities that focus on building academic success, good character and citizenship, and developing healthy lifestyles.

Scope of the Evaluation: Local

Program Type: Afterschool

Location: Dallas, TX

Community Type: Urban

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School

Program Demographics: The majority of youth served by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dallas receive free- and reduced-price lunch. Forty-six percent of participants were girls, and a majority of participants represented underserved groups (54 percent African-American, 34 percent Hispanic).

Program Website: https://bgcdallas.org

Evaluator: Springer, K. & Diffily, D. Southern Methodist University.

Evaluation Methods: Report card data and school day attendance was collected on a total of 719 2nd through 8th grade students who participated in 12 Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, and compared students in the program based on their participation in the program looking at intensity (the number of times a student attended the program) and breadth (attending a certain percentage of programs available). The change in grade point average (GPA) and overall school absences from the first week and last six-week period was calculated for each student.

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes: The study established that high-intensity participation in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, or where students participated in the program at a high rate, led to increases in a student’s grade point average (GPA) and decreases in students’ absences from school. Additionally, as students’ participation rates increased the impacts on their GPA and attendance rates became more significant.

Benefits of programming were greater for elementary school students than for middle school students. Additionally, girls consistently obtained high overall and subject-specific GPAs than boys, but there were no visible differences between the impacts of participation on gains for girls versus boys.

Associated Evaluation: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcop.21478/full

Date Added: November 3, 2016