A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Improvements in math and reading scores of students who did and did not participate in the Foundations After School Enrichment Program during the 2001-2002 school year

Year Published: 2002

This evaluation looked at elementary students in Foundations, Inc.'s After School Enrichment Programs at 19 schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida. The evaluation found that students participating in the afterschool program experienced greater academic gains compared to non-participating students, where Foundations students scored higher on math and reading standardized tests than their peers who did not participate in the program.

Program Name: Foundations, Inc.

Program Description: Foundations, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that partners with education and community leaders to improve educational experiences for America's youth and enhance the lives and prospects of our most vulnerable children. They support partners by providing services and products including professional development, technical assistance, and targeted program materials. Foundations' Center for Afterschool and Expanded Learning specifically supports K-12 educators in making out-of-school time for learning and healthy development.

Scope of the Evaluation: Multi-city

Program Type: Summer, Afterschool, Before school

Location: Programs evaluated were in three counties in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Delaware, and Franklin), Cumberland County, New Jersey, and Palm Beach County, Florida

Community Type: Rural, Urban, Suburban

Grade level: Elementary School

Program Website: http://www.foundationsinc.org/

Evaluator: Klein, S. P. & Bolus, R. Gansk & Associates.

Evaluation Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, Foundations afterschool participants and the comparison group—non-participants of similar socio-economic backgrounds—were administered the CTB/McGraw-Hill CAT-5 Mathematics and Reading Comprehension tests in fall 2001 and spring 2002. The mean pretest scores on both math and reading for students in the Foundations group and the comparison group were similar in nature.

Evaluation Type: Quasi-experimental

Summary of Outcomes: The study found that participants in Foundations’ afterschool programs at every grade level (1-5) showed significantly greater gains in both reading and math between pretest and posttest scores compared to similar non-participants. For example, Foundations students’ math scores improved by an average of 45 points compared to an average of 26 points for non-participants and Foundation students’ reading scores improved by an average of 38 points, compared to 17 points among nonparticipants. The only exceptions to this were for grade 4 in math and grade 5 in reading, which did not show statistically significant differences. Additionally, Foundations students were progressing faster than the nonparticipant group in math skill development and they were keeping pace with the national norm group—a representative group of students at the national level—in reading.