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A randomized control study of 221 children participating in the Fitness Improves Thinking in Kids (FITKids) program, a nine-month afterschool physical activity program. Students participating in FITKids in their afterschool program increased their physical fitness by 6 percent compared to less than 1 percent improvement by students not participating in the program. Students in the afterschool program also improved their ability to pay attention, avoid distraction, and switch between cognitive tasks.
Academic results from year two of a five-year randomized controlled study that follows 5,000 low-income, predominantly African-American and Hispanic students from third to fifth grade in five urban school districts located in Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; Duval County, FL; Pittsburgh, PA, and Rochester, NY. Evaluators compared student success on math tests in the fall following their summer learning programs with the success of students who did not participate in summer programming. Key findings indicate that students who participated in summer programming performed significantly better on their math tests in the fall following the programs.
This evaluation examined 17 afterschool programs in the Denver Public School system that were funded in part by Colorado’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant. It found that students who were new to the program and participated more than 30 days (first-year attendees) and students who attended more than 30 days multiple years in a row (multi-year attendees) saw improved school day attendance and believed that the program helped them perform better academically. Students regularly participating in the program also reported positively when asked about their social competency, their ability to plan for the future and their future expectations. The evaluation also found that multi-year attendees outperformed their non-participating peers when examining performance growth on the state’s academic assessments; however, there was little difference found when comparing students’ proficiency levels.
A statewide evaluation of Idaho’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs found that based on teacher surveys, students attending a program for at least 30 days (regular attendees) experienced improvements in their academic performance, behavior, and engagement in school. Teachers reported student growth in areas such as quality of homework (77.1 percent), class participation (72.5 percent), motivation to learn (64.9 percent), and classroom behavior (62.8 percent).
A statewide evaluation of Delaware’s 21st Century Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years looked at changes in academic achievement in reading and math, and examined the overall quality of programs and activities offered to students. During both program years, the majority of regularly attending program participants maintained or improved their grades in both reading and math (2011-2012: 82.9 percent in reading and 81.6 percent in math; 2012-2013: 82.7 percent in reading and 83.5 percent in math). In addition, program and school staff unanimously agreed that the programs offer support for the growth of students, and almost all perceived their students as interested and engaged in program activities.
A statewide evaluation of South Carolina’s 21st CCLC programs during the 2012-13 school year, using data from the Grantee Evaluation Management System, the South Carolina Department of Education information systems, and teacher surveys. The evaluation found that students who participated in the program improved their academic performance, behavior, and school day attendance.
A comprehensive, multiyear evaluation of Higher Achievement, an intensive year-round afterschool program located across the Mid-Atlantic region. The evaluation sought to understand the program’s impact on participants’ academic performance, attitudes and behaviors, and enrollment in competitive high schools. The evaluation uses a randomized control design, comparing students who were selected via lottery to participate in Higher Achievement to students who were not selected through the lottery. Key findings from the evaluation include that, after two years in the program, Higher Achievement students performed better on standardized tests in math problem-solving and reading comprehension when compared to their non-participating peers. Furthermore, program participants were more likely to apply to, be accepted to, attend, and matriculate through private schools and competitive magnet or charter schools than non-participants.
An evaluation that matched participants in the Beyond the Bell program—a comprehensive afterschool program serving close to 180,000 students in more than 600 schools—with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s school population, comparing a variety of demographic characteristics, including gender, ethnicity, grade level, socioeconomic status, and English language learner status. Key findings indicate that participation in the Beyond the Bell program provided students more significant gains in standardized test scores in English language arts and math when compared to students who did not participate in the program.
A statewide evaluation of Oregon's 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2010-2011 school year examined academic and behavioral outcomes associated with regular participation in the program. The evaluation found statistically significant positive impacts in math achievement and disciplinary incidents among students who regularly participated in the programs—students who participated in the program at least 30 days. Additionally, examining the organizational practices of Oregon's 21st CCLCs, evaluators found that programs were well-managed and provided a positive climate for students, that staff engaged in positive interactions with students, and that staff "demonstrated mid- to high-range skills in behavioral management—mostly utilizing proactive, positive, and effective behavior management strategies."
A statewide evaluation of New Hampshire’s 21st CCLC program’s impact on participating students’ academic and social development during the 2011-12 school year. Data was collected using student, teacher, and principal surveys. Key findings of the report include that participation in New Hampshire’s 21st CCLC programs improved students’ academic performance, such as homework completion, math and literacy skills, and class participation, as well as students’ social skills and behavior. Principals surveyed almost unanimously agreed that the 21st CCLC programs enhanced the overall effectiveness of the school at least to some extent. The report also found that an overwhelming percentage of students reported feeling safe in the program.