National Center for Quality Afterschool/SEDL Publications
70 pages. Free; shipping charges only.
This attractive, notebook-size booklet highlights the results of a five-year research study by the National Partnership, a collaborative of eight organizations, designed to discover the best practices among expanded learning programs.
Identifying 53 high-quality programs in 33 states, research teams examined 104 sites in depth, concentrating on six content areas: literacy, mathematics, science, the arts, technology and homework/tutoring assistance.
The booklet reveals new trends and highlights the top programs’ commonalities in four focus areas. One such area, program organization, covers key strengths in leadership, governance, structure, staff characteristics and student behavior. An open leadership style, for example, inspires staff to “help students to achieve in school and life.” Other focus areas include academic programming practices, supportive relationships and achieving program outcomes.
Following the brief summaries of successful practices, two assessment tools allow practitioners to evaluate and plan their own programs: a “Quality-O-Meter” rating scale and a “Planning for Action” form.
From service-learning projects to classes about coping with puberty, the programs that proved successful employ engaged staff who feel supported in role-modeling, coaching and mentoring. They involve communities and families. Their students improve their grades, attendance and work habits – and show a “zest for learning.” (512) 391-6539, http://www.sedl.org/pubs.