This section of the OST Hub provides information and materials that will help to introduce new reading/writing activities in your program or help to further develop and enhance your current program. For researchers and policymakers, it provides information that will help to understand the larger issues and help to contextualize language and literacy practices and programs in the OST setting.
This section, Reading & Writing: Articles & Research, is divided into the following areas:
- General Articles on Reading and Writing in the OST provides background on the historical roots of providing literacy in OST, and the multiple roles that OST staff and programs can play to support literacy development.
- Integrating Literacy into Other Activities is a section that provides articles on how to integrate literacy into traditional OST offerings, such as the arts and other enrichment activities.
- Teaching Writing in the OST is a section that provides help for one of the most difficult tasks -- engaging children and youth in and providing support for writing. Some of the articles focus on gender, such as boys, who are often the most difficult to engage.
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General Articles on Reading & Writing
Reading instruction does not need to stop with the bell rings. Using out-of-school time can be an effective way to boost academic skills while engaging students outside of the classroom. In this publication, education research lab McREL reviews effective afterschool and summer programs that focus on reading, and identifies the components that make them successful.
A Practitioner’s Guidebook. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy.
Drawing on data from a yearlong ethnographic project documenting a media arts program housed in an urban comprehensive high school, this article provides youth perspectives on their experience in an afterschool program, addressing in particular the ways in which this arts-based program functioned as a hybrid space between work and school.
This article is an excerpt from the groundbreaking book, Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success.
This policy brief by the Afterschool Alliance spotlights the role of reading in effective out-of-school time programs, and describes how reading in OST is a way to promote students’ academic success and bolster their self-confidence and sense of well-being.
One of the first national studies of afterschool programs which provide literacy activities for children and youth. Includes a section on challenges of implementing literacy in OST, and a description of exemplary practices.
Integrating Literacy into Other Activities
The paper investigates how comic book clubs can support children and youth's leadership, civic engagement, and positive youth development.
This paper examines out-of-school time urban debate leagues, specifically the New York Urban Debate League, and the connection between debate, democracy skill building and civic engagement.
School personnel typically ignore the issues of LGBT youth in the academic curriculum and in extracurricular activities. This article explores how OST can provide a safe space for LGBT youth.
"Doing Hair" and Literacy in an Afterschool Reading and Writing Workshop for African-American Adolescent Girls
In the culture of adolescent African-American girls, doing hair is a social practice that represents power, creativity, and sometimes popularity. This article describes a three-month afterschool reading and writing workshop that focused on doing hair.
Many Versions of Masculine: An Exploration of Boys’ Identity Formation through Digital Storytelling in an Afterschool Program
At a time when afterschool programs are under pressure to become extensions of the school day, this research argues for recognition of and support for the different functions such programs can serve when structured as alternative spaces for learning and identity formation.
Teaching Writing in the OST
This articles describes an approach that engages boys in writing during the out-of-school time by allowing them to determine their own topics and by being sensitive to their gendered approaches to writing.
The evidence is clear: writing can be a vehicle for improving reading. In particular, having students write about a text they are reading enhances how well they comprehend it.