After-School Programs and Academics: Implications for Policy, Practice, and Research

William T. Grant Foundation

Should after-school programs focus on academics, even to the point of becoming an extension of the regular school day? That’s the question posed and answered in this report, noting the dictates of the No Child Left Behind law and a growing overall emphasis on standards-based accountability. The researchers offer guidelines about how to disseminate, implement, evaluate and sustain after-school program innovations in real-world settings.

Program evaluations, observational studies and lessons learned by practitioners suggest that the best after-school programs set explicit goals supported by project-based activities, use the community as a resource for activities, encourage developmentally appropriate learning that engages youth, provide regular on-site staff development to improve interactions between youth and staff and regularly improve curriculum materials. Free, 20 pages. (212) 752-0071,


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