Publications of the RBF


The following publications and articles were written by staff of the RBF or were commissioned by the Foundation.


First Legacy Report on the Foundation’s Work over the Past 25 Years: An Ethnographic Study by Janice Hirota and Sara Schwabacher 

In 2011 the Robert Bowne Foundation contracted Hirota and Schwabacher to do a study of the RBF’s work over the course of its existence from 1968 to the 2010. Using ethnographic techniques such as interviews and document review, Hirota and Schwabacher developed a detailed picture of the work of the Foundation. With the RBF Board and staff they decided that case studies of grantees which most exemplified the principles of the RBF would be the best way to share the history and work of the Foundation. The case studies highlight the work of four long-time grantees: Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries’ Page Turners Afterschool Program; Queens Community House Youth Programs at Forest Hills Neighborhood Center; Arts Connection’s TRaC (Teen Reviewers and Critics Program); and the Arts and Literacy Program of Coalition for Hispanic Family Services.


Afterschool Matters Journal is a national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship and consciousness of the field of afterschool education. The journal serves those involved in developing and running programs for youth during the out-of-school hours, in addition to those engaged in research and in shaping policy. Articles for the journal are solicited from the field, and a range of academic perspectives were considered along with personal or inspirational narratives and essays, book reviews, art work and photographs. The journal is distributed free of charge through a national partners network.

Afterschool Matters/Occasional Papers series was published twice a year. The goal of Occasional Papers was to provide a venue for publishing research that explores key issues and topics in the practice and theory of afterschool programming, youth development, and learning during the out-of-school hours. In addition, Occasional Papers addressed key policy issues in the area of youth development. The intended audience for this series included researchers, university staff, afterschool program managers and practitioners, and policy makers.

Technical Assistance and Strong Relationships: Key to Quality Capacity Building (2014) by Anne Lawrence. Capacity building through technical assistance and professional development. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the RBF has been its emphasis on building the management and programmatic capacity of its grantees. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the RBF has been its emphasis on building the management and programmatic capacity of its grantees.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Core: The Common Core Standards and Out-of-School Time Programs (2014) by Suzanne Marten, Sara Hill and Anne Lawrence. OST is not school, but the Common Core is a reality in children’s lives. What can or should OST programs do to address or incorporate their Common Core State Standards?

The Accordion Effect: Is Quality in Afterschool Getting the Squeeze? (2013) Dana Fusco, Susan Matloff- Nieves, Steve Ramos and Anne Lawrence. The “The Accordion Effect” was written after bringing together a group of folks who had been in the field for over 10 years to discuss the difference between the field now and back in the day.  This article is the product of those discussions.

Community-based afterschool programs remain places that support youth development. However, in most places quality is getting the squeeze, making it more difficult to meet the growing needs of youth and parents. This article describes the impact of increased external and regulatory pressures that have taken hold at a time of reduced financial and social capital. In this article, we name the factors that are creating what we call The Accordion Effect and describe its ‘squeezing’ impact on quality programming. We conclude with recommendations for reclaiming quality youth work, a practice that we believe must remain holistic and emergent.

The article was published in Journal for Youth Development, as well as an op-ed piece for Youth Today, which you can read here.

Leap of Faith: A Literature Review on the Effects of Professional Development on Program Quality and Youth Outcomes (2012) by Sara Hill, Ed.D. This research paper was commissioned by the Foundation, and is a literature review of best practices in professional development.

Dynamic Framework for Understanding the Complex Work of Quality Out-of-School Time Programs (2010) by Dr. Kim Sabo Flores. The Robert Bowne Foundation (RBF) published this paper, written by Dr. Flores who had been a consultant with the Foundation for many years. Supporting the development of quality OST programs has been the Foundation’s main goal. In 2002, staff and consultants of RBF engaged in a reflective inquiry process to answer the question, “What are the keys to developing quality Out-of-School Time programs?” Answering this question became a five-year research journey that yielded six very interesting findings.

Putting Our Questions at the Center: Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowships (2009) by Sara L. Hill, Susan Matloff-Nieves, and Lena O. Townsend. The Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship is modeled on a successful program developed by the RBF in New York City. The fellowship is part of the Afterschool Matters Initiative, a research and dissemination project that includes a national research grant as well as this publication, Afterschool Matters. The fellowship aims to democratize research and the research process and to contribute to the Out-of-School Time (OST) knowledge base in order to improve practice and inform policy

Afterschool Matters: Creative Programs That Connect Youth Development and Student Achievement (2008) edited by Sara Hill, with a foreword by Glynda A. Hull. “Create an out-of-school time program that bridges enrichment activities and academics!” Contributions from researchers and practitioners in the field of Out-of-SchoolTime provide concrete models that demonstrate how to help youth who are struggling academically and how to support their overall development. Editor Sara Hill brings together a range of projects grounded in student interests to enhance multiple student competencies.

YES: Finding Good Books for Use in After-School Programs (2007) by Felicia George and Tyler T. Schmidt (see links below). This publication brings together material from all three years of the Institute for Literacy Studies’ Youth Education Scholars (YES) program. Scholars engaged in inquiry-based research projects on a variety of topics and experiences. Each of the completed projects included: an essay narrating the inquiry experience, an annotated bibliography of books found, and extended annotations outlining enrichment activities for two of their texts. The variety of topics—from poetry and visual literacy to artists’ biographies and multi-cultural literature—reflects not only the range of interests within the group, but also the very different program needs and youth served.

How Are We Doing? Using Evaluation to Inform Program Decisions (2006) by Anne Lawrence. The article describes how the Robert Bowne Foundation uses evaluation and assists OST programs to develop evaluation processes to help them make decisions.

Transformative Work in Programs for Children and Youth (2003) by Lena O. Townsend. After school programs are uniquely suited to encouraging the kinds of sustaining “work” that help children develop their special abilities and a sense of identity.

The Third Arena: After School Youth Literacy Programs (1999) by Dianne Kangisser. With a host of allies, the Foundation was the catalyst for a creation of a new field—community–based afterschool education with its own best practice, resources and internal and external supports. The Third Arena describes the first eleven years of the work of the Robert Bowne Foundation.

Supporting Community Learning: A Staff Development and Resource Guide for After-School Youth-Education Programs (1995) by Sara Louisa Hill, Lena O. Townsend, Anne Lawrence, Jonathan Shevin and Susan Ingalls. This paper was written to support OST programs providing educational services for children and adolescents. The Guide focuses on the critical role of professional development in effective service provision and provides practical guidance about organizing in-service education sessions for youth practitioners in order to strengthen literacy programming.

Portraits of Youth Programs: Education After-School (1991) by Azi Ellowich, Karen Griswold, Melanie Hammer, Deborah Shelton, Lena O. Townsend and Marcie Wolfe. The purpose of writing this collection of “portraits” of programs was for youth programs starting up and programs contemplating educational change. The Foundation was convinced that learning about the experience of others can give programs a broader conception about what to anticipate and a vision of what might be possible. The hope is readers will find the struggles and the achievements of the agencies inspiring and that the studies themselves will serve as catalysts for change.



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