Afterschool & Summer Programs
Learning doesn't just happen during school hours. Good summer and afterschool programs offer kids opportunities to develop their literacy interests and skills in a more relaxed environment. Learn about the qualities of good out-of-school programs by checking the articles below.
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Before- and after-school programs can play an important role in ELLs' success by providing a place and time for homework, extra academic support, and enrichment activities. These programs are particularly helpful for older students who may not have access to academic resources or help at home, or those with responsibilities such as working or caring for younger siblings. Learn more about the elements of an effective before- and after-school program for ELLs from this excerpt of Teaching Adolescent English Language Learners: Essential Strategies for Middle and High School (Caslon Publishing, 2010).
How can structured out-of-school (OST) time programs provide more support to students and schools in advancing literacy skills? How might these programs incorporate adolescent literacy development activities, while preserving their unique youth development approach?
Enhancing adolescents' literacy abilities in structured out-of-school time (OST) programs is a growing area of interest among OST enrichment providers. Schools and community-based agencies have developed a host of after-school remedial tutoring programs that provide intensive instruction for struggling students, while project-based youth development programs incorporate text-rich activities to provide highly motivating opportunities for young people to practice their reading and writing skills.
More students fail ninth grade than any other grade and many of these students ultimately drop out. Can pre-emptive interventions lead to increased graduation rates? Emerging evidence suggests that eight-grade transition programs increase pass rates, boost enthusiasm for learning, improve academic skills, enhance self-esteem, and reduce discipline problems.
Learning shouldn't stop just because school is out. Here are some ideas to keep students reading, writing and thinking all summer long.
Early and sustained summer learning opportunities lead to higher graduation rates, better preparation for college, and positive effects on children's self-esteem, confidence, and motivation. High-quality summer programs keep students engaged in learning, teach them new skills, allow them to develop previously unseen talents, and foster creativity and innovation.
The National Summer Learning Association examines the characteristics of effective summer learning opportunities, gives examples of high-quality programs, and presents an agenda for improving such programs.
Informal literacy experiences often serve to shape young people's identity as readers and writers as much as or more than formal schooling.Community and family support can emphasize the importance of reading and writing, build confidence, influence young people's literacy habits, and encourage youth to seek out ways to engage in literate activities. Through a renewed national push for literacy on all levels, both families and community members have diverse opportunities in which to impact students' literacy skills.This article offers strategies to develop community engagement.
Learn about several efforts underway to increase the training and professional development options available to out-of-school-time staff, including seasonal workers.
This meta-analysis of 73 programs finds that afterschool activities can have a positive impact on children’s personal and social skills, including problem-solving, conflict resolution, self-control, leadership, responsible decision-making, and self-esteem. Youth who participate in afterschool programs show significant improvement in their feelings, behavior, and school performance. Research demonstrates that the most effective programs are SAFE (sequential, active, focused and explicit).
What can afterschool programs offer that the regular school day can't? To build literacy skills and school achievement, think outside the classroom.
The Center for Summer Learning compiled this quick review of statistics on summer learning loss.