Volume 1, Issue 1

Social Impact Brief VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1 Insights from the Out-of-School-Time Field Expanded Learning, Expanded Youth When school-age youth receive expanded learning opportunities, they discover new ways to think and explore. Organizations working with Prime Time are providing enriching experiences many youth would not encounter anywhere else. “I really enjoyed everything taught, because I will need it in order to be what I want in the future for my job.” –Carly, during her last session with the Florida Fishing Academy Expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) bring a variety of new, thoughtprovoking, hands-on experiences to youth in afterschool programs and summer camps (i.e., out-of-school time programs). What impact are these organizations having on school-age youth? In Palm Beach County, more than a dozen organizations have contracted with Prime Time to provide ELOs, including the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, Young Singers of the Palm Beaches and Youth Speak Out International. Every year, Prime Time asks youth whether they are learning new things, problem-solving, collaborating, building positive relationships and enjoying challenging activities. The response is overwhelming. ELO providers make a difference in their lives. More than 90 percent reported learning new skills and wish they could repeat the experience, 93 percent learned things that were personally important to them, and 90 percent discovered ways to solve problems. Continued on next page IN THIS ISSUE An Interview with Lisa Williams, CEO of the Children’s Services Council What Youth Are Saying About Expanded Learning Summaries of Recent and Landmark Publications Prime Time Palm Beach County, Inc. receives significant funding from the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.
Social Impact Brief VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1  Insights from the Out-of-School-Time Field  Expanded Learning, Expanded Youth  When...
More than 85 percent reported using the skills they learned, and 83 percent did things they could not do before. Collaboration is integral to these opportunities. More than 90 percent worked together with other youth, 73 percent helped others using the skills they learned, and 64 percent gained experience leading others. The ELOs also succeeded in giving youth choices and autonomy with 85 percent indicating that they chose what activities they did or how to do them. Every ELO working with Prime Time succeeded in engaging youth on multiple levels (cognitively, socially, emotionally and behaviorally). To succeed in this endeavor, quality matters. ELO quality was gauged through independent observations by trained evaluators using the Palm Beach County Program Quality Assessment (PBCPQA). High-quality ELOs foster a supportive environment, positive relationships and enriching activities. While all ELO providers working with Prime Time are of exceptional quality, higher scores on the PBC-PQA were associated with more positive responses from youth, such as greater interest and enjoyment and feeling more supported by their instructors, demonstrating that youth know a great learning experience when they see one. What Youth Are Saying “We do new things every day, and we have fun every day. I go home and tell my parents what I learned.” (Young Singers) “This will help me to become an engineer and a scientist, so this is a big step.” (Green Mouse Academy) “It was a great experience to get to interact with one another and come face-to-face with some amazing animals.” (Palm Beach Zoo) “It was fun and gave us a lot of exercise. We also got to come together as friends, so this was good for us.” (YMCA) “Thank you Resource Depot for making my life more creative.” (Resource Depot) “Please come back. It was the best time of my life.” (Youth Speak Out International) An Interview with Lisa Williams-Taylor, Ph.D. Lisa Williams-Taylor, Ph.D., is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County. She is the author of "The Journey to Evidence-Based Programming: Changing the Face of Social Services.” She received her doctorate in criminal justice in 2009 from City University of New York. This month Prime Time had the opportunity to ask Dr. WilliamsTaylor to share her thoughts on out-of-school time (OST) programs and social impact. relationships, interact well with others and work as a team… are critical to whether kids are going to be successful long term. I think that a lot of skills can be taught, but being able to work well with others, to compromise, to really listen—all of those skills have a huge impact on whether someone is going to be successful long term. What do you believe are the most important goals for OST programs in Palm Beach County? I really think that it needs to be balanced. Thirty minutes of reading and 30 minutes of homework, that’s an hour. Even if a child is only there for two hours, that still gives them an hour to build social skills. Williams-Taylor: Definitely the social and emotional wellness of children. That is probably the most important. In leadership and in life, the ability to build good, strong What are your thoughts on the relationship between OST programs and schools? How can programs best complement the school day? Having a really good understanding of what’s being taught and how it’s being taught and understanding really clearly what [the school’s] focus is, because I think that if you can marry what’s being taught in the school day, continuing to enhance that afterwards, that would be a really great thing.
More than 85 percent reported using the skills they learned, and 83 percent did things they could not do before. Collabora...
Recent Discoveries and Landmark Innovations A Review of the Out-of-School Time Literature • Relationships are crucial for preventing dropout. Through interviews and written responses, nearly 3000 youth revealed that supportive relationships can mean the difference between on-time graduation and leaving school, according to a report from the Center for Promise at America’s Promise Alliance. The obstacles to graduation, researchers discovered, are monumental for some youth, but stable relationships and a strong network of intensive support can turn the tide. (Don’t Quit On Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About the Power of Relationships, 2015) The authors depict how these factors develop over time. In elementary school, for example, self-regulation and learning are emphasized, while in early adolescence, the development of positive mindsets (e.g., self-efficacy, openness, and a growth mindset) takes the spotlight. The report offers concrete recommendations for youth practitioners. Perhaps the most important recommendation is that practitioners avoid a “narrow focus on content knowledge,” which would undermine development. (Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework, 2015) • Skills, identity, and choice are keys to success for youth. Summarizing decades of research in youth development and the social sciences, a report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) presents a comprehensive framework for understanding the key factors of success for youth. • Educators recognize the importance of social and emotional learning. The Education Week Research Center surveyed 562 registered users (K-12 teachers and school administrators) of edweek.org in April of this year with the goal of assessing how teachers and Continued on back page In your view, why does high quality matter in OST programming? At Prime Time, we dedicate significant time and resources to exploring the impact that OST programs have on youth in Palm Beach County. Moving forward, what impact do you most hope to see? If it’s not [high quality], it’s basically babysitting. High quality is knowing what the children need, being able to meet them and really help them move to the next level. And it’s looking at all the needs of the whole child (social, academic and everything). It would be wonderful to see if all [components of high quality] are needed, or are there a few key components? I think about testing, and… it’s certain domains that impact whether a child scores ready for school. Are there three key things such that if a program has these, and they do them really well, all the rest is just a bonus? From your vantage point, what are the key components of success for building OST systems? Partnerships, both with the school district and all of the partners Prime Time is already reaching out to. Truly understanding the needs of the communities. There’s a baseline for quality, but then being able to change whatever is going to best meet the needs of that community and that population… Different communities need different things. With afterschool, it’s always for me looking at the research and seeing what’s been proven in the past. I want to be realistic with the outcomes. Knowing the children are in afterschool, depending on how long they’re in afterschool, depending on the quality of the afterschool, all of that has such a huge impact. I would love to see an impact on attendance. If it has an impact on academics as far as fewer retentions, that would be fantastic. Long term, if it impacted graduation, that would be great. I know that some have had an impact on decreasing suspensions. Just having the children engaged, and if we can have afterschool help them with their love for school and for education, I think that’s a fantastic goal.
Recent Discoveries and Landmark Innovations A Review of the Out-of-School Time Literature      Relationships are crucial f...
school-based administrators view social and emotional learning (SEL). Two-thirds of respondents believe that SEL is “very important,” and 80 percent of respondents strongly agree that SEL can help reduce discipline problems. (Social and Emotional Learning: Perspectives from America’s Schools, 2015) • Some childhood misbehavior is linked to higher earning power. Not all behavioral problems lead to negative consequences in adulthood, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Nicholas Papageorge describes how he and his colleagues explored data from youth born in Great Britain in 1958. The youth were assessed at age 11 and followed into adulthood. They found that negative behaviors expressed outwardly (externalizing) were associated with higher earnings in adulthood for youth raised in middle-class or affluent families. In contrast, negative behaviors characterized as withdrawn or inhibited (internalizing) were associated with lower earnings in adulthood. Both internalizing and externalizing behaviors, however, were detrimental for academic performance. (Brookings Institute Brown Center Chalkboard, September 2015) • Afterschool programs could help keep homeless youth in school. Every year, due to frequent moves, thousands of homeless youth must repeat a grade at an estimated cost of $135 million. The president of the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, Ralph da Costa Nunez, Ph.D., suggests an alternative investment. Afterschool programs, he notes, have the potential to support the academic success of homeless youth by providing targeted support. Given the difference in cost per child each year ($3000 for afterschool compared to $21,000 to repeat a grade), afterschool is a far more appealing scenario, he argues. (Huffington Post, May 2015) Prime Time Palm Beach County, Inc. 2300 High Ridge Road, Suite 330 Boynton Beach, Florida 33426 (561) 732-8066 ph (561) 732-8094 fax www.primetimepbc.org • Minorities and youth from immigrant families participate less in OST activities. While 77 percent of US-born non-Hispanic white youth participate in OST programs, the percentage is far lower for foreignborn Hispanic youth—29 percent. In their article in the Journal of School Health, Yu and colleagues explored participation among multiple groups and urged communities to expose more minorities and immigrant families to the benefits of OST. • More youth eating healthy, exercising in afterschool programs. According to a survey of 30,720 households by the Afterschool Alliance, 81 percent of parents are satisfied that the food served at their child’s afterschool is healthy, and nearly half were “extremely satisfied.” (Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, 2015) • Music enhances children’s ability to learn math. A study at the University of Texas found that when math instruction incorporated music, the test scores of third graders significantly improved. (An & Tillman, European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2015) Written and compiled by: Lisa M. Lindeman, Ph.D. Director of Research and Evaluation llindeman@primetimepbc.org (561) 600-9541 Stefania Giannella Research Associate sgianella@primetimepbc.org (561) 600-9529 Prime Time Palm Beach County is a nonprofit intermediary organization that serves out-of-school time (OST) programs and practitioners. We provide supports and resources that increase program quality to positively impact school-age youth. SEPTEMBER 2015
school-based administrators view social and emotional learning  SEL . Two-thirds of respondents believe that SEL is    ver...