Social Impact Brief
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1
Insights from the
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
“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
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
Summaries of Recent and
Prime Time Palm Beach County, Inc.
receives significant funding from the
Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach
More than 85 percent reported using the skills they
learned, and 83 percent did things they could not do
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.”
“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.”
“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
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
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.
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
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In your view, why does high quality matter in OST
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
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.
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
• 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,
• 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
Written and compiled by:
Lisa M. Lindeman, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Evaluation
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.