- Effective out-of-school time (OST) programs can address children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs while enhancing their self-efficacy and self-esteem. (Douglass, 2004)
- Most OST programs address 4 overarching goals: increase academic achievement; decrease participation in risk behaviors; increase career awareness and access; and increase personal and social skill development. (Peter, 2002)
- High-quality OST programs cultivate supportive relationships between staff and youth participants, provide rich and varied academic activities, offer additional enrichment opportunities, and foster strong connections with neighborhoods, schools, and community organizations. (Vandell, Reisner, & Pierce, 2007)
The Out-of-School Time Resource Center (OSTRC) at Foundations, Inc. promotes youth achievement primarily through the professionalization of the out-of-school time (OST) field. To this end, we broker and provide resources, professional development, advocacy, and similar supports for staff and other stakeholders.
Resource Center Highlights
- Online Professional Development Calendar. This searchable database features area training organizations, individual trainers, and stand-alone workshops. Session topics include “Positive Youth Development,” “Behavior Management,” “Homework Help,” and “Program Safety.”
- Online Document Library. The OSTRC Document Library includes reports, articles, and research papers sorted into categories such as “Child and Adolescent Development,” “Research and Evaluation,” and “Program Administration.”
- Monthly Peer Networking Meetings. Our Peer Networking Meetings are open to administrative and direct-service staff from all types of OST programs. These meetings provide professional networking opportunities, panel discussions on timely topics, and related articles and resources.
- OSTRC Professional Development Academy. The OSTRC offers a series of workshops pertaining to staff support and professional development. Topics include “Promising Practices in Professional Development,” “Networking Made Easy,” and “How to Develop Surveys.”
- OSTRC Helpline. Each month, 40-50 individuals contact the OSTRC through email, phone calls, and personal consultations. OSTRC staff provide resources ranging from local job announcements to national curricula and funding opportunities.
Research & Evaluation Highlights
- Evaluation Surveys. The OSTRC has developed a collection of research-based surveys that evaluate OST workshops, conferences, and other types of professional development. These paper and online surveys are available, free of charge, to individuals and organizations interested in measuring the impact of their professional development activities.
- Comprehensive Assessments. OSTRC staff use quantitative and qualitative methods to measure the short-and long term impact of professional development. These methods include participant and facilitator surveys, workshop observations, participant focus groups, and cumulative comment logs.
- Research Publications. OSTRC staff have published multiple research papers and journal articles on topics such as “Outcomes and Research in OST Program Design,” “Promising Practices in OST Professional Development,” and “Defining our Terms: Professional Development in OST.”