Document Library

Activities, Content, & Curriculum

These documents are about integrating specific topics (such as art or science) and strategies (such as homework help or service-learning) into out-of-school time programs activities, content, and curricula.

 

Academic Enrichment and Homework Help Project-Based Learning
Art, Music, Media, and Drama Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Sports and Recreation
Drop-Out Prevention and College Preparation Summer Programming
Literacy Workforce Development

 

Academic Enrichment and Homework Help

3 Strategies to Promote Independent Thinking in the Classroom. (2013). Based on findings from Harvard psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, this article argues that the classroom should become an incubator for growing students' attentional capacity. Teachers can utilize three strategies to cultivate improved focus: sequencing instruction, recovery from mistakes, and setting goals.

3 Tech Tools That Help Teachers Stay Organized. (2013). Classrooms are often organized spaces with cubbies, baskets, and boxes for proper sorting. But behind the desk is often another story, complete with piles of papers, clipboards, and paper scraps with scribbled notes. This article provides three tech tools that can help instructors remain organized.

16 Conversation Starters with Struggling Students. (2014). Assessing a student's needs and goals can often prove difficult. This useful list of conversation starters serves as a starting point. ASCD Edge.

A Year of Lessons from Expanded Learning Time. (2009). In this May 2009 essay published in New York Nonprofit Press, The After School Corporation (TASC) President Lucy N. Friedman describes how a pilot initiative to expand learning time by 30 percent in 10 New York City schools is showing the way toward a seamless learning day that increases academic time, but also brings rigor and structure to enrichments such as arts and hands-on science.

An Evaluation of the Chess Challenge Program of the After School Activities Partnership (ASAP). (2010). The present study is a preliminary evaluation of the Chess Challenge Program which is the signature program of the ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships.

After the Bell Rings: Learning Outside of the Classroom and Its Relationship to Student Academic Achievement. (2009). This report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Policy Center provides highlights from the October 2009 symposium “Learning Outside of the Classroom” that aimed to enhance the way policymakers, researchers, and practitioners view the role that out-of-school education plays in improving academic performance and closing achievement gaps.

Afterschool and the Common Core Standards. (2014). The Common Core is a frequent topic of conversation among educators, educational experts, and policymakers. However, much more needs to be done to familiarize students and parents with the standards, and teachers and schools require additional supports to ensure that their students are able to meet the standards.

Afterschool Programs: Inspiring Youth with a Connected Learning Approach. (January 2015). Connected learning promotes education through various means of communication and relates content to interest.  Authors suggest that engagement is a product of interest and this combination yields achievement. Afterschool Alliance.

Asking Better Questions: 6 Ways to Improve Classroom Discussion. (2013). Facilitating a lively, but controlled, classroom discussion is truly an art form. While most instructors may understand the value of a good question, they may not necessarily know how to make questions engaging or relevant to their students. This article is based on the book Asking Better Questions and provides some helpful tips for better facilitation.

Being Present at School: Implementing Mindfulness in Schools.  (January 2015).  Mindfulness activities have been associated with decreased stress and increased academic achievement.  Basic tenets of mindfulness are presented and multiple studies’ findings are reviewed.  Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America.

 

Building Quality Time. (2013). With the School District in crisis and relentlessly cutting back, this edition of The Notebook details how quality programming available to children beyond regular school hours can be hard to find. To address this, the city has embarked on a three-year project to systematize its array of afterschool activities, which are currently funded through varied sources and have a wide range of goals.

Citizen Schools: Expanding Learning Opportunities to Prepare Middle School Students for High School Success. (2009). This new brief from the American Youth Policy Forum provided new research findings from the Policy Studies Associates evaluation of the Citizen Schools program, an ELO program that prepares middle school students for success in high school and beyond.

Collaborate to the Core! (2014). This guide provides helpful information on creating your own collaborative classroom. We offer a number of engaging collaborative lessons, organized by grade level and subject area. All lessons meet the Common Core State Standards, include tips, and can be used with or without educational technology.

Complementary Learning: Recommended and Related Readings. (2009). The Harvard Family Research Project updated this annotated bibliography just in time for winter break. With eleven new entries added, it compiles publications from the many organizations and individuals who are working to ensure that children have all the resources and skills they need to succeed in school and life.

Computing in Afterschool. (December 2015) This resource guide includes curricula, professional development resources, and some background reading curated especially for afterschool educators. Afterschool Alliance. 

Connecting Afterschool Learning with Common Core State Standards. (2013). As the recognition of the valuable role that afterschool and summer programs play in supporting student learning continues to grow, it is essential that afterschool providers demonstrate how they can expand on and complement the learning that happens during the school day.This article provides information on the importance of Common Core State Standards, why they exist, and what they mean for afterschool.

The Educational Value of Field Trips. (2014). The school field trip has a long history in American public education, yet today, culturally enriching field trips are in decline. This article poses the question, if schools are de-emphasizing culturally enriching field trips, has anything been lost as a result? Using the first large-scale randomized-control trial designed to measure what students learn from school tours of an art museum, findings show that students learn quite a lot.

The Effects of Increased Learning Time on Student Academic and Nonacademic Outcomes. (2014). This new report released by the Department of Education examined the impact afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs have on their students' academic achievement and socio-emotional development. Findings from this meta-analytic review found that OST programs, as well as full-day kindergarten programs, can have a positive effect on student participants.

 

The Eighth to Ninth Grade Transition: How Afterschool can Help.  (January 2015).  Presented data speaks to the need for purposeful intervention with 9th grade students.  Studies show that more students both fail the ninth grade and are held back in the 9th grade than any other grade.  As evidenced by the success of middle school OST programs, students in this age group may benefit from afterschool program participation. Afterschool Snack.

Establishing a Needs-Fullfilling Classroom.  (2012).  The needs-fulfilling classroom is a place in which both the teacher and students feel empowered to learn together and from one another. In this inquiry-driven environment, students follow their own curiosities into content, and teachers follow their students into learning. Insomuch as the teacher "teaches," she does so by observing students at mental play. By doing so, she learns how her students self-organize intellectually as well as socially.  According to the author, how students behave - and what they create - when given the freedom to learn provides much more useful information to the teacher about her students and their learning than any set of monocultural, text-based assessments ever can.

The Evaluation of Enhanced Academic Instruction in After-School Programs. (2009). This study examines structured academic instruction in reading or math to students in grades two to five during their after-school hours - instead of the less formal academic supports offered in regular after-school programs - to see if it improves their academic performance in the subject.

Every Hour Counts: Expanding Learning So Every Student Can Thrive. (2013). Every Hour Counts has produced a series of new messaging tools. The developed language explains the value of expanded-learning systems and intermediaries to diverse audiences. These documents include: an overview of Every Hour Counts, messages on the value of systems and intermediaries, results of expanded-learning systems, and FAQ.

Expanding Learning, Enriching Learning. (2013). How can we expand opportunities for poor children to develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century? To navigate this complex territory, the Wallace Foundation presents stories from the field by showcasing portraits of five programs.

Falling Out of the Lead: Following High Achievers Through High School and Beyond. (2014). This report seeks to explore the experiences of high-achieving students. The authors examine the trajectories of students who are high-achieving when they enter high school and document their success on key indicators of post-secondary readiness.

First Grade Student Library Card Ownership Linked to Library Visitation. (May 2015) The study shows that first-grade children who had a library card were more than twice as likely to visit the library compared to children who did not have a library card, even after controlling for the effects of socioeconomic status. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Five Research-Driven Education Trends at Work in Classrooms. (2013). Increasingly, educators are looking to research about how kids learn to influence teaching practices and tools. What once seemed like on-the-fringe experiments, life game-based learning have turned into real trends and have gradually made their way into many classrooms.

Growing computer science education in afterschool: Opportunities and challenges.(December 2016) This report illustrates the very significant level of interest in computer science within the afterschool field and seeks to gauge the perceived challenges and potential solutions that could help the afterschool field expand its computing education offerings. Afterschool Alliance.

How 'Flipped Classrooms' are Turning the Traditional School Day Upside Down. (2013). Clintondale High School outside Detroit was one of the lowest performing schools in Michigan when they decided to "flip" their classrooms. Now teachers record their lessons online for students to watch outside of school and class time is used to work through problems. This article reports on Clintondale's success so far.

The Intersection of Afterschool and Competency-based Learning: Emerging Trends, Policy Considerations, and Questions for the Future. (January 2016) This white paper explores the relationship between these two fields, recommends ideal policy environments for implementing successful programs, provides real-world examples, and shines a spotlight on emerging trends for the future. American Youth Policy Forum.

Leaders Agree: Out-of-School Time Opportunities are Key to Student Success. (2012). This press release overviews a summit at United Way Worldwide in October to create dialogue about the effect of OST programs and how they can be used to foster more successful and high-achieving students.

Learner at the Center of a Networked World. (2014). This is a cross-sector, cross-partisan report of the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet that highlights twenty-six actions for optimizing learning and innovation within a trusted environment. The report and series of recommendations seeks to ensure today's students are at the center of, and have access to, safe learning inside and outside of the classroom that prepares them for future success.

Learning at Non-School. (2013). It is universally acknowledged that schools in and of themselves are not the end-all and be-all of education. This report investigates the study of a contradiction in how we both think about and organize learning in the out of school time field by reviewing studies, theories, and advocacy for education in non-formal settings.

Lesson Idea: Using Technology to Teach Sentence Combining. September 2014. This article provides detailed instruction on how to easily incorporate technology in writing lessons. A video tutorial showcases specific examples of teaching techniques and the author provides Software recommendations. MiddleWeb.

Linking Common Core and Expanded Learning. (2013). In light of the new demands of the Common Core State Standards, expanded learning is emerging as an effective best practice to support student learning. After school programs can reinforce learning from the school day, and serve as partners in Common Core Standards implementation.

Linking Schools and Afterschool Through Social and Emotional Learning. (December 2015) This brief explores the policy context reflecting a growing interest in SEL, talk about how afterschool and in-school educators differ in how they implement SEL practices, and related suggestions for afterschool and in-school educators. Beyond the Bell.

Making a Habit of "How Do You Know?" (2013). Asking "How do you know?" sound so simple. In reality, it takes time for teachers to build and for students to become comfortable with this habit. The results, however, are well worth the investment of time because this simple technique indicates a student's thinking and addresses any misconceptions.

Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills. (2009). This publication is a result of a project that underscores the critical role of our nation's museums and libraries in helping citizens build such 21st century skills as information, communication, and technology literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, civil literacy, and global awareness.

The New Teachers’ Aides: Superman and Iron Man. September 2014. Educators have successfully taught writing, history, math and science lessons through comic books. The author recommends the publication Comics that Make Kids Smarter as a tool and details lesson examples. The Atlantic.

Outlook on instruction: Class around the clock.  (January 2015). Jessica Terrell reviews expected trends in instruction for 2015. These trends include student-driven learning, increased individual attention, effective application of data, and differentiated professional development. District Administration.

Questioning Sequences in the Classroom. (February 2014). Asking a question in a certain manner can elicit high order thinking and greater cognitive gain for students. Authors in this publication explain how to engage students in critical thinking through proposed research-based methods. Marzano Research Laboratory.

Reaching the Tipping Point: Insights on Advancing Competency Education in New England. (October 2016) This paper explores the core concepts of competency education, detailing the limitations of the traditional system, and how competency education is designed explicitly for equity and student success. CompetencyWorks.

Response: Many Ways to Help Students Develop Academic Vocabulary. (2013). In response to the question asking what are the best ways to help students develop academic vocabulary, this article provides several responses from instructors, teachers, authors, and consultants. With suggestions such as creating word charts, introducing words in a sequence, and strategically selecting vocabulary, this resource provides several shared ideas on the subject.

Smart Strategies that Help Students Learn How to Learn. (2013). What's the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests that it's not just what you know, it's what you know about what you know! In most schools, the emphasis is on what students need to learn, and little emphasis, if any, is placed on training students how they should go about learning the content.

State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08: Are There Differences in Achievement between Boys and Girls? (2010). Using data from state reading and mathematics tests, this report takes an in-depth look at the performance of male and female students. The study found that while boys and girls are performing similarly in math, girls are out-performing boys in reading.

Social media inside, outside the classroom. (March 2015). Social media, when used correctly, can help to engage and empower students. Sharon Davison presents several considerations and emphasizes purposeful modeling when uses technology. SmartBlog on Education.

 

Spark! Creating a Summer Opportunity Portfolio. 2016. National Summer Learning Association.

 

Structuring Out-of-School-Time to Improve Academic Achievement. (2009).This practice guide from the What Works Clearinghouse contains recommendations and tips for designing and developing academically focused out-of-school-time programs.

Students Progress in ExpandED Schools. (2013). An analysis of data from TASC's national demonstration of a longer school day illustrated that elementary and middle school students participating in ExpandED Schools improved their academic achievement, attended school more often, and benefitted from improvements in school culture. This article summarizes findings from Year One of the initiative, as well as lessons learned from the approach.

Study Finds Social-Skills Teaching Boosts Academics. (2011). From role-playing games for students to parent seminars, teaching social and emotional learning requires a lot of moving parts, but when all the pieces come together such instruction can rival the effectiveness of purely academic interventions to boost student achievement, according to the largest analysis of such programs to date.

School Recess Offers Benefits to Student Well-being, Educator Reports.  (February 2015). Stanford researchers recently found that recess can help students feel “more engaged, safer, and positive about the school day.”  “Well-run and well-organized” recess programs seem to benefit students even more.  Phys.org.

Taking a Relationship-Centered Approach to Education. (2013). The heart of contemporary K-12 education reform is broad and disjointed: curriculum standards, teaching strategies, teacher pay, quality, and achievement gaps all take turns leading the charge. Alarmingly, the missing narrative is arguable the most important factor in preparing students with the skills they need to succeed in today's world: why we educate in the first place.

Teachers Know Best: Making Data Work For Teachers and Students. (June 2015) Based on a research project that seeks to encourage innovation in K-12 education by helping product developers better understand teachers' views, this follow-up study focuses on the potential of a specific subset of digital instructional tools: those that help teachers collect and make use of student data to tailor and improve instruction for individual students. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Time for Deeper Learning. (2013). The intensive process of deeper learning, as defined by the Hewlett Foundation includes five key elements. The five elements are: mastering core academic content, thinking critically, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, and learning how to learn.

Toward More Joyful Learning: Integrating Play Into Frameworks of Middle Grades Teaching. (December 2014).  Hilary G. Conklin, of DePaul University, encourages educators to incorporate play into lessons.  Conklin details specific examples providers may consider using in programming. American Educational Research Journal.

 

Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students’ Learning. September 2014. The Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) describe how technology can be used to engage students and support achievement. This publication gives examples of situations in which technology directly improved the outcomes of at-risk students and provides direction for providers. SCOPE.

What Helps Kids Focus Better - and Why They Need Help. (2013). The root of learning is keen focus, and distractions kill comprehension. Given this, it is understandable that kids learn best when they can maintain sustained attention on what their teacher is saying, their textbook, or their homework. But the new normal for young people is continual interruptions and distractions. This article discusses the benefits of reduced distractions.

What Keeps Students Motivated to Learn. (2014). A panel of seven students attending schools that are part of the "deeper learning" movement gave their perspective on what it means for them to learn and how educators can work to create a school culture that fosters creativity, collaboration, trust, the ability to fail, and one in which students want to participate.

When Homework is not Home Work: After-School Programs for Homework Assistance. (2001). This scholarly article explores the impact of afterschool program homework help. This additional academic support has been found to protect against school failure and proves to be particularly powerful for students whose parents do not speak English at home. Educational Psychologist.

 

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Art, Music, Media, and Drama

4 Ways Technology Can Make Your Music Lessons Sing. (December 2014). David Raths presents creative strategies to incorporate technology into music lessons: using a tablet for sheet music, taking advantage of computer-based music composition programs, and editing recordings using programs like Garage Band. He also discusses online opportunities for music rehearsal – this allows a wide audience to preview performances. The Journal.

After-School a Prime Time to Provide Arts Instruction. (2012). After-school programs provide a prime setting for the arts instruction that many schools have cut, reports the latest in a set of issue briefs released by the Afterschool Alliance. This post explores the most recent brief, which profiles a few after-school programs for middle school youths that have made arts instruction a priority, encouraged by some research that shows arts instruction, can improve students' academic and cognitive skills, as well as social outcomes, like attendance and behavior. 

Arts for All: Connecting to New Audiences. (2009). How can arts organizations use marketing, research and new technologies to expand their audiences? This report on a recent Wallace conference discusses how it is being done.

Balancing the Art and Science of Education. (2013). As we continue to fight to keep the arts in education, it is time to realize that the real fight is keeping the art in education. Research has provided us with evidence of how the brain functions, how students learn in different ways, and that they have multiple intelligences. This article discusses what is required by the act of teaching.

Bringing Transmedia to Expanded Learning Settings: Emerging Practices. (2013). This paper presents emerging practices by public media stations in implementing 'transmedia' context in expanded learning settings across the U.S. Some of the key implications are that involving parents is essential and that teachers and educators will use transmedia if it is easy.

Collaboration Paints a Bright Future for Arts Education. (2011). In July 2010, working with a nonprofit organization called Big Thought, officials at the Dallas Independent School District embarked on an approach to summer school they hoped would change that image and engage kids. The idea was to support teachers, artists, and others to replace worksheet-style instruction with teaching animated by music, visual arts, dance, and theater.

Cultivating Demand for the Arts.(2009). Arts education plays a vital and underappreciated role in expanding participation in the arts, argues a new study from RAND - and must be strengthened if more Americans are to reap the rewards of participation.

Educational-Entertainment as an Intervention With Black Adolescents Exposed to Community Violence. (2012). Witnessing violence is one adverse childhood experience (ACE) associated with living in impoverished Black urban communities. Youth with higher violence avoidance self-efficacy and positive coping are more likely to avoid violence. This study evaluates educational entertainment (edutainment) as an intervention with Black adolescents exposed to community violence.

Full STEAM Ahead: Arts, STEM, and 21stCentury Learning. (2012). This article takes a look at the argument for adding an "A" to STEM to create STEAM and acknowledge the role of the arts in 21st century learning. Readers need to ask themselves: Will adding the "A" to STEM create more confusion, dilute student preparation for a technically advanced work environment or improve innovation by acknowledging the creative act and processes more commonly associated with the arts?

Learning from Live Theater. (Winter 2015). Researchers compared the vocabulary and content acquisition, tolerance and emotional intelligence of two students cohorts: 330 students who attended theater productions and 340 control group students. Remarkable gains in the measured areas reflect the importance of educational field trips. Education Next.

Music Lessons Enhance Brain Function in Disadvantaged Kids. September 2014. A Northwestern University sponsored two-year study has discovered the potential benefits of music education. Researchers followed six to nine year olds over a two year period in the Los Angeles community. The study found that music lessons were associated with larger increases neural capacity as compared to a control group. Pacific Standard Magazine.

New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Art Learning in a Digital Age. (2013). This report commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, explores "interest-driven arts learning" in the out-of-school hours. It gives a rundown of scholarship in the area of arts, examines young people's media consumption, provides a survey of youths' creative endeavors online, and concludes with thoughts and possibilities for the future.

Participation in School Music or Other Performing Arts: Indicators on Children and Youth. (2013). This article describes the positive association between arts participation and a number of desirable academic and social outcomes, such as: school grades, test scores, enrollment in post-secondary institutions, attainment of a bachelor's degree, and higher levels of literacy and civic engagement. In addition, the article also provides a demographic breakdown of differences in arts participation based on gender, age, parental education, and college plans.

Research into Action: Pathways to New Opportunities. (2009). This report by the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance highlights survey data informing that city's campaign to counteract the long-term decline in arts engagement.

Revitalizing Arts Education through Community-Wide Coordination. (2009). In a number of urban areas in recent years, efforts are under way to counter a generation-long decline in public school arts education by forming coordinated networks of schools, cultural organizations, local governments, and funders, to work together to revive arts education.

Should STEM become STEAM?  (2013). STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education has been a major component of  21st-century learning, but some say the acronym needs to be more inclusive. Several groups created by educators have emerged to support adding an A to represent the disciplines of art. Babette Allina, RISD's director of government relations at the The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) plans to reintroduce a resolution to the U.S. House of Representatives, which promotes "adding art and design into federal programs that target the...STEM fields encourages innovation and economic growth." Other groups express similar beliefs, emphasizing that STEM itself is too logic driven, and that arts-related programs "support and foster creativity, which is essential to innovation." 

Something to Say. (2013). Engagement in the arts can help youth in myriad ways: as a vehicle for self-expression, acquiring skills, and developing focus on teamwork. Unfortunately, with the decline of arts education in public schools, few urban, low-income youth have high-quality, engaging arts experiences at school.

STEAMing Up Education. (2013). As students face new challenges and need new skills, schools like the Boston Arts Academy are adding arts programming to traditional STEM curricula. By using an artistic approach, educators hope to create an integrated learning experience that keeps the lessons more student-focused rather than teacher-led.

The Arts and Afterschool Programs: A Research Synthesis. (2008). This thorough analysis attempts to gather and present data collected through multiple studies. Research has connected arts programming to youth academic achievements. The author also offers information on promising practices and teaching strategies. National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning.

Untangling Hip-Hop for The Classroom. (2011). Education can shape realities, not just tell stories. It can prepare us for life's expected and unexpected journeys, and it can give us a foundation to cope with the lows and gloom and accept the highs graciously. It is incumbent upon teachers to reach out to our students and to understand where they are coming from so as to make the most of time in the classroom.

Using Media to Promote Adolescent Well-Being. (2008). Adolescent media use has exploded. Parents are worried that teens are drowning in messages about sex, smoking, drinking, consumer goods, and a host of other behaviors and products that threaten their health and well-being. This brief advocates fighting fire with fire by creative use of media to provide youth with positive messages that counteract the negative and potentially damaging messages to which they are so frequently exposed.

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Civic Engagement and Service-Learning

Authentic Youth Civic Engagement: A Guide for Municipal Leaders (2010) is informed by a year-long process in which the YEF Institute gathered and synthesized the knowledge and expertise of more than 300 youth development experts, academics, municipal leaders, community organization partners and young adult and youth leaders from across the nation through a series of focus groups, surveys and interviews conducted in 2008-09.

Beyond the Classroom: Service Learning in Out-of-School Time. (2008). Authors present a list of possible service-learning projects for young people. A five-step guide offers direction as providers start to implement service-learning programs in their communities. Youth Impact.

Bring Learning to Life - Service-Learning In Action. (2009). Created in collaboration with Cathryn Berger Kaye, this is a new edition of the popular companion piece to the Bring Learning to Life video. Teachers can use this guide to help integrate service-learning into their classrooms to strengthen and enhance academic and civic development.  Practitioners in less formal educational environments such as after-school programs and youth groups may also find the guide useful for implementing service-learning projects in community-based settings.

Bringing Social Justice Issues to Life. (March 2015).  Linda Christensen shares information on a project she presented to her students on gentrification.  To encourage conversation related to social justice issues, she presented a work of fiction to read and discuss.  ASCD In Service. 

Empowering Motivation Through Service Learning. (2014). Authors Maureen Connolly and Alison Buske redefine learning and describe the service learning philosophy. Character development occurs through this collaborative form of education. ASCD.

An Interview with Dr. Cynthia Belliveau: Service-Learning History and Culture in Philadelphia. (2011). Dr. Cynthia Belliveau is a professor in the Dept. of Psychological Studies in Education at Temple University. She has her Ph.D. in Psycho-Educational Processes from Temple University, an M.P.S. in Non-Profit Management from Alfred University and a B.S. in Individual and Family Studies from Penn State University.

Learning by Doing: Students Take Greening to the Community. (2011). To ensure sustainability and environmental protection, authors of this EPA publication promote green-focused service learning programs. The EPA presents several project examples and features youth development programs around the country. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Linking Learning to the 21st Century. Preparing all Students For College, Career and Civic Participation. (2011). Many states are currently developing high school reforms labeled Linked Learning (formerly known as Multiple Pathways) built on the fundamental insight that career and technical education can be academically rigorous. Linked Learning policies also allow students to gravitate to schooling themes that are personally relevant, and they hold the potential to substantially improve secondary schooling.

Obama More Trusted, Young Adults Making the Case for a Second Term Harvard Poll Finds. (2012). This article discusses the results of a 2012 poll of American 18-29 year-olds on candidates and issues related to the 2012 election, which indicate Obama as more trusted.

Paths to 21st Century Competencies Through Civic Education Classrooms. (2009). This report summarizes an analysis of survey results from ninth-graders that demonstrates that these skills can be taught and taught in school.

Promoting Active Youth Citizenship (2007) The December issue of “Field Notes,” a publication from International Youth Foundation, demonstrates that youth citizenship is vital for creating better citizens that eventually mentor and volunteer within their own communities.  There are many positive outcomes for encouraging youth citizenship, the most prominent being encouraging youth to be more active citizens in their domestic and international communities. 

The Ripple Effect (2007) This article demonstrates ways in which to combine effective mentoring relationships with civic engagement.  It explains how this partnership can also aid in youth development and community improvement.  In addition, it includes sample activities for mentors and mentees to work on together.

Service-Learning and Historic Preservation Toolkit. (2009). This guide is a first effort to apply the 2008 quality standards for service-learning in a practical guide for community-based organizations. It provides practitioners of community-based service-learning with tips, tools, and techniques they need to start making a positive difference in many people's lives by providing high-quality opportunities for youth to serve and learn.

Service-Learning in Out-of-School Time: Capitalizing on the Perfect Opportunity. (2011). The Rand Corporation reports that average summer learning loss in math and reading for American students' amounts to one month per year. More troubling still is the fact that these statistics disproportionately affect low-income students who lose two months of reading skills on average while their higher-income peers make slight gains. But change makers should not fear. Service-learning offers a fun, easy and effective way to engage youth in positive activities.

Young People Advocate for, Plan, and Provide Services to Their Communities. (2009). This report describes how the structure and philosophy of the Beacon serves as an excellent support for community improvement efforts by bringing together youth and adults in collaborative projects. Part of the “Practices to Keep In After-School and Youth Programs” series from the Youth Development Institute.

Youth and the Environment(2009). This article describes a variety of ways in which OST programs can embrace environmental projects.  It offers advice for creating a sustainable project, as well as how to connect to all possible sources of support, funding and media attention.

Youth Civic Engagement Programs: Lifelong Impact. (2015). This article highlights the accessibility and significant benefits of civic engagement programs.  Proposed suggestions include actively engaging youth in decision making, seeking community collaboration, and actively celebrating successes. NAA. 

 

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Drop-Out Prevention and College Preparation

Academics Not Only Factor in College Success, ACT Report Says. (2013). Predicting who will go to and finish college is incredibly tricky. A new report from ACT Inc underscores that while academic readiness is important, it is not the sole factor at play in college success. Other factors such as the fit of the school, financial aid opportunities, and interest in the offered majors are important dimensions of readiness.

Advancing Deeper Learning Under ESSA: Seven Priorities. (March 2016) This brief recommends seven ways for supporters of deeper learning to take advantage of the changing education policy landscape, as authority shifts from the federal government to states and local districts. Jobs for the Future.

Affordable Colleges in America: Rankings and Report. (July 2014). This site provides students, parents and educators a comprehensive list of low cost online programs. The site makes sure to point out that the list only includes high-quality institutions. Edudemic.

Afterschool: A High School Dropout Prevention Tool. (2009). This issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance examines the critical issues facing older youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in helping to keep older youth on the road to graduation.

Afterschool: Providing a Successful Route to Credit Attainment and Recovery. (2009). This issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance discusses the role afterschool plays in providing older youth with critical academic supports including credit attainment and recovery opportunities. Many educators are turning to afterschool programs to reach students who fail one or more courses, become disengaged, or want alternatives to the traditional path to graduation.

Avoiding the Attendance Slump: Strategies to Maximize Learning Time in June - A Resource Guide. (June 2015) This report offers some specific strategies to increase learning time and attendance rates, boost engagement, minimize summer learning loss, and accelerate performance in the next grade.

Beyond the Classroom: Creating Pathways to College and Careers for Latino Youth. (2010). This report from National Council of La Raza provides evidence that Latino youth have a greater potential to diversify and enhance America’s workforce when they have access to broader education and career networks.

Boosting College Success Among Men of Color: Promising Approaches and Next Steps. December 2016. MDRC.

Closing the Expectations Gap. (2013). With all 50 states and the District of Columbia having adopted college and career-ready standards in English and mathematics, Achieve's eighth annual report shows how all states are aligning those standards with policies and practice to better ensure that all students are academically prepared for life after high school.

The College Payoff. (2011). A college degree pays off--but by just how much? In this report, we examine just what a college degree is worth--and what else besides a degree might influence an individual's potential earnings. This report examines lifetime earnings for all education levels and earnings by occupation, age, race/ethnicity and gender.

A Comprehensive Approach to Success in Education and Careers for Out-of-School Youth. (2010). This forum brief features an overview of the Community Education Pathways to Success (CEPS) model, which targets out-of-school youth who have expressed interest in earning a GED,  results from a recently released evaluation, and provided recommendations for policy.

 

Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014: Hispanic Students. (July 2015) This report provides a national snapshot of academic performance among Hispanic students in the high school graduating class of 2014 who took the ACT college readiness assessment. Act, Inc.

 

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2015. (2015) These reports provide a snapshot of the ACT- tested graduates in each state, focusing on their readiness for college and career success. ACT, Inc.

 

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2016. (August 2016) This report looks at the progress of the 2016 ACT®-tested graduating class relative to college and career readiness. This year's report shows that 64% of students in the 2016 US graduating class took the ACT test, up from 59% in 2015 and 49% in 2011. ACT, Inc.

Database maps college readiness policies. (October 2014). The Education Commission of the States recently released an interactive site detailing how each site prepares students for college. The online database, sorted by state, can be found here: http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/Blueprint/blueprint-intro.asp. EdSource.

Designing Statewide Career Development Strategies and Programs. (2015) This guide is designed to support states in their efforts to increase college and career readiness among all youth, including youth with disabilities. National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability.

Don’t Call Them Drop Outs: Understanding the Experiences of Young People Who Leave High School Before Graduation.2014. A recent study conducted by the Center for Promise found no single reason for dropout but through interviews with students the Center was able to pinpoint three risk factors: toxic environment, few mentors and coaches, and lack of social support. “There are statistically significant differences between the interrupted enrollment and continuously-enrolled survey respondents with respect to life circumstances.” America’s Promise Alliance.

Don't Quit on Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About the Power of Relationships. (2015) Perspectives of young people themselves on the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving and returning to high school. Center for Promise.

Dropout Prevention Summit Report. (2013). This report outlines the recommendations provided at the PaDPN Dropout Prevent Summit held in Harrisburg. In addition, the report also provides innovative responses shared during the webinar series and the "Youth Perspectives" focus group sessions.

Every Student Succeeds Act Primer: High School Dropout Prevention and Reengagement of Out-of-School Youth. (April 2016) This brief outlines key provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support states and districts in preventing students from dropping out of high school and reengaging out-of-school youth and making important linkages to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Alliance for Excellent Education.

Expanding Access and Opportunity: The Washington State Achievers (WSA) Program. (2010). This new report synthesizing findings from multiple studies conducted on the WSA program reveals promising practices to improve the educational outcomes for all low-income students. Research showed that pre-college interventions are needed to deal with a full range of barriers facing low-income students when they attempt to obtain a baccalaureate degree.

Falling Out of the Lead: Following High Achievers Through High School and Beyond. (2014). This report seeks to explore the experiences of high-achieving students. The authors examine the trajectories of students who are high-achieving when they enter high school and document their success on key indicators of post-secondary readiness.

For Young Adults Who Drop Out: Pathways or Merely Stops Along the Way? (2014). This report summarizes results from a qualitative case study of two community programs that serve unemployed young adults who have dropped out of school. It seeks to increase understanding of the pathways to education and employment that are available to young adults who have dropped out of school and are unemployed.

Fostering College and Career Readiness through Afterschool and Expanded Learning Opportunities: A Forum. (2013). This Forum highlighted programs and policy efforts in Indiana and Illinois that are helping students strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for college and careers through learning opportunities that occur beyond the school day. Presenters discussed the programming and policy efforts that have led to positive student outcomes in their states and communities, highlighted the valuable role that afterschool and expanded learning stakeholders can play in supporting college and career readiness initiatives, and addressed policies and systems that supported or hindered their success.

From Diplomas to Degrees: Examining the Path to and Through College. (2015) Based on Philadelphia Youth Network's Project U-Turn (PUT), the report examines the next step after a young person earns a diploma and factors that help youth achieve post-secondary success. Project U-Turn.

Grad Nation – High School Retention Guide. (2009). This evidence-based guide helps local leaders increase high school graduation rates in their communities. Free online, this "road map" includes the latest research, best practices, and tools for meeting specific high school dropout challenges.

Halve the Gap by 2030: Youth Disconnection in America's Cities. (2013). Just over a year ago, Measure of America published its initial research on the epidemic of youth disconnection called One in Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas. This report updates last year's findings with the latest numbers and also presents the data disaggregated by neighborhood cluster.

The High Cost of Higher Education. (2009). A product of the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children’s Ready@21 initiative, this report highlights the importance of a postsecondary education for family-sustaining jobs, assesses the cost and affordability of higher education in Pennsylvania, and includes policy recommendations to make postsecondary education more affordable.

How Career and Technical Education Can Help Students be College and Career Ready: A Primer. (2013). This article serves as an introduction to how schools can improve career technical education (CTE). This primer looks at the evolution of CTE in the U.S, reviews practical cases of CTE, and highlights key issues in the CTE implementation.

How High Schools and Colleges Can Team Up to Use Data and Increase Student Success. (August 2016) This report is part of a series that encourages high schools and higher education to share responsibility for improving college completion rates by co-designing, co-delivering, and co-validating supportive experiences for all 12th-grade students through the first year of college. Jobs For the Future.

 

Income inequality, social mobility, and the decision to drop out of high school. (March 2015) This analysis offers an explanation for how income inequality might lead to a perpetuation of economic disadvantage and has implications for the types of interventions and programs that would effectively promote upward mobility among low-SES youth. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.

Intentionally Successful: Improving Minority Student College Graduation Rates. (2013). Over the past three years, the number of black and Latino undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges has increased far faster than the enrollment of white students. This report highlights individual institutions of higher education that are leading and lagging in closing the college completion gap.

Linking Learning to the 21st Century. Preparing all Students For College, Career and Civic Participation. (2011). Many states are currently developing high school reforms labeled Linked Learning (formerly known as Multiple Pathways) built on the fundamental insight that career and technical education can be academically rigorous. Linked Learning policies also allow students to gravitate to schooling themes that are personally relevant, and they hold the potential to substantially improve secondary schooling.

Lost: The Crisis Of Jobless and Out Of School Teens and Young Adults In Chicago, Illinois and the U.S. (January 2016) This report, in combination with the voices of young people, is intended to illustrate the persistence and severity of conditions that have ramifications for our young people and generations to come. University of Illinois at Chicago. 

 

Making My Way Through College: A Guide for Students with Disabilities. (2015) This guide is relevant to all students, but the primary focus is on navigating the college experience for students with disabilities or those who think they may have a disability. National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability.

The Means to Grow Up: The Role of Apprenticeship in Preparing All Youth for College and Career Success. (2009). This American Youth Policy Forum brief highlights how apprenticeships can engage high school students through hands-on learning and unique experiences under the guidance of skilled adults. 

Moving English Language Learners to College- and Career-Readiness. (2009).This American Youth Policy Forum issue brief explores effective educational models for serving English Language Learners in ways that build upon these students' assets and prepare them for college and careers. The brief derives from an AYPF fact-finding trip to Texas's Rio Grande Valley region.

A 'Neglected' Population Gets Another Chance at a Diploma. (2013). Fueled by billions of dollars in government and foundation funding, dropout prevention has been gaining momentum. But educators and researchers who work with at-risk-students say there is no way to really achieve the Graduation Nation goal of a 90% graduation rate by 2020 without taking time to find, bring back, and keep the students who have already fallen through the cracks.

Opportunity Youth Playbook: A Guide to Reconnecting Boys and Young Men of Color to Education and Employment. December 2016. Forum for Youth Investment.

Promise Lost: College-Qualified Students Who Don’t Enroll in College: Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). (2009). This major new policy report from IHEP sheds new light on the barriers that may prevent college-qualified students from enrolling in college. This thought-provoking research helps identify the multiple reasons why these types of students do not enroll, while offering policy recommendations that may help greater numbers of college-qualified students gain access to higher education.

Promoting College and Career Readiness: A Pocket Guide. (2013). The 2002 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) established a nationwide mandate to prepare students for academic success. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education waived certain ESEA provisions in favor of state-led reforms. This document is a guide to implementing ESEA flexibility plans at the state and local levels.

Reengaging High School Dropouts: Early Results of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program Evaluation. (2009). Very early results from a random assignment evaluation of this intensive, “quasi-military” residential program for high school dropouts, show that the program has large impacts on high school diploma and GED attainment and positive effects on working, college-going, health, self-efficacy, and avoiding arrest.

Reshaping the College Transition. (2013). Based largely on interviews with stakeholders in California, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia, this report describes who these states have established initiatives related to early college readiness assessments and transition curricula.

Soft Skills Pushed as Part of College Readiness. (2012). To make it in college, students need to be up for the academic rigor. But that's not all. They also must be able to manage their own time, get along with roommates, and deal with setbacks. Resiliency and grit, along with the ability to communicate and advocate, are all crucial life skills. Yet, experts say, many teenagers lack them, and that's hurting college-completion rates.

Step Up to College: Philadelphia's Guide to the College Preparation, Application, Admissions & Financial Aid Processes - 26th Edition. (2015) A 66-page resource book designed to lead high school students and their families through each stage of the college admissions and financial aid processes. Philadelphia Futures.

 

A Stronger Nation 2016. (April 2016) Offers detailed data arrays that describe postsecondary attainment at the national, state and county levels. The report also provides postsecondary attainment data for each of the nation's 100 most populous metropolitan regions. Lumina Foundation.

Success at Every Step: How 23 Programs Support Youth on the Path to College and Beyond. (2009). This American Youth Policy Forum publication describes 23 programs that have been proven to help young people successfully complete high school and be prepared for success in postsecondary education and careers. They represent a wide range of interventions, including school-wide reform initiatives, community-based afterschool services, work-based learning opportunities, and college access programs.

Survey Shows Broad Support for College and Career Readiness. (2011). A new survey released today shows broad agreement among parents, teachers, and business executives on the importance of college and career readiness for high school graduates. But opinions about what exactly that means, how high a priority it should be, and what reforms are needed vary.

Tough Love: Bottom-Line Quality Standards for Colleges. (2014). This report recommends targeting assistance to persistently underperforming public and nonprofit colleges and imposing tough consequences, including cutting off federal aid, on these institutions that fail to improve within a reasonable time period.

The Use of Individualized Learning Plans to Help Students to be College and Career Ready: A Forum. (2013). Preparing for college and careers requires far more than rigorous academic content. College and career exploration and planning activities can play a beneficial role in personalizing learning, engaging students, and preparing them for life beyond school. Presenters summarized research findings from a longitudinal study conducted by the Center for Workforce Development, and discussed practitioners' and policymakers' experiences implementing and scaling up the use of ILPs.

Using Online Learning for Credit Recovery: Getting Back on Track to Graduation. (September 2015) This research paper illustrates how schools and programs are using online learning to provide credit recovery for students with a wide spectrum of academic needs. International Association for K-12 Online Learning.

 

What District and School Leaders Can Do To Prepare Rural Students for a Brighter Future. (2015) This brief discusses the importance of college and career preparedness for rural youth and how STEM helps students learn meaningful skills connected to career pathways. Education Northwest.

What States Are Doing to Address America's Dropout Challenge and How Federal Policy Can Help.(2009). This American Youth Policy Forum brief explores findings from forthcoming policy papers from Jobs for the Future on alternative education and dropout prevention. In it, education leaders from two states that have engaged in significant commitments to address the graduation challenge share their thoughts on how state and federal partners can work together to ensure that every student has the opportunity to graduate high school ready for career and college.

Why 12th Grade Must Be Redesigned Now-And How: How High Schools and Colleges Can Share Responsibility for Student Success. (October 2015) This first report in a new series by JFF provides the rationale for restructuring 12th grade and tying it more tightly to the first year of college through new high school and college partnerships. Jobs for the Future. 

 

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Literacy

Adolescent Literacy Development in Out-of-School Time. A Practitioner's Guidebook. (2011). Carnegie Corporation's Advancing Literacy program is dedicated to the issues of adolescent literacy and research, policy, and practice that focus on the reading and writing competencies of middle and high school students. Advancing Literacy reports and other publications are designed to encourage local and national discussion, explore promising ideas and incubate models of practice, but do not necessarily represent the recommendations of the Corporation. For more information, visit: www.carnegie.org/literacy

Closing the 'Word Gap' Between Rich and Poor. (2013). By the age of 3, children born into low-income families heard roughly 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. Research has revealed that the 'word gap' factors into a compounding achievement gap between the poor and the better-off in school and life.

Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades - Format Revised. (December 2007) This guide is for a broad spectrum of school practitioners challenged with providing effective literacy instruction for English language learners in the elementary grades, including those who develop practice and policy options for their schools. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

 

First Grade Student Library Card Ownership Linked to Library Visitation. (May 2015) The study shows that first-grade children who had a library card were more than twice as likely to visit the library compared to children who did not have a library card, even after controlling for the effects of socioeconomic status. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

From Elmo to Wii: Literacy Instruction Goes Modern. (2009). This article from the Foundations Inc. newsletter explores technology as a literacy tool. They encourage parents and educators to encourage children’s interest in digital media. 

In Defense of Read-Aloud. (2015) This book challenges and inspires teachers of all grades and subjects to make the most of this essential reading practice. Includes valuable tips on preparation, book selection, and how to read with expression to engage students. Steven Layne / Stenhouse Publishers.

 

Is reading contagious? Examining parents' and children's reading attitudes and behaviors. (December 2015) Drawing on data on 4th-grade students from the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), this brief can inform policy efforts to promote positive reading attitudes and behaviors in children. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

It All Starts Here: Fixing our National Writing Crisis from the Foundation. (2013). If we want our students to succeed in the world beyond the classroom, we must recognize that writing is a critical skill for all children. This report suggests that in order to fix the national writing crisis, we all need to: give youth a solid foundation, address older students' struggles, and share responsibility across the education community.

Kids and Family Reading Report. 5th Edition.  (2015).  This detailed report offers information on how to encourage reading and what young people find interesting to read today. In a 2014 study of over 1,000 children aged 6 to 17, 31% reported that they read a book for enjoyment daily. Scholastic.

Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth. (September 2016) The largest-ever study of summer learning finds that students with high attendance in free, five to six-week, voluntary summer learning programs experienced educationally meaningful benefits in math and reading. RAND Corporation.

LEARNING TO READ: A Guide to Federal Funding for Grade-Level Reading Proficiency. (2011). In the current environment, finding funding for ambitious new initiatives is daunting. Yet, nothing is more important than ensuring all children learn to read. A first of its kind, this guide helps state and local officials, leaders of community-based and national organizations, school leaders, and private investors find funding to strengthen and sustain grade-level reading programs and services for children from birth through third grade.

Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric. June 2014. Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime. Pediatrics.

Literary Strategies After School: A Teaching and Learning Strategies Guide. (2013). The purpose of this strategies guide is to support after school program managers and staff working with children in grades 1-6 to provide meaningful literacy-related activities that are in alignment with the Common Core State Standards in the area of English Language Arts. This guide offers strategies related to reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

Nonfiction as Mentor Text: Style on Common Core. (2013). This article offers insight into the different ways authors approach a particular subject, model specific techniques, contextualize important concepts, and connect with the reader. Through the provided examples, the author explains that the more students consider a writer's craft in nonfiction, the more they will see the elements of good writing overlap.

Read More, Play More: Simple Steps to Success for Today’s Children. September 2014. Television and computer screen time has been linked to deficits in executive functioning. “Executive function is the command and control center of the brain, …and it involves such cognitive skills as self-regulation, organization and long-term planning.” Play, most especially unstructured play, can help in repairing this part of the brain. U.S. News & World Report.

Reading with Meaning. 2012. In the second edition of Reading with Meaning, Debbie Miller shares her new thinking about comprehension strategy instruction, the gradual release of responsibility instructional model, and planning for student engagement and independence. Stenhouse.

Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students' Learning Opportunities. (December 2014) The first set of student outcome findings from Wallace's National Summer Learning Project finds near-term improved student performance on math assessments and no near-term effect on reading assessments. The Wallace Foundation.

Rigorous Young Adult Literature or "Dumbed Down" Classics? (2013). The Whole Novels method is predicated on the notion that students have an authentic experience reading and responding to an entire book. That experience becomes the basis for critical analysis of the literature as well as their own creative writing. When teaching literature to students, instructors should consider assigning young adult literature rather than classics which are often above their student' reading capabilities or outside of the realm of relevance for their age group.

Seven Considerations When Developing Adolescent Literacy. September 2014. This article caters to providers working with older students who experience difficulty with literacy. Author Beth Morrow lists seven valuable tips for educators and her personal blog,http://canwejustread.com/, serves as an additional resource. ASCD.

Still Learning: Reading beyond Grade Three. (2009). This article from the Center for Public Education explores literacy development after elementary school.

Student Reading Practices Lag Far Behind National Goals. (December 2014). Renaissance Learning gathered data on over 10 million students in 1st through 12th grades. Students are often reading below grade level and report to be reading more fiction than nonfiction books. The Journal.

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own.  (January 2015).  The American Academy of Pediatrics recently put forth a recommendation to read to children from birth.  Recent studies have found an association between reading aloud to children aged 6 to 11 and their frequent reading. For young people aged 12 to 17, frequent reading was associated with students being provided adequate free reading time during their day.  The New York Times.

The Literacy Crisis: Searching for Solutions in Mississippi. (2013). Extensive research has found that low-income children tend to start school behind their more affluent peers. Children living in poverty hear fewer words and typically have less access to books and educational experiences, which means they are less likely to enter school with basic skills. With one of the nation's highest poverty rates, this article describes some of the strategies that Mississippi is using to address this problem.

This School Has Bikes Instead of Desks—And it Turns Out That’s a Better Way to Learn. (October 2014). Some schools throughout the nation are beginning to incorporate exercise bikes into their learning programs. In one elementary school in North Carolina, students who spent the most time reading on bikes scored 83% in end-of-year reading tests while those who spent the least time reading on bikes scored 41% on the same proficiency tests. Co. Exist.

To Attract More Girls to STEM, Bring More Storytelling to Science. (2013). Women and girls are historically underrepresented in STEM fields. As STEM becomes increasingly important in our globalized society, it is even more imperative that educators find ways to encourage the participation of girls in these fields, and storytelling seems to provide that opportunity.

To Help Language Skills of Children, a Study Finds, Text Their Parents with Tips. (November 2014). Research recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research has discovered a possible electronic route for reaching parents. A group of parents received tips via text messages on how to best read to their children and help them sound out words. Students whose parents received these texts scored better on literacy tests than their counterparts whose parents did not receive the messages. The New York Times.

Tools for Teaching: Developing Active Readers. (2013). This article explains why teachers need to train students in each of the required skills to read effectively. By enumerating the strategies of previewing text and vocabulary, reading with a purpose, marking text, making connections, and summarizing, this article provides tangible strategies that educators can implement in their classrooms.

What if There Were Reading Police in Schools? (2013). What would it be like if there a reading police in schools that monitored literacy practices and patrolled the classrooms? Would they find any offenders? This article explores the idea of evaluating reading practices in the classroom and provides resources that might mitigate any resulting challenges.

Write Like a Scuba Diver. (2013). In her 2013 ASCD Annual Conference session, Ruth Culham demonstrated how to teach the seven traits of writing through engaging fiction and nonfiction. Within each of the seven traits of good writing - ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation - are subdomains that specify key areas of focus. As Culham advises, "Don't write like snorkelers" implying that snorkelers float on the surface as opposed to scuba divers who go deeper.

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Project-Based Learning

Afterschool Programs Focus on Project-based Learning. (2011). Students in Philadelphia's city-funded network of out-of-school time (OST) programs have discovered that learning doesn't stop when the final bell rings. Throughout Philly, the traditional afterschool routine has been replaced with PBL, an interdisciplinary instructional model that allows youth to explore their interests and answer their questions about the world.

Engaging Middle-School Youth Through Project-Based Learning Clubs. (2009). Project-based learning is promoted widely in education and youth work as a means of engaging youth in valuable learning experiences. This paper documents the infrastructure that San Francisco’s Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center has developed to support the many elements necessary to ensure that these experiences are of high quality. Part of the “Practices to Keep In After-School and Youth Programs” series from the Youth Development Institute.

Learning Beyond High School Walls. (2014). What do high-school students really need to succeed? Access to real-world learning opportunities and paid summer internships. TASC's latest one-pager explains how the Expanded Options program is giving high-school students in NYC those opportunities.

Nutrition and Physical Activity PBL Toolkit. (2012). Everyone loves food, perhaps too much in this day and age. With an obesity epidemic on the rise, and children's obesity rates at 40.7% within the City of Philadelphia, it is important that we teach children how to eat a balanced diet and exercise right. Within this unit children will be guided to learn about where food comes from, what the five food groups are, what the digestive system is, what serving sizes are, how to read a food label, what physical activity is, and how healthy they actually are.

The Power of Nature: Natural Disasters PBL Toolkit. ( 2012). What student doesn't love learning about natural disasters? This unit will give students the ability to explore science and engineering concepts using tangible, hands-on activities. The first week will start with a broad focus on different natural disasters. The following weeks will move towards focusing on a specific type of natural disaster including: tornados, hurricanes, floods, blizzard, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

Problem-Based Learning for the 21st Century Classroom. (2012). ASCD has announced the release of a new PD In Focus channel devoted to problem-based learning for the 21st century classroom and led by Wolf Ed Chief Executive Officer Mary Ann Wolf. On this channel, educators will see how problem-based learning prepares students to meet standards and acquire skills necessary for success in today's interconnected world.

The Role of PBL in Making the Shift to Common Core. (2013). The Common Core has embedded within it some Big Ideas that shift the role of teachers to curriculum designers and managers of an inquiry process. This article provides several ways in which project-based learning (PBL) can help with this shift.

Using Project Based Learning to Teach Science. (2013).  Project Based Learning (PBL) encourages students to be creative, think critically and engineer solutions to problems.  This article discusses the ways OST programs in Philadelphia are using the PBL model to teach STEM.

What Project-Based Learning Is - and What It Isn't. (2012). The term "project-based learning" is frequently used to describe ways to connect students to what they're learning.  When teachers assign projects meant to illustrate what students have learned, they may not realize what they're doing is actually "project-oriented learning." In real project based learning, discovery arises from the project istself. The goal is to connect classroom learning to its applications in the outside world. By addressing real world problems, students are naturally invested and inspired. This article provides examples of innovative real-world projects.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

For an extensive list of STEM documents, please visit the STEM Documents page within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math section of our website.

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Sports and Recreation

For an extensive list of Sports and Fitness documents, please visit the PYSC Documents page within the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative (PYSC) website.

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Summer Programming

Accelerating Achievement Through Summer Learning. This report is designed as a resource for program providers, education leaders, policymakers,and funders who are making important decisions about whether and how to strengthen and expand summer learning programs as a way to accelerate student achievement. National Summer Learning Association.

Adolescent Summer Care Arrangements and Risk for Obesity the Following School Year. August 2011. Researchers collected data on participant BMI and risk factors known to predict obesity. Young people who regularly engaged in organized summer activities displayed a significantly lower risk of obesity. Journal of Adolescence.

America After 3PM Special Report on Summer: Missed Opportunities, Unmet Demand. (2010). This report from the Afterschool Alliance demonstrates that the nation is missing a key opportunity to help millions of children succeed in school. The report examines data from the 2009 America After 3PM study, sponsored by JCPenney Afterschool, and focuses specifically on summer learning program participation and its emerging role as an important strategy to prevent summer learning loss.

Afterschool and Summer Programs Address the Skills Gap.  (February 2015).  With a rise in opportunities in many STEM related positions, afterschool and summer programs are able to promote skills which will lead to high paying and desired careers.  Authors offer additional reading and discuss significant research findings. York State Afterschool Network.

 

Avoiding the Attendance Slump: Strategies to Maximize Learning Time in June - A Resource Guide. (June 2015) This report offers some specific strategies to increase learning time and attendance rates, boost engagement, minimize summer learning loss, and accelerate performance in the next grade.

Building Quality in Summer Learning Programs: Approaches and Recommendations. (2009). This National Summer Learning Association white paper offers recommendations on how to reduce the achievement gap between low-income youth and more affluent students by improving summer program quality.

Calculating the Return on Investment in Summer Learning. (2015) The NSLA spoke with researcher Linda Goetze at the University of New Mexico to understand the intersection of policy, funding, and return on summer reading investments. National Summer Learning Association.

Creativity Drives Programs to Prevent "Summer Slide." (2011). Some cities and school districts have made summer learning a priority, influenced by studies that have found the summer months can be academically caustic for underprivileged students who lack opportunities for enriching and educational experiences. And research released last month by the RAND Corp. suggests that well-designed programs can help combat that "summer slide."

Early Planning, Teacher Support Boost Summer Learning Programs. December 2013. The idea is relatively simple: Increase access to summer learning for low-income students, put the brakes on summer learning loss, and in turn, shrink the achievement gap. The question is how to make that happen? This report by Daniel Browne describes how summer learning programs can provide support. Wallace Foundation.  

Effective and Promising Summer Learning Programs and Approaches for Economically-Disadvantaged Children and Youth.(2009). This white paper from The Wallace Foundation examines available research on program outcomes for children, and identifies the characteristics of effective summer learning programs.

Expanding Economic Opportunity for Youth through Summer Jobs. (February 2016) This report provides an overview of summer youth employment programs across the country, which have laid the foundation for summer work experiences that prepare young people to thrive in a competitive global economy that requires a more skilled workforce. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

 

Five Ways to Make Summer Learning Programs Successful. (2013). This summer, nearly 25 percent of children in the U.S. will attend a summer learning program. Based on the best available research, this brief from Child Trends enumerates five ways to make these programs successful.

Getting a Head Start on the Common Core. (2013). This report describes how children and youth participate in summer learning experiences that prepare them for the new expectations and teaching strategies they will face under the Common Core. It illustrates the unique opportunity summer learning programs give educators working to implement the Common Core.

Getting to Work on Summer Learning. (2013). Summer learning programs have emerged as a promising way to address the growing achievement gap between children of the poorest families and those of the most affluent. This report gathered information from evaluations, surveys, and interviews with summer program stakeholders and summarizes the recommendations and findings.

How to Make Summer Reading More Effective. To improve children's reading levels, children require more than just an access to books. This brief dives in to ways parents and adults can help facilitate children's reading and comprehension.

Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report 2009. (2009). This annual report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) looks at national trends around participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs by comparing the number of children receiving summer meals to the number of children receiving school lunch during the regular school year.

Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report. (June 2016) This report measures the reach of the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2015, nationally and in each state, and examines the impact of trends and policies on program participation. Food Research & Action Center.

It's Time for Summer: An Analysis of Recent Policy and Funding Opportunities. (2009). This white paper from The Wallace Foundation suggests that summer learning programs could be improved and expanded if federal, state, and local programs were better coordinated and recommends a number of steps to policymakers and funders.

Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth. (September 2016) The largest-ever study of summer learning finds that students with high attendance in free, five to six-week, voluntary summer learning programs experienced educationally meaningful benefits in math and reading. RAND Corporation.

The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement. (2007). This comprehensive report details the achievement gap caused by summer breaks that uniquely affects children from low-income families. The reasons for this gap, as well as areas of focus for summer learning and different forms of practice summer, are all included in this report. Research and policy recommendations are included at the end.

Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children's Learning. (2011). This report breaks down the prevalence and causes of summer learning loss and describes best practice methods for confronting this loss and the methods' associated costs.

Meaningful Linkages Between Summer Programs, Schools & Community Partners. (2009). This report from the National Center for Summer Learning with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation provides guidance and examples for developing and managing effective summer learning partnerships.

More Parents Report Enrolling Children in Summer Learning. (2014). With increased awareness of the problem of summer learning loss, new research from the forthcoming America After 3PM report demonstrates expanding support for summer learning programs among parents, as participation has increased by 33%.

Moving Summer Learning Forward: A Strategic Roadmap for Funding in Tough Times. (2013). Since learning loss generally occurs during the summer and creates a drag on our education system, many organizations offer programming during summer months to address this issue. Unfortunately, these programs require resources, and often cannot provide access for all of the children who need meaningful learning opportunities during the summer. This funding roadmap provides information on how to obtain funding for meaningful programs.

Perfect Storm Ahead for Summer Youth Programs. (2011). With widespread cutbacks around the country in public funding for both summer school and summer-jobs programs, youths in some cities, such as Los Angeles and Washington, may have plenty of time on their hands in the coming months. Many jobs programs for young people are facing a funding cliff now that federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has run out.

Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students' Learning Opportunities. (December 2014) The first set of student outcome findings from Wallace's National Summer Learning Project finds near-term improved student performance on math assessments and no near-term effect on reading assessments. The Wallace Foundation.

Seven Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss. (2013). This article explains that in order to prevent summer learning loss, youth should: make time for learning; learn and practices affixes; develop math skills, improve reading comprehension; review and build grammar skills; encourage creative writing; and focus on specific skills.

Spark! Creating a Summer Opportunity Portfolio. 2016. National Summer Learning Association.

Summer Can Set Kids on the Right- Or Wrong- Course. In this interview, a sociologist from the John Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning discusses his research on low-income children's academic skills and how it illustrates the importance of summer learning programs.

Summer Matters: How Summer Learning Strengthens Students' Success. (2013). Unequal access to summer learning and enrichment opportunities is a significant factor in the achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers. This study describes how summer learning programs that provide high quality, engaging enrichment activities are a promising solution to this challenge and can help to narrow our unacceptable achievement gap.

Summer Opportunities: Expanding Access to Summer Enrichment, Jobs and Meals for America's Young People. (March 2016) 2016 Funding Resource Guide helps state and local leaders identify the most promising funding streams to support summer learning and shows how innovative states, districts, and communities have creatively blended public and private funding to develop programs, services and opportunities to meet the needs of young people during the critical summer months. National Summer Learning Association.

 

Summer Reading Teen Intern Toolkit. (2013) This toolkit is a guide for librarians, library workers, and anyone running a summer reading program who are looking for tips on how to enlist the help of teen interns. Throughout the toolkit, you will find tips for success as well as sample materials that can be adapted and used for your own teen intern program. Young Adult Library Services Association.

Summer Success: Challenges and Strategies in Creating Quality Academically Focused Summer Programs. October 2006. This brief looks at evaluations of 34 academically focused summer programs in order to distill challenges and compile promising strategies for creating quality summer programs. HFRP.

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Workforce Development

Advancing Deeper Learning Under ESSA: Seven Priorities. (March 2016) This brief recommends seven ways for supporters of deeper learning to take advantage of the changing education policy landscape, as authority shifts from the federal government to states and local districts. Jobs for the Future.

 

Afterschool: Opening Doors to Work and Careers. (2009). Preparing youth for success in tomorrow’s workforce is of increasing concern to our nation’s schools, communities, policy makers and businesses. The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the first in a series of four issue briefs examining critical issues facing older youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues.

Afterschool Recreation Programs: Workforce Development Strategies. (2011). This document examines the issues and barriers associated with labor force development in afterschool recreation programs and identifies the promising practices that may assist in addressing them.

A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confident America. (June 2016) A new policy paper from House Speaker Paul Ryan on poverty representing the recommendations on issues in welfare, workforce and education. House Republican Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity and Upward Mobility.

 

By Youth for Youth: Employment. (2015) This brief was written by youth for youth who want to know more about finding and keeping the right job. National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability.

Engaging Youth as Workers Within High School Afterschool Programs: A Briefing Paper. (2011). Many 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) high school afterschool programs in California strive to engage high school age youth as responsible workers and helpers within the program. However, because afterschool programs for older youth are relatively new, there is confusion in the field regarding the use of 21st CCLC funds for youth employment and compensation and there is a lack of knowledge about practices which have found to be effective.

Expanding Economic Opportunity for Youth through Summer Jobs. (February 2016) This report provides an overview of summer youth employment programs across the country, which have laid the foundation for summer work experiences that prepare young people to thrive in a competitive global economy that requires a more skilled workforce. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

 

Expand Options, Expand Achievement: How Expanded Learning Options Can Re-Imagine Education. (2010). American businesses continually struggle to find the skilled employees necessary to sustain or expand their operations. Declining student performance in core academic subjects and plummeting graduation rates are just two of the main reasons why those in the business community remain concerned about their ability to find future leaders and innovators.This brief sets a course for how the business community can meaningfully engage in creating a seamless learning environment in their communities that will equip students with the academic knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the global economy.

Experts Call for Expanding Boys' Career Options. Traditionally female-dominated careers still draw few men. (2011). In the nearly four decades since the law known as Title IX barred sex discrimination in education programs receiving federal aid, educators and policymakers have encouraged more girls to study and enter traditionally "male" careers, from science and technology to architecture and law.

Fostering College and Career Readiness through Afterschool and Expanded Learning Opportunities: A Forum. (2013). This Forum highlighted programs and policy efforts in Indiana and Illinois that are helping students strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for college and careers through learning opportunities that occur beyond the school day. Presenters discussed the programming and policy efforts that have led to positive student outcomes in their states and communities, highlighted the valuable role that afterschool and expanded learning stakeholders can play in supporting college and career readiness initiatives, and addressed policies and systems that supported or hindered their success.

How Career and Technical Education Can Help Students be College and Career Ready: A Primer. (2013). This article serves as an introduction to how schools can improve career technical education (CTE). This primer looks at the evolution of CTE in the U.S, reviews practical cases of CTE, and highlights key issues in the CTE implementation.

Investing in Dreams: A Blueprint for Designing Children's Savings Account Programs. (2015) The guide walks you step-by-step through the process of creating and launching a CSA program designed to meet the particular needs of your community. CFED.

Linking Learning to the 21st Century. Preparing all Students For College, Career and Civic Participation. (2011). Many states are currently developing high school reforms labeled Linked Learning (formerly known as Multiple Pathways) built on the fundamental insight that career and technical education can be academically rigorous. Linked Learning policies also allow students to gravitate to schooling themes that are personally relevant, and they hold the potential to substantially improve secondary schooling.

Lost: The Crisis Of Jobless and Out Of School Teens and Young Adults In Chicago, Illinois and the U.S. (January 2016) This report, in combination with the voices of young people, is intended to illustrate the persistence and severity of conditions that have ramifications for our young people and generations to come. University of Illinois at Chicago. 

New Research Reveals Top Ten (Youth) Skills for 2020. (2009). The Ohio state Board of Education created a Subcommittee for Education in the New Global Economy to examine the issues surrounding life in the new global economy and to answer the question: "Looking ahead to 2020, what will be the most important skills, knowledge and behaviors for students to acquire to provide Ohio with competitive advantages in the new global economy?"

A New Generation of Apprentices. (2009). This e-newsletter from The After-School Corporation focuses on a new approach to after-school programming for high school students: demanding apprenticeships that go well beyond job placement to offer tangible rewards such as credits or paid work, and the chance to build real world skills.

Opportunity Youth Playbook: A Guide to Reconnecting Boys and Young Men of Color to Education and Employment. December 2016. Forum for Youth Investment.

 

Pathways to Progress: Forging Strategies to Broaden Impact. (November 2016) In 2014, the Citi Foundation launched Pathways to Progress, a three-year, $50 million initiative in the United States to help 100,000 low-income youth - ages 16 to 24 - develop workplace skills and leadership experience. This Issue Brief focuses on the organizational level of impact among grantees. Equal Measure.

Promoting College and Career Readiness: A Pocket Guide. (2013). The 2002 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) established a nationwide mandate to prepare students for academic success. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education waived certain ESEA provisions in favor of state-led reforms. This document is a guide to implementing ESEA flexibility plans at the state and local levels.

Ready for Work? How Afterschool Programs Can Support Employability Through Social and Emotional Learning. (December 2015) This brief shares how social and emotional learning programs and practices can support the development of these skills and how afterschool and expanded learning settings are an ideal place for this to happen. American Institutes for Research. 

Supporting Youth Career Development. (2012). What can Out-of-School Time programs do to help youth prepare for careers? Kathryn Hynes, Kaylin Greene, and Nicole Constance share the challenges youth face as they transition to the labor market and how quality OST programs can help youth address those challenges. The authors discuss the existing research and present their own study of 30 OST programs in the latest issue of Afterschool Matters, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship and consciousness in the field of afterschool education.

Toolkit for Expanding Learning. The Expanding Learning and Afterschool Project, in partnership with the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS), released a new Toolkit for Expanding Learning. The toolkit provides guidance to city agencies, school districts, intermediaries, state agencies and Statewide Afterschool Networks as they develop plans for afterschool, summer learning and expanded learning time initiatives in their communities. It also features resources based on CBASS collaborators' experiences in working with expanded learning stakeholders.

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. (2015) The book and report explores the science of child development, particularly looking at implications for the professionals who work with children. The National Academies Press. 

The Use of Individualized Learning Plans to Help Students to be College and Career Ready: A Forum. (2013). Preparing for college and careers requires far more than rigorous academic content. College and career exploration and planning activities can play a beneficial role in personalizing learning, engaging students, and preparing them for life beyond school. Presenters summarized research findings from a longitudinal study conducted by the Center for Workforce Development, and discussed practitioners' and policymakers' experiences implementing and scaling up the use of ILPs.

Youth Employment: Implications on Children and Youth. (December 2015) Employment rates for youth (ages 16-24) have rebounded slightly since 2010, but mainly for those youth not in school. Rates of employment for those enrolled in high school or college have shown little change since the recent economic recession. Child Trends.

 

Youth Workforce Development. (June 2016) This resource highlights critical strategies and best practices, spotlights exemplars, and identifies additional resources to support local practitioners' efforts to develop and implement workforce development programs for young people in their communities. Jobs for the Future. 

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