Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Wyoming Afterschool Alliance to begin Phase III of its Quality Improvement Initiative
LANDER, WY—The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, an initiative of the Wyoming Community Foundation, has just finished year two of a three-year grant from the Mott Foundation with matching funds from the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Department of Family Services, and the John P. Ellbogen Foundation to conduct a research project surveying the capacity of the public and private afterschool systems and to assess their effectiveness across Wyoming.
The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance (WYAA) is partnering with the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women in Wellesley, MA and The Third Mile Group of Denver, CO to complete this initiative.
Following a requisite “needs assessment” phase, Phase II of the project involved piloting the NIOST Afterschool Program Assessment System (APAS) in a group of Wyoming afterschool sites. Youth workers at the sites were trained by NIOST staff in the use of APAS with additional coaching and support provided by fifteen (15) experienced Quality Advisors trained by NIOST from across the state. Each site received comprehensive, customized reports based on their data and created action plans to help guide their program improvement efforts.
This first year of Phase II has already shown some early successes. Youths’ engagement in learning and relations with adults appears to have improved over the program year. This is significant because research has found powerful links between youths’ levels of engagement and their achievement and persistence in school. Similarly, research shows that youth who have a supportive stable relationship with an adult are more resilient to stress, have healthy development, perform well in school, and are less likely to engage in risky behavior.
All participating programs and their assigned Quality Advisors believe that the Initiative has increased their level of awareness of what defines “quality.” As a result, intentional improvement strategies have been implemented due to the use of the APAS tools. One participant responded, “I think it forces me and my staff to step back and look at our program from a different perspective and think about areas we can improve…by using SAYO and APT, I see areas needing improvement that I may not have otherwise taken the time to look at.”
Based on these early findings, WYAA and NIOST are discussing important next steps to continue additional training and support for the program sites in order to reinforce use of APAS. The vision of the WYAA is to be able to offer curriculum via online learning modules in the near future that will ultimately lead to a professional credential for the Wyoming Youth Development Worker.
For a more complete brief on this visit either the NIOST or WYAA website. For more information on the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, visit: http://www.wyafterschoolalliance.org/.
For more information on the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, visit: http://www.niost.org/.
For more information on the Third Mile Group, visit: http://www.thirdmilegroup.com/.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Investing in Kids Now Saves Money Later
The research is clear: High quality after-school, before-school and summer learning programs, delivered through partnerships among schools and community-based organizations, contribute to student success.
This in turn helps to reduce at-risk behaviors that arise when children and youth are not occupied in some form of out-of-school activity, particularly during the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. After-school and summer programs not only increase student achievement, but provide a safe, structured environment with adults that encourage positive youth development.
Through many years of experience, we have been able to develop high quality programs throughout Wyoming that are cost-effective and delivered in a system that works in concert with classroom learning. Working together in partnership with schools creates a process that “wraps” services together through shared communication and strategies that not only eliminates service gaps, but reduces the need for more costly academic interventions.
Research from the anti-crime organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids indicates that “there is a clear connection between educational success and decreased involvement in crime.” Further the study goes on to say that “only a one-year increase of staying in school reduces murder and assault by almost 30 percent, motor vehicle theft by 20 percent, arson by 13 percent and burglary and larceny by about 6 percent.”
This isn’t the only issue facing the citizens of Wyoming. Consider the loss of revenue to the state economy. When translated into dollars, the facts are startling:
n If graduation rates increased by only 5 percent, our economy would see a combined savings and revenue of $9.5 million annually.
n The state would save more than $22.8 million in health care costs over the course of the lifetimes of each class of dropouts had they earned their diplomas.
n $10.1 million could be saved per year in community college remediation costs and lost earnings if all students graduated ready for college or some form of technical education (Alliance for Excellent Education, October 2009).
We also know for a fact that early childhood education programs are extremely effective in increasing school success and reducing crime. Those children who are proficient in reading by grade 3 are more likely to be successful throughout the rest of their school careers.
Our children must be ready to compete in a global economy. A combined effort between school and community partnerships is essential to circumvent the obvious results of increased risky behaviors when children and youth are left on their own during critical hours after school.
The bottom line is we can pay a little now or we can pay much more later on. The cost of a student in after-school programs is about $1,000 per school year. Compare that to $100 per day for incarcerating a youth.
Do the math: Trying to reverse negative behavior is costly and time consuming, and often not successful. The rates of recidivism are high. If the focus is on prevention beginning at an early age, we can help to mold positive behaviors and attitudes by supporting healthy development through consistent mentoring and reinforcement from birth to young adult.
Friday, November 11, 2011
New Report: Wyoming Making Some Progress, But Has Considerable Work Still to Do to Make Afterschool Programs Available to All Children Who Need Them
A new assessment of states` progress toward offering afterschool programs to all children who need them find that Wyoming is making some progress, but has a great deal of work ahead to meet the need for afterschool programs.
Friday, June 24, 2011
WYAA Joins Summer Learning Coalition
The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is excited to announce that the organization has become a member of the National Summer Learning Coalition. The Coalition urges federal policymakers to take the lead in ensuring that every child in the United States is safe, healthy, and engaged in learning during the summer.
As afterschool providers, stakeholders and partners, we know that summer learning loss and other risks that young people face during the summer compromise the nation`s ability to close the achievement gap and support healthy development for all students. Summer learning must become an essential component of education reform and youth development, not an afterthought that is vulnerable during difficult economic times. At this time in particular, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides a unique opportunity for United States Congressman and the Administration to lead in this direction, while leaving ultimate decision-making about program design to local communities.
Also, click here
to read the Coalition`s Founding Statement that includes member organizations.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Afterschool: A Vital Partner in STEM Education
The facts are clear: STEM and afterschool education are a natural fit. Please check out the following report (by clicking on the link below), compiled by the Afterschool Alliance, about STEM and afterschool.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Grant Lauds Administration for Proposing $100 Million Increase In Afterschool Funding, Urges Lawmakers to Direct Afterschool Dollars to Afterschool Programs
Please click on the link below to read a statement from Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance regarding President Obama`s proposal for FY2012 which includes an additional $100 million for afterschool.
Monday, February 14, 2011
House Appropriations Committee Proposal Would Leave a Hundred Thousand Children & Families Without the Afterschool Programs They Need
Please click on the link below to read a statement from Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance regarding the newest FY 2011 budget proposal from the House Appropriations Committee.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Get to Know the 2011 NAA Keynote Speakers
Don`t miss out on the 2011 NAA Convention Keynote speakers! Get to know them and their messages:
Bill Nye "The Science Guy"
Dr. Adolph "Doc" Brown
Thursday, January 27, 2011
After school programs kick off statewide assessment
Please click on the link below to read a recent article in the Wyoming Business Report about WYAA`s statewide Research and Program Evaluation Project.
For more information on the project, or how to become Quality Advisors or a Pilot Program Site, check out our website page
devoted to the project.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wyoming to Assess Its Afterschool System with Funding from the C.S. Mott Foundation
(LANDER, WY) The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance (WYAA), an initiative of the Wyoming Community Foundation, has received a three-year grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation with matching funds from the Wyoming Department of Education (through 21st Century Community Learning Centers), the Wyoming Department of Family Services and the John P. Ellbogen Foundation to conduct a research project surveying the capacity of the public and private afterschool systems and to assess their effectiveness across Wyoming. The project also involves setting up a system of Quality Advisors for afterschool programs in the state, rolling out a program self-assessment tool that will be piloted with as many as 25 Wyoming afterschool sites.
WYAA is partnering with the National Institute of Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women in Wellesley, MA and The Third Mile Group of Denver, CO to complete the initiative. Teams at the three organizations each with a long history of cutting-edge work in the education and afterschool fields will ensure a comprehensive assessment that benefits the state, afterschool programs, and children of all ages. According to Ellen Gannett, Director of NIOST, "Our work in Wyoming is the first of its kind in focusing attention on the unique needs of a rural state. While may policy and quality studies have been undertaken in urban areas across the country, far too often rural communities are left out of the equation. I am thrilled to be a partner in this important research which will help to inform our understanding of the out-of-school environment in the mountain and western region of our country."
During Phase I, which will be conducted over the next six weeks, WYAA will identify Quality Advisors (QAs)a group of experienced afterschool professionals from across the state who will receive training on program evaluation and staff coaching. Immediately following their March training, the QAs will travel across Wyoming observing afterschool programs and collecting data on their activities. Over the course of the spring, the Third Mile Group will survey and interview Wyoming policy makers, program directors, educators, parents, and funders about their observations and the afterschool system`s capacity and effectiveness to serve the state`s youth. NIOST will conduct a survey of afterschool programs evaluating the quality of programming and leadership indicators. The three organizations will then work together to create an overview of the status of afterschool statewide. It is anticipated that the results will inform both policy and practice in Wyoming.
Phase II and III of the project will involve piloting the NIOST Afterschool Program Assessment System in a group of Wyoming afterschool sites. Youth workers at sites will be trained by NIOST staff with additional coaching and support provided by local QAs over the course of the year. Each site will receive comprehensive reports based on their input to help guide their program improvement efforts.
"I am excited to be embarking on this project with NIOST and the Third Mile Group to assess Wyoming`s afterschool programming," states Linda Barton, Director of WYAA. "Without question, we will learn things that will help improve the status of afterschool statewide, identify some key best practices and create Wyoming specific education and training opportunities for the afterschool workforce.
The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is one of 39 statewide afterschool networks with the C.S. Mott Foundation and is part of the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks. Established in 2007, WYAA supports and promotes high quality afterschool programs to improve positive outcomes for youth and their families and works to ensure that Wyoming youth will have access to high quality afterschool programs.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Practices to Foster and Avoid in Out-of School Time Programs
Child Trends Research Update
To improve outcomes of youth in out-of-school time programs, two new Child Trends briefs highlight 10 practices to foster and 10 practices to avoid.
Practices to Foster in Out-of-School Time Programs
Among the top 10 practices to foster:
1.) Postive and sustained relationships with caring adults.
2.) An organizational culture that focuses on the whole child, including physical and mental health, as well as academic, social and environmental development.
3.) Engaging and varied activities.
Practices to Avoid in Out-of-School Time Programs
Among the top 10 practices to avoid:
1.) Negative approaches based on scaring children
3.) Just focusing on "squelching" bad behaviors.
Friday, January 22, 2010
The National AfterSchool Association and the National Association of Elementary School Principals Release a Joint Statement about Leading a New Day for Learning
There simply isn`t enough time in a typical school day for children and youth to learn everything they must know and be able to do for future success in their world of work. We also know that kids learn every minute of the day. So it makes sense, now more than ever before, that all educatorsparticularly principals and afterschool program leaderswork together to structure students` varied and diverse learning times and experiences in and out of school for maximum effect.
Shrinking budgets are requiring Americans everywhere to use resources more efficiently. The economic recession is also a good tme to look at what already exists with an eye toward innovation. The National AfterSchool Association believes that the time and places kids learn out of the school are more vital to their success than ever before. We recognize tat our work with children and youth must be seamlessly aligned with the efforts of educators during the regular school day.
The boards of directors of both the National AfterSchool Associaton (NAA) and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) have released a joint statement designed to lead the development of a new learning day not bound by place, time, or covential ways of acquiring knowledge and skills. NAESP and NAA are committed to offering support and assistance to our members as they work collaboratively, side-by-side, to help all children by increasing their opportunities and access to enriching learning experiences. We challegne our members to think of leading a new learning day as a means of achieving innovative reform for both school and afterschoolnot just another responsibility added to their workloads. Together we can achieve our mutual goals for children. We believe theis visionary statement will guide principals and afterschool directorsthose who are most directly involved and responsible for children`s day-to-day learning experiencesas they move the vision from concept to reality across the nation.
Leading a New Day for Learning aligns is an outcome report entitled A New Day for Learning, released by the Time, Learning, and Afterschool Task Force in January 2007, and funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation. To learn more, visit newdayforlearning.org. To learn more about the National Association of Elementary School Principals, visit naesp.org.
Please go to http://naaweb.site-ym.com/?page=JointStatement
To read the joint statement in its entirety, click here.
Friday, January 08, 2010
State Budget Cuts: America`s Kids Pay the Price
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
A Message From Dr. McBride
Below is a link to an article in this month`s Wyoming Association of Municipalities (WAM) written by Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jim McBride, entitled Community Support Key to Student Success.
This is the type of information and advocacy that afterschool programs can use in their own communities to solicit support from their local policymakers when talking about the importance of afterschool programs in their communities. Please contact the WYAA if you need assistance on how to reach your local leaders and what talking points you can use to "make your case."
Click here to read Dr. McBride`s message.
A Tool for Mapping Funds for Out-of-School-Time Initiatives
A new tool is now available from The Finance Project (TFP).
Follow the Money: A Tool for Mapping Funding for Out-of-School Time Initiatives (November 2009): This tool draws upon selected examples of fiscal mapping research by statewide afterschool networks that track funding for out-of-school time programs. The tool provides an overview of fiscal mapping - a research approach that identifies the current expenditures for services for children and youth and their families. Organized into three parts, the tool provides an overview of the six steps in completing a fiscal mapping process, consideration and strategies for data collection, and workseets to help readers collect the data itself. Available at: http://www.financeproject.org/publications/FollowTheMoney.pdf
This tool is part of series of resources developed by The Finance Project to provide statewide afterschool networks, children and youth-serving initiatives and others with information and tools on how to finance and sustain effective out-of school time programs that support positive development of children and youth, and to develop systems that provide an infrastrucutre to help coordinate and guide investments in out-of school time. The Finance Project appreciates the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation for its support of this tool. For more information, please visit our Out-of School Time Information Resource center at: http://www.financeproject.org/index.cfm?page-25.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wyoming: State Afterschool Profile
The Afterschool Investments project has developed profiles for each state to provide a snapshot of the "state of afterschool," as well as an opportunity to compare afterschool activities across the country. This profile provides key data and descriptions of the afterschool landscape, which includes a range of out-of-school-time programming that can occur before and after school, on weekends, and during summer months. It is designed to serve as a resource for policymakers, administrators and providers.
To view the enitre profile, click here.
America After 3PM
In 2009, Wyoming parents/guardians were asked about thier childern`s regular participation in various after school care arrangements, with a special focus on afterschool program participation and satisfaction. The America After 3PM survey indentified the supply of and demand for afterschool programs, as well as the major barriers to program enrollement.
To see the survey results, click here.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wyoming Making Some Progress on Afterschool, Survey Finds, But "Has a Long Way to Go"
Washington, DC – A new survey finds an increase in participation in afterschool programs by Wyoming youth over the last five years, along with high satisfaction rates among their parents. The percentage of Wyoming children in afterschool programs increased to 19 percent, up from just 16 percent in 2004. But a significant percentage of the state’s children are still unsupervised each afternoon after the school day ends. The data come from the landmark America After 3PM study, conducted for the Afterschool Alliance and sponsored by the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. It is being released this month in conjunction with Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide rally for afterschool set forOctober 22.
“Wyoming is making some progress, and can be proud of that,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “But there’s still a long way to go. The majority of Wyoming parents who want their kids in afterschool programs aren’t able to find them, usually because programs aren’t available, they can’t afford the fees, or transportation issues make it impossible. These are all barriers we can and should overcome. Quality afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and help working families. Every Wyoming family that needs an afterschool program should have access to one.”
The new study finds that 38 percent of the state’s schoolchildren are on their own in the afternoons, and another 15 percent are in the care of their brothers or sisters. In addition, the parents of 28 percent of children not already in afterschool say they would enroll their kids in a program if one were available.
Seventy-seven percentof Wyoming parents say they are satisfied with the afterschool program their child attends. “Despite hard work by the afterschool community, we’re losing ground in the effort to provide afterschool for all Wyoming kids and families,” said Linda Barton, Executive Director, Wyoming Afterschool Alliance. “So we’ve clearly got our work cut out for us. Too many children who need afterschool programs don’t have them, and families are carrying a heavier burden as a result. That’s particularly difficult during these hard economic times. For afterschool programs to meet the huge unmet demand from families, they’re going to need more support from all sectors – from the business and philanthropic communities, as well as from the government at all levels.”
In key respects, the Wyoming results from the America After 3PM study reflect national findings:
· The number and percentage of children participating in afterschool programs in the nation has increased significantly in the last five years, with 8.4 million children (15 percent) now participating. That compares with 6.5 million children in 2004 (11 percent).
· But the number of children left alone after the school day ends also has risen, to 15.1 million children (26 percent of school-age children) in 2009. That is an increase of 800,000 children since 2004. Thirty percent of middle schoolers (3.7 million kids) are on their own, as are four percent of elementary school children (1.1 million children).
· The parents of 18.5 million children (38 percent) not currently participating in an afterschool program would enroll their children in a program if one were available to them, a significant increase from the 15.3 million (30 percent) seen in 2004.
· The vast majority of parents of children in afterschool programs are satisfied with the programs their children attend, and overall public support for afterschool programs is similarly strong. Nine in 10 parents (89 percent) are satisfied with the afterschool programs their children attend. Eight in 10 parents support public funding for afterschool programs.
In conjunction with Lights On Afterschool events across the nation, the JCPenney Afterschool Round-Up program will kick off in JCPenney stores throughout the U.S. From Oct. 16 to Oct. 25, customers will have the opportunity to “round-up” their JCPenney purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to afterschool programs in their local communities that provide life-enriching programs for children in need. Last year, through “Round Up” and other initiatives, JCPenney contributed approximately $25,000 in Wyoming to support local afterschool initiatives.
“With more than $80 million contributed to afterschool programs over the past 10 years, JCPenney stands out among the nation’s corporations for helping to frame and solve the afterschool issue and increasing access to afterschool programs that provide meaningful activities for children in need,” Grant added.
Findings from America After 3PM are based on 29,754 parent/guardian responses to survey questions about after school child care arrangements during the 2008-2009 school year. RTi, a market research firm, conducted the survey and analyzed the data for the Afterschool Alliance. The entire survey was sponsored by the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. RTi also conducted the 2004 America After 3PM household survey.
That is why, on October 22, at more than 7,500 sites across the nation, Americans will rally in support of afterschool programs, as part of the Afterschool Alliance’s tenth annual celebration of Lights On Afterschool. For more information or to find a local event, visit www.AfterschoolAlliance.org, or contact the Afterschool Alliance media office at 202/371-1999.
Monday, March 09, 2009
New Study and Online Tool Address Critical Knowledge Gaps in Out-of-School Time: The Cost of Quality Programs
|Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation from The Finance Project and Public/Private Ventures, this study offers new knowledge and tools for policymakers to use in planning for quality out-of-school time programs.
This study is one of the most comprehensive studies to date analyzing the costs, funding streams, and expenditures of a wide range of high-quality out-of-school time programs, accompanied by a companion online calculator that generates cost estimates for specific programs. The study and online cost calculator, along with many other research reports, is available without charge on the Wallace Foundation`s website.
On behalf of The Wallace Foundation, we are available to help you disseminate and share the results of this important study. Some ways we can help you:
- Provide customized language for your audience putting the cost study in context for your constituents and partners
- Provide speakers or resources for your upcoming conferences, calls, webinars or other information sharing activities
- Provide media tools to share the study with your local media partners
- Other ways we might create together to promote utilization of this research and online tool!
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
New Day for Learning Clips 12-29-08 thru 1-5-09