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out-of-school time

Aim High: Closing the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps Through Summer Learning

Aim High is a summer learning program designed to prevent summer academic slide by providing middle school students from low-income families a summer program that blends academics and enriching activities such as sports, art, and drama. A second goal of Aim High is to build a pipeline for young people of color to enter the field of education. In 2014, Aim High engaged the Gardner Center to conduct a study to examine students’ and teachers’ experiences with the program and to identify key program elements and implementation conditions that bring about desired program outcomes.

Data Use and Inquiry in Research-Practice Partnerships: Four Case Examples

The four case examples presented in this brief are drawn from the Gardner Center’s substantial experience conducting rigorous research in research-practice partnerships. The first case describes a partnership approach that enhances a school district’s capacity to use integrated longitudinal data to tackle persistent problems of practice and monitor students’ development. The second case exemplifies how an equitable research model, grounded in mutualism and sensitive to cultural nuances, can be leveraged to elevate the experience marginalized communities.

Defining Integrated Student Supports for Linked Learning Pathways

This brief outlines how effectively integrated student supports build or scaffold student competencies in five broad domains of learning for college, career, and civic readiness. Relevant supports are not limited to services or programs but extend to enabling resources and social conditions, including, for example, attention to school culture and climate issues, access to physical and behavioral health interventions, and the communicated beliefs and mindsets of all adults who work with youth.

Boys & Girls Club Participation and English Language Development among English Learner Students

In this analysis, researchers at the Gardner Center used the Youth Data Archive to match English Learning students’ achievement data from the Redwood City School District to attendance data from the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula to study the link between afterschool program participation and English language development. Results from this analysis indicate that Boys & Girls Club attendance is associated with gains in English proficiency from one academic year to the next.

Youth in the Middle: Envisioning and Implementing a Whole-School Youth Development Approach

Youth in the Middle approaches the challenges faced by schools and youth amid a culture of high stakes accountability while trying to implement a community youth development approach to teaching and learning. Youth in the Middle involves teachers, community-based organizations, administrators, youth, and city and county institutional leaders to develop an effective system-wide approach to support positive youth development (social, emotional, physical, and cognitive) across in-school and out-of-school settings.

Mapping Out-of-School Time Resources for East Palo Alto and Belle Haven Youth

In 2009, community leaders working with youth in the City of East Palo Alto (EPA) and the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park approached the Gardner Center with a need to better understand why many youth remain disconnected from the community’s youth service programs and agencies. The Gardner Center collaborated with these leaders to gather and analyze data to answer the following questions: (1) What programs are available to youth in the EPA and Belle Haven communities, and where are there gaps or duplication in available services?

Linked Summer Programs for Youth: Opportunities, Challenges, and Innovations

This issue brief summarizes findings from an analysis 26 linked summer programs across the United States. Linked programs are sites that connect what happens in school, after school, and in summer settings. This review focused on well-established programs that researchers, funders, and peers identified as innovative and successful in reaching low-income students. Program providers included school districts, community based organizations, and a county education agency.

Participation Among San Francisco Unified School District Students in Programs Offered by the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families

In 2012 and 2013, the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF), San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and the Gardner Center collaborated to examine SFUSD student participation in DCYF-funded programs. The goal of this partnership was to help DCYF understand which students its programs served and to better match its programs to students who needed the most help. To this end, the Gardner Center linked DCYF program participation records to SFUSD administrative data on students based on student identifiers and demographic characteristics.

Community Counts: How Youth Organizations Matter for Youth Development

This paper reports numerous accomplishments and successes of active young people engaged in community organizations. Over the span of ten years, the research team visited 120 youth-based organizations in 34 states that constructively involve young people in their non-school hours. Of greatest importance for society is the compelling evidence from the experiences of these youth that community-based organizations can play a critical role in meeting the needs of today’s young people.

Building Bridges: A Summer Program for Middle School Students Highlights a Community School in Action

This issue brief outlines key features of a community school, and examines how one summer program models and leverages these features. Specifically, this brief focuses on the Summer Bridge program at Kennedy Middle School, one of four schools in Redwood City, California, shifting to a community school approach. Summer Bridge showcases key community school design features in action, highlights how these features support student success, and provides concrete examples of challenges and lessons learned in the process of community school development.

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