School districts, nonprofits, and even some cities sponsor educational activities for elementary and secondary school students that occur outside of the school day, school setting, or academic year. Out-of-school programs—including after school activities and summer learning programs—are viewed as a way to boost learning and academic progress and to engage participants in enriching activities, particularly for underserved or disadvantaged children. RAND experts have investigated a variety of out-of-school programs, analyzing their features, effectiveness, and cost.
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Research has shown that students' skills and knowledge often deteriorate during the summer months, with low-income students facing the largest losses. School districts and summer programming providers can benefit from the lessons learned by other programs in terms of developing strategies to maximize program effectiveness and quality, student participation, and strategic partnerships and funding.
Hours of Opportunity, Volume 3: Profiles of Five Cities Improving After-School Programs Through a Systems Approach — September 27, 2010
The Wallace Foundation sponsored an initiative to help five cities increase collaboration, access, quality, information sharing, and sustainability in their out-of-school-time (OST) systems. The third in this three-volume series presents in-depth case studies of the grantees (Providence, Boston, New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) and reveals lessons learned and best practices for the OST field.
Hours of Opportunity, Volume 1: Lessons from Five Cities on Building Systems to Improve After-School, Summer School, and Other Out-of-School-Time Programs — September 13, 2010
The Wallace Foundation sponsored an initiative to help five cities increase collaboration, access, quality, information sharing, and sustainability in their out-of-school-time systems. The first in this three-volume series describes the cities' early work under the grant and analyzes the conditions and activities that contributed to their progress in building a coordinated system of services to meet the initiative's goals.
Hours of Opportunity, Volume 2: The Power of Data to Improve After-School Programs Citywide — September 13, 2010
The Wallace Foundation sponsored an initiative to help five cities increase collaboration, access, quality, information sharing, and sustainability in their out-of-school-time systems. The second in this three-volume series describes how Wallace Foundation grantees and three other cities used management information systems to collect and use data on out-of-school-time programs, including enrollment, attendance, and student outcomes.
Making Out-of-School-Time Matter: Evidence for an Action Agenda — January 21, 2005
Presents the findings of a broad-ranging literature review intended to identify, frame, and assess relevant issues concerning effective out-of-school-time (OST) programs. Drawing on recent studies the authors identify and address the level of demand for OST services, the effectiveness of offerings, what constitutes quality in OST programs, how to encourage participation, and how to build further community capacity. They make recommendations for improving the information used in policy making.
RAND Education Specialists in this Topic
See a complete list of RAND researchers who study after school programs.