Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Compendium of Research and Best Practices on Afterschool and Summer Learning

Community change practitioners are unique in their focus on harnessing the power of local data and resident input to design effective solutions customized to neighborhood needs. However, successful efforts also look outside the neighborhood for knowledge about promising practices and evidence-based strategies that can provide insight into what works to achieve better results for children and families.

For those interested in designing afterschool and summer learning opportunities, a new book Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success offers a wealth of data and lessons from the field. The research and examples can be used to inform the design of new programs and make the case for financing expanded learning opportunities. Available for free online, articles are organized into sections on:
  • A Focus on Student Success
  • Expanding Skills and Horizons
  • Recent Evidence of Impact
  • The Power of School-Community Partnerships in Expanding Learning
  • Afterschool and Summer Programs as Catalysts for Engaging Families
  • A Growing Nationwide Infrastructure for Quality, Expansion and Partnerships
When reviewing articles on promising practices and evidence-based strategies, it is important to always consider the match with your community—including alignment with the result(s) you are seeking and with what residents say they want and need. Also, consider the capacities—including knowledge, skills, relationships and resources—and neighborhood conditions needed for success. When complemented with local knowledge, research and practice from the larger field provides a powerful source of ideas that can guide solution design and implementation.

For more tools and templates on effective solutions such as Developing an Action Plan with Effective Strategies, check out the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program Resource Center.

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