A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Making Every Day Count: Boys & Girls Clubs’ Role in Promoting Positive Outcomes for Teens

Year Published: 2009

A 30-month longitudinal evaluation of 322 Boys & Girls Club members from 10 Clubs across the country, beginning in seventh and eighth grade. Student survey responses indicated that participants who attended the program more often had increased academic confidence, community service involvement, integrity, and academic confidence, and decreased school absence rates, aggression,and police interactions.

Program Name: Boys & Girls Club of America

Program Description: The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” They do this by providing opportunities for children and youth, ages 6 to 18, to complete hands-on activities, build leadership skills, and form lasting relationships with staff.

Scope of the Evaluation: National

Program Type: Afterschool

Community Type: Urban

Grade level: Middle School

Program Demographics: The student body represented in the study was diverse: 34 percent of participants were Latino, 31 percent of were African-American, 16 percent were White, 11 percent were Multiracial, five percent were Asian or Pacific Islander, and two percent were Native American. Forty-eight percent of students were female and 52 percent were male. Additionally, 71 percent of youth reported they receive free or reduced-price lunch and less than half the youth live with two parents.

Program Website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dycd/services/after-school/beacon.page

Evaluator: Arbreton, A., Bradshaw, M., Pepper, S., & Sheldon, J. Public/Private Ventures.

Evaluation Methods: This evaluation followed 322 7th and 8th grade club participants from 10 sites across the country for a 30-month period. Multiple data collection strategies were used, including youth surveys, attendance records, and interviews with staff and students. Students were broken up into 4 levels of club attendance: >51 days, >121 days, >243 days, or >365 days of attendance, and outcomes were compared for each group to measure the impact of increased attendance on survey results.

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes: Based on student survey responses, the study found that higher levels of participation in the Boys & Girls Clubs had a positive academic impact on students. Participants who attended the program more often than their peers reported decreased school absence rates, increased academic confidence, and increased effort in their schoolwork.

The study also found that greater participation in the program positively impacted students’ behavior. Students with higher levels of participation in the program also reported higher levels of community service involvement, increased integrity, increased thought about their future, decreased aggression, decreased number of times stopped by the police, and “a lower likelihood of starting to carry a weapon, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, smoke marijuana and have sexual intercourse.”

Additionally, students felt the club provided them a safe place, with 79 percent rating the safety of the club as an 8 or higher on a scale from 1 to 10, while only 54 percent rated the safety of their school favorably, and 38 percent rated the safety of their neighborhood favorably.

Associated Evaluation: http://www.issuelab.org/resources/3265/3265.pdf

Date Added: September 27, 2016