Learn more about the basics of evaluation, as well as how to find an evaluator for your program.
View Afterschool Alliance resources, including a glossary of terms used in the database, evaluation-related blogs, webinars and more.
Our list of evaluation resources from other organizations, including how to collect and work with data.
Want to find what we know about afterschool programs more broadly, not just individual programs? Head to our Afterschool Research page!
Year Published: 2020
A longitudinal study of voluntary summer learning programs, led by five school districts located in urban communities across the country, followed students from 3rd to 7th grade and found positive academic gains among the randomly assigned students to the program compared to the control group of their nonparticipating peers. After the first and second summer of program participation, program attendees outperformed control-group students. Statistically significant differences were found in math achievement after the first summer, and math, language arts, and social and emotional skills after the second summer. Researchers followed up on program participants three years after the second summer of program participation and found that while academic gains compared to average gains made in a year were no longer statistically significant, they were still large enough to be meaningful.
The National Summer Learning Project (NSLP) was a study conducted to examine the ways that voluntary summer learning programs can benefit youth. It was launched in five school districts—Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Duval County, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Rochester, New York. All programs, which were free of charge, implemented full day programming that included both academic instruction and enrichment activities, at least three hours of language arts and math per day, small class sizes, and free transportation and meals.
Scope of the Evaluation: National
Program Type: Summer
Location: Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Duval County, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Rochester, New York
Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School
Across all school districts involved, 89 percent of participants qualified for the free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) program, 31 percent were English language learners (ELL), and 10 percent were on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Regarding race, 47 percent identified as African American, 40 percent as Hispanic, 7 percent as White, and 3 percent as Asian.