A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

21st Century Community Learning Centers Program School Years 2015-2019: Final Evaluation Report (Delaware)

Year Published: 2019

A statewide evaluation of Delaware's 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs finds that participants made positive academic and behavioral gains. Based on teacher surveys during the 2018-19 school year, more than half of students showed improvement in class participation (57 percent), academic performance (58 percent), and turning in homework on time (52 percent). In addition, 47 percent of students improved their motivation to learn, and 49 percent were more attentive in class.

Program Name: Delaware 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Program Description:

Delaware’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program, which receives federal funding through the 21st CCLC initiative, provides academic enrichment opportunities for children at high-poverty and low-performing schools. During the 2018-19 program year, 23 subgrantees operated across the state, serving 3,729 youth in grades pre-K-12; across all four cohorts for this evaluation (2015-2019), an average of 2,400 participants were served. 

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Afterschool

Location: Delaware

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

In the 2018-19 school year, among the 1,949 students for whom teachers completed surveys for, 63 percent identified as black, 17 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino, 16 percent identified as White, and 5 percent identified as “Other.” 

Evaluator: Mittapalli, K., Weiner, L., de las Alas, N., Banerjee, A., Adams, D., Pearson, L., & Elder, M. MN Associates, Inc.

Evaluation Methods:

This evaluation uses data from surveys, interviews and focus groups, document review, and a case study to answer key questions that assess the three overarching goals of the program: to increase school attendance and academic achievement of participants, to increase school connectedness of participants (including families, caregivers, school teachers, and staff), and to increase the capacity of participants to become productive adults. The subgrantees’ annual performance report (APR) evaluations were a main source of data for the evaluation. The APR Teacher Survey was administered via Survey Monkey. 

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

The statewide evaluation of Delaware’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs finds that participants made academic and behavioral gains. Based on the APR teacher survey, more than half of students improved their class participation (57 percent), academic performance (58 percent), homework completion (53 percent), and ability to turn in their homework in on time (52 percent). In addition, teachers report positive gains in student behavior, with more than 2 in 5 students improving their attentiveness in class (49 percent), motivation to learn (47 percent), volunteerism in class (45 percent), and peer relations (41 percent).

Authors also not that, “there may be a relationship between after-school attendance and performance growth in Math and English tests,” as they find that for grades 6 through 12, greater gains in math and English occurred when students attended programs at higher levels (at least 60 days), whereas for younger grades, those who attended up to 59 days showed improvement. 

Across race and ethnicity, authors find academic and behavioral gains. For academic achievement, majorities of Hispanic (68 percent), White (64 percent), and Black (54 percent) students improved. Black, Hispanic, and White students also saw gains in their motivation to learn (43 percent, 50 percent, and 56 percent, respectively), classroom participation (52 percent, 63 percent, and 66 percent, respectively), and volunteerism in class (40 percent, 48 percent, and 57 percent, respectively). 

The evaluation also included one case study of 21st CCLC programs offered through the Capital School District to examine program implementation. Through the case study, a parent survey was conducted and found that parent satisfaction of the Capital School District 21st CCLC programs is high, with more than 9 in 10 parents (94 percent) reporting that they are satisfied with their child’s afterschool program. Moreover, most parents report that their child’s afterschool program had “somewhat” to “a lot” of an effect on their involvement with their child’s school (81 percent).

Overall, subgrantees mentioned many successes of the programs from 2015-2019. These include increased overall attendance and regularly attending students, improved programming, and their ability to connect to families. Subgrantees’ challenges were also included in the report, with the most prominent being “recruiting and maintaining sufficient student attendance in the programs.”

Date Added: October 13, 2021