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The Impact of Girls Inc. on Academic and Behavioral Outcomes

Year Published: 2020

This quasi-experimental study of Girls Inc.—a year-round program located in more than 350 cities for girls ages 5-18 that focuses on healthy living, academic enrichment, and building positive life skills—found that girls who participated in the program reported more positive attitudes and behaviors than a comparison group of girls across the 27 outcomes that were measured in the categories of healthy living, academic engagement and success, and life skills. Girls Inc. participants also had higher math achievement test scores and school-day attendance rates than matched non-participants. By year two of the program, 23 of the 27 outcomes were statistically significant in the positive direction, including outcomes such as school engagement; finding school fun in areas like reading, math, and science; getting excited about science; engaging in physical activity; leadership; positive relationships with adults; and postsecondary readiness. 

Cumulative and Differential Effects of Early Child Care and Middle Childhood Out-of-School Time on Adolescent Functioning

Year Published: 2020

This study of 1,364 families followed children from birth through age 15 to examine how early life experiences affect adolescent development. The study found that participation in both early child care and out-of-school time activities during middle childhood were linked to higher reading comprehension and math achievement at age 15, suggesting an additive effect. Additionally, participation in more organized activities in the elementary years was associated with higher vocabulary scores at age 15 and greater social confidence. 

Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project

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.

Girls on the Run: Impact of a Physical Activity Youth Development Program on Psychosocial and Behavioral Outcomes

Year Published: 2019

This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Girls on the Run program and found that participants in the program improved their social and emotional behaviors and health outcomes, including measures of competence, confidence, character, connection, caring, and physical activity. Girls who scored below the preseason average showed the greatest gains, including in areas such as perceived social competence, self-esteem, empathy, and positive connection with their peers. 

Examining the Long-Term Effects of the Horizons National Student Enrichment Program on Student Academic Outcomes

Year Published: 2018

This evaluation of the Horizons National Student Enrichment Program—a multi-year intensive summer learning program with year-round supports—found long-term, positive impacts of participation. When compared to a control group, Horizons students who participated in programming for at least four years had higher school-day attendance rates and lower rates of disciplinary referrals, outperformed the comparison group on math and science elementary assessments, had higher GPAs, and were less likely to repeat a grade during middle and high school.

National Evaluation of Up2Us Coach: Program Year 2016-17

Year Published: 2018

A national evaluation of the Up2Us Coach program by the American Institutes for Research found that youth who participated in the sports-focused youth development program made significant improvement from the beginning of the year to the end of the year in fitness, nutritional habits, and high-impact attributes that contribute to healthy decision-making, including positive identity, situational awareness, discipline, social confidence, and overall well-being. Greatest gains were seen among young people who had the lowest baseline level scores.

Afterschool & STEM: System-Building Evaluation 2016

Year Published: 2017

A total of 1,599 students participating in afterschool programs with a STEM focus in grades 4-12 from 11 states completed retrospective self-report surveys measuring STEM-related attitudes and 21st century skills. Facilitators completed a survey about their experiences leading afterschool STEM, and the programs’ STEM activities were observed and evaluated to establish levels of quality. The evaluation found that students that participated in STEM-focused afterschool programs led to positive changes in students’ attitudes toward science, STEM interest, STEM identity, STEM career interest, career knowledge, 21st century skills, and critical thinking. Larger effects were seen in students who participated in programs for a minimum of four weeks. Higher quality STEM programs reported more positive gains than lower quality programs.

The Impact of Afterschool STEM: 4-H Tech Wizards

Year Published: 2016

4-H Tech Wizards is an evidence-based afterschool mentoring program that trains youth on various technologies within a bilingual, bicultural learning environment. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2012-2013 school year, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.

The Impact of Afterschool STEM: Build IT

Year Published: 2016

Build IT is an afterschool and summer curriculum for middle school youth to develop fluency in information technology (IT), interest in mathematics and knowledge of IT careers. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2012-2013 school year, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.

The Impact of Afterschool STEM: The Clubhouse Network

Year Published: 2016

The Clubhouse Network provides a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment in which youth from underserved communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills and build self-confidence through the use of technology. In this selection of evaluation data spanning 2013 to 2016, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.

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