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21st Century Community Learning Centers across the state served almost 7,000 students who participated in 396,739 hours of activities during the fall 2021 semester. Almost half (49 percent) of all participants earned a B or better during the first grading period in both math and English/reading. In evaluators’ preliminary findings, they noted that there were, “substantial gains in students’ English/Reading scores” comparing the first two grading periods during the 2021-22 school year.
A statewide evaluation of Indiana’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs finds that higher levels of participation in the afterschool program is associated with improved academic performance and school-related behaviors. More than 7 in 10 students with high program participation (90+ days) maintained a B or higher in math (73 percent) and English language arts (72 percent), higher than students attending less frequently. Students who attend 21st CCLC programs at high levels also have higher school day attendance and lower suspension rates. In addition, teachers report that a majority of students in need of improvement improved their academic performance (73 percent), class participation (64 percent), and classroom behavior (57 percent).
This statewide evaluation of Florida’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2018-19 school year finds that program participants improved in academic performance and positive school behaviors. On a scale that ranged from 1 (“declined”) to 3 (“improved”), teachers report that students improved their class behavior (3.0), motivation to learn (2.96), homework completion (2.95), and academic performance (2.91). Students agree that their programs help them to solve problems in a positive way (2.68) and get along with others (2.58). They also report that the programs have adults who care about them (2.8) and make them feel safe (2.77), with 1 corresponding to “not at all” and 3 corresponding to “definitely.”
Students, teachers, families, and afterschool program staff reported mostly positive outcomes for students attending 21st CCLC program sites across the state of Alabama, even while COVID-19 proved to be challenging for programs nationwide. Students improved their math and reading through their afterschool programs and agreed that their programs were a place they could feel safe. Parents reported that their children improved their school day attendance, enjoyed the STEM opportunities available, and get along better with others through programming, and staff responded positively to survey questions about programs’ overall operations, and provided categories of professional development that would be beneficial for future program delivery.
A 2020 evaluation of the Oregon chapter of the Mathematics, Engineering & Science Achievement (MESA) afterschool program found positive impacts on academic achievement and high school graduation. Using a quasi-experimental design, researchers found that MESA students had higher science test scores and were significantly more likely to graduate from high school compared to their matched non-participating peers. Researchers wrote that, “This relationship suggests MESA participation has a tangible and important effect on high school graduation.”
A statewide evaluation of Kentucky’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2018-19 school year found that regular program attendees improved their math and reading/ELA grades from the fall to spring, and a majority reached proficient/distinguished on the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP). Based on teacher surveys, among those who needed to improve, an overwhelming majority of both elementary and high school students improved in academic performance, class participation, and homework completion. Students also reported benefits of the programs, including helping them complete their homework, get better grades, and challenge them to do their best.
A statewide evaluation of Hawaii’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2018-19 program year found students in the program made academic and behavioral gains. The percent of students who missed 15 or more days of school throughout the year was significantly less for 21st CCLC participants compared to non-participants. In addition, those who participated in 21st CCLC programs were more likely to meet or exceed proficiency in math and reading compared to non-participants.
A statewide evaluation of Iowa’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs found that among students regularly attending a 21st CCLC program and in need of improvement, 72 percent improved in math and 70 percent improved in English. Among regularly attending elementary schoolers identified as not proficient in reading, 25 percent achieved proficiency or higher, and among regularly attending middle and high schoolers not proficient in math, 46 percent achieved proficiency or above. Additionally, teachers reported that 79 percent of regular program participants improved their homework completion and participation in class, and 67 percent improved their behavior.
A 2020 evaluation of Ohio's 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs found that there was a statistically significant positive impact on academic and behavioral outcomes among students regularly attending the program. Regular program participants scored higher on math and English language arts assessments compared with similar non-participating youth, as well as saw reductions in both unexcused absences and disciplinary incidents. Youth surveys revealed that students agree that their program is beneficial, including helping them make new friends and prepare for their future.
A statewide evaluation of Massachusetts’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program during the 2017-18 program year found that, based on teacher ratings, program participants made gains in math and reading/English language arts achievement. Teachers and program staff also noted increases in outcomes including students’ critical thinking skills, perseverance, and communication. English language learners, students receiving special education services, and economically disadvantaged students made particularly strong gains for certain outcomes.