An evaluation of an after -school program for low -income elementary and middle school students
The study addresses the need for after-school programs in urban communities, especially those in low, poor economic areas. Its purpose is to evaluate a three part after-school program in determining the effect on academic and social behaviors. This program design includes homework help, recreation and a multi-cultural component. The study seeks to evaluate the feelings of students, teachers and parents regarding student progress and the effect of participation in an after-school program on achievement.
The research design is based on a four year assessment which includes interviews, surveys and test data. A mixed model of both qualitative and quantitative methods is utilized. Participants include students in grades 4–8 in three elementary and one middle school. Students, parents and teachers are surveyed and interviewed. State standardized test data results are analyzed to compare participants and non-participants in an after-school program.
A review of the student surveys and interviews of students attending the after-school program indicated that students found a safe environment to interact with and meet new friends. They reflected positive attitudes in developing self confidence and academic achievement.
The findings revealed inconsistencies in grade academic achievement in both ELA and Mathematics, whereby participating students in grades 4 and 6 demonstrated greater proficiency than non-participating students. However, non-participating students in grade 5 evidenced more significant growth compared with participating students.
Findings from teacher feedback indicated improvement in student daytime attendance and more positive student behavior. The suggestion was to develop a communication system between day and after-school teachers.
Findings from parent feedback focused on the safe and structured learning environment provided for their children. All parents surveyed and interviewed expressed a need for an after-school program where students received help with homework and socialization skills.
After school programs;
0450: Middle School education
0514: School administration
0524: Elementary education