Program

Feb 18, 2011

OVERVIEW

The
Cooke Middle School After-School Recreation Program
is a program designed to promote the physical, emotional, and social well-being
of middle school students in high poverty areas by providing an adult-supervised
environment with opportunities for exercise and other extracurricular
activities. For two hours after the completion of the school day, students
enrolled in the program are able to participate in activities, including fitness
and sports, classroom-based activities such as reading, homework and drawing, or
a dance group. An experimental evaluation randomly assigned applicants to the
program or a non-treatment control group. Analyses found an increase in time per
week spent doing homework, students’ aspirations for education after high-school
graduation, and time spent engaged in fitness training among adolescents in the
intervention group, as compared with those in the control group. There were no
statistically significant differences between the two groups for students’
in-school behavior, school attendance, academic performance, standardized test
scores, time spent watching television or time spent on self-care.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:Children and adolescents (10 to 15 years-old)
attending middle school.

The
Cooke Middle School After-School Recreation program
is a program designed to promote the physical, emotional, and social well-being
of middle school students in poverty-impacted areas by providing an
adult-supervised environment with opportunities for exercise and other
extracurricular activities. For two hours after school (5pm to 7pm), four
evenings per week students in the program are able participate in activities
held at the school site. The activities include: fitness center, sports,
socializing with friends, jump-rope, arts and crafts, and a dance troupe.
Homework help and tutoring are not specifically provided. The program is
unstructured and allows participants to choose their activities at each
attendance, and about 30 students participated on an average day. A director,
school teachers, outside program staff, and security personnel oversee the
activities and supervise students.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>
<![endif]>

Lauver SC. (2002). Assessing the Benefits of an
After-School Program for Urban Youth: An Impact and Process Evaluation. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Pennsylvania.

Evaluated population: A total of 227 students participated in the study, ranging in age from 10-15
years. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of the students were in seventh and eighth
grade. 83% of the participants were African American and 60% were male. Nearly
half were from single parents families and another 13% lived with a foster
parent or other guardian.

Approach: Students were recruited through school flyers, signs posted at school, public
address system announcements, an information table at parent-teacher
conferences, and in-person reminders in their school classrooms. 227 students
applied to the program. Of these, 126 were randomly assigned to the after-school
program intervention and the remaining 101 served as the control group.
Intervention students received the opportunity to attend a recreational program
held at the school for two hours in the evening, four evenings each week when
school was in session. At baseline and at end of the school year, students
filled out a questionnaire including questions about background characteristics,
involvement in school-related and extracurricular activities, sense of
self-esteem and ability to resolve conflict, safety at school, perceptions about
school, time spent on various activities and homework, and expectations for the
future.

Results: The
after-school program was found to have significant positive impacts on time per
week spent doing homework, aspirations for education after high school
graduation, and time spent engaged in fitness training at home or a fitness
center in adolescents in the intervention group, as compared with the control
group.There were no measurable impacts of the after-school program on
other extracurricular activities; academic grades or standardized test scores;
in-school behavior or attendance; or on time spent watching television or in
self-care.

The researcher notes many problems with the
implementation of the program, most notably low student participation rates and
inconsistent staff attendance.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Lauver SC. (2002). Assessing the Benefits of an
After-School Program for Urban Youth: An Impact and Process Evaluation. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Pennsylvania.

For more information visit:
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3043903/

KEYWORDS: Children, Middle School, Black/African American, Adolescence (12-17),
School-based, Urban, Social/Emotional Health, After-School Program

Program
information last updated on 2/18/2011.