Program

Dec 15, 2010

OVERVIEW

The
Maryland After-School Community Grant Program is a school-based after-school
program that combines academic assistance, attendance incentives, and the All
Stars curriculum with traditional after-school program activities. It is
designed to reduce unsupervised socializing and conduct problems, and increase
positive peer influence, school bonding, academic performance, social
competence, prosocial attitudes and beliefs, and school attendance. Positive
impacts were found for unsupervised socializing, but not for any of the other
outcomes.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target
population:

Children
in grades 4 through 8

The
Maryland After-School Community Grant Program is an enhanced after-school
program that aims to reduce unsupervised socializing and conduct problems, and
increase positive peer influence, school bonding, academic performance, social
competence, prosocial attitudes and beliefs, and school attendance. Children
attend the program for three hours after the regular school day, three days a
week, for thirty weeks. Six hours a week are spent on traditional after-school
program activities, such as snack, sports, board games, movies, field trips,
computer time, and crafts. The remaining three hours are spent on academic
assistance, an attendance incentive system, and the All Stars curriculum.
Academic assistance is group-based and mostly involves supervised homework
assistance. Reading and math workbook activities are available to students who
do not have homework, and books are available for independent reading. The
attendance incentive system includes a weekly ceremony to give praise and award
points to students for good attendance and improvements in attendance. Points
can then be used to purchase prizes. The All Stars curriculum is completed in
groups. It teaches skills necessary for healthy decisions and helps children
develop attitudes and beliefs that are inconsistent with substance use other
risk behaviors. The cost per student is about $2,500.

EVALUATIONS OF PROGRAM

Gottfredson, D.C., Cross, A.B., Wilson, D.M., Rorie, M., & Connel, N. (2010). A randomized trial of the effects of an enhanced after-school program for middle
school students.
Final report submitted to the U.S. Department of Education
Institute for Educational Sciences.

Evaluated
population:

447
students in grades 6 through 8 from five public middle schools in Baltimore
County. The average age of participants was 12 years, and 54 percent were male.
Seventy percent of the sample was African American, and 59 percent received free
or reduced meals at school. The program was open to all students, but principals
were asked to encourage high-risk students to participate.

Approach:
Students
were randomly assigned to the treatment or to a control condition, which
represented “treatment as usual,” and involved one after-school activity each
month, such as a special event or party. However, only 48 percent of the control
group attended the activities. Students in the control group were allowed to
participate in other after-school activities, and 96 percent participated in an
organized after-school activity. Data were collected through student surveys and
school records before and after the intervention, and through teacher ratings at
post-test only on the outcomes of unsupervised socializing, positive peer
influence, school bonding, social competence, prosocial/antidrug attitudes,
school attendance, academic performance, and conduct problems.

Results:
There was
a positive impact on unsupervised socializing. There were no post-test
differences between the students who received the intervention and those in the
control group on measures of conduct problems, academic performance, school
attendance, prosocial/antidrug attitudes, social competence, school bonding, or
positive peer influence.

Cross,
A.B., Gottfredson, D.C., Wilson, D.M., Rorie, M., & Connel, N. (2009). The
impact of after-school programs on the routine activities of middle-school
students: Results from a randomized, controlled trial. Criminology & Public
Policy, 8,
391-412.

Evaluated
population: 
416 students from five middle schools in an urban school district. The sample
was 52 percent male, and 58 percent received subsidized meals. The sample was 71
percent African American, 17 percent Caucasian, 8 percent multiracial, and 4
percent other. The average age was 12 years.

Approach:
Students
were randomly assigned to the treatment or the control condition, which was the
same as in the previous study. Data were collected from self-report surveys of
the students at baseline and following the intervention on unsupervised
socializing, delinquency, and drug use (alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana) in
the previous month.

Results:
A positive
impact was found for unsupervised socializing, but there was no impact on
delinquency or drug use.

SOURCES
FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Cross,
A.B., Gottfredson, D.C., Wilson, D.M., Rorie, M., & Connel, N. (2009). The
impact of after-school programs on the routine activities of middle-school
students: Results from a randomized, controlled trial. Criminology & Public
Policy, 8,
391-412.

Gottfredson, D.C., Cross, A.B., Wilson, D.M., Rorie, M., & Connel, N. (2010). A randomized trial of the effects of an enhanced after-school program for
middle-school students.
Final report submitted to the U.S. Department of
Education Institute for Educational Sciences.

KEYWORDS:
Children
(3-11), Adolescents (12-17), Middle School, Males and Females (Co-ed),
High-Risk, Urban, School-based, Cost, After-School Program, Attendance, Academic
Achievement/Grades, Other Education, Substance Use, Social Skills/Life Skills,
Aggression/Bullying, Delinquency

Program
information last updated on 12/15/10.