SEDL Monthly: November 2008
SEDL Monthly: Advancing Research, Improving Education November 2008

Improving Student Success Through Afterschool
Strong afterschool programs can have an impact on academic achievement and social development and help prevent risky behaviors. SEDL resources can help you build and sustain an afterschool program that makes a difference to your students.

new at SEDL

Afterschool Instructor’s and Professional Development Guides
Now Available to Afterschool Staff Nationwide

Need Professional Development for Afterschool Staff? SEDL Can Customize Training
SEDL is available to assist afterschool professionals in using these Afterschool Toolkit materials and learning how to implement them their afterschool programs. Please contact Joe Parker at 800-476-6861, ext. 6543, to learn more about how SEDL can help in your professional development efforts.

Sign Up Now for December Afterschool Training Toolkit Professional Development in Austin
The professional development sessions held this past summer for the Afterschool Training Toolkit were so popular, that SEDL is holding a repeat performance on December 9–10, 2008. Learn more by visiting the National Center for Quality Afterschool Web site. The training will be held at SEDL’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.

SEDL’s  National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning is helping more than 10,000 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) afterschool sites meet their professional development needs with a new set of instructor’s and professional development guides. These resources were created with the support of the U.S. Department of Education as part of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning project to supplement the online Afterschool Training Toolkit and are being distributed free of charge to 21st CCLC programs.

“Since the Afterschool Training Toolkit was made available in 2005, afterschool program directors and instructors have been asking us for training books and supplemental materials in print to use with our excellent online resources,” says SEDL program manager Catherine Jordan. “We are pleased to be able to meet this demand from the field.”

Used with the award-winning online Afterschool Training Toolkit, these new guides give afterschool professionals the resources they need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching activities that engage students, extend their knowledge in new ways, and support academic achievement. Also included is the third edition of SEDL’s popular Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs, which includes information about resources related to developing afterschool programs and activities and organizing, managing, and sustaining afterschool programs.

A limited number of these print materials  are available to afterschool programs that are not part of the 21st CCLC program or to those 21st CCLC programs that would like additional copies. They may be ordered by visiting SEDL’s afterschool site.
There is no charge for the materials but a shipping and handling fee is required, based on the number of copies ordered.

View other afterschool products in the SEDL Store. SEDL products support high-quality
teaching, improved learning, and increased student performance.

tips and tools

Does Your High School Afterschool Program Have These Characteristics?

Photo of highschool kids studying together

There has been a great deal of interest in serving teens through afterschool learning and in decreasing the drop-out rate through credit recovery and mentoring in afterschool settings. SEDL staff recently explored the current landscape of promising afterschool high school programs. SEDL gathered information by (1) examining evaluations of high school out-of-school time (OST) programs, afterschool programs, and extended learning opportunities, (2) conducting phone interviews with leaders of eight promising high school afterschool programs that surfaced in a study by the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning, and (3) participating in the first conference for afterschool practitioners, Out-of-School Time for High School Youth: Focus on Practice, held April 11–12, 2008, in Houston, Texas. While these efforts do not qualify as scientific research, they have given SEDL a better understanding of high school afterschool programs across the United States and the policies that support these efforts.

The study indicated high school afterschool programs considered most successful had the following characteristics:

  1. Give high school students a voice in planning activities and a choice in what they do.
  2. Feature activities that are relevant to the students’ lives and prepare them for future education and work. Teens must believe that what they do in out-of-school time programs is of value, in other words programs that have relevance and rigor.
  3. Give teens a sense of community or belonging. Teenagers want to interact with their peers in positive ways, and they also value relationships with caring adults.
  4. Utilize technology to teach teens new skills and provide a creative environment.
  5. Have flexible programming that meets the needs of teenagers. Due to busy schedules and the need to make money, most teenagers cannot attend afterschool programs every day.
  6. Have creative, supportive, specialized, and high-quality staff. Volunteers, who often serve as mentors to students, are provided professional development prior to working with the students.
  7. Have an adequate, safe facility equipped as needed to meet program goals. Many programs designed to meet the interests of teenagers require costly, highly specialized equipment.
  8. Are dependent on school relationships, community relationships, parental relationships and active partnerships.
  9. Have visionary leaders who leverage funding and solicit support and partnership from educators, community leaders, parents, and students.

Free Resources

National Center for Quality Afterschool
online curriculum databases

The most recent issue of SEDL Letter looks at research literature related to afterschool programs and family and community involvement. It also looks at homework policies and provides information about the Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) across the country.

SEDL’s National Center for Quality Afterschool has online curriculum databases to help you identify quality curriculum resources in literacy, mathematics, science, and technology. Organizations such as the Program in Education, Afterschool, and Resiliency (PEAR) at Harvard University, the Coalition for Science Afterschool at the University of California at Berkeley and The Education Development Center (EDC) in Boston, were involved in the creation of the databases and review of the curriculum materials.

View other free afterschool and family and community involvement resources available on the SEDL Web site. Sign up for AfterWords, the newsletter of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning or subscribe to SEDL Letter, our award winning magazine that examines issues that affect schools and districts today: teaching, reading, hiring and supporting quality teachers, and improving student achievement.

You are receiving the SEDL News Bulletin because you signed up to receive e-mail notices when SEDL has news or resources of interest to the educational community.

Questions or comments should be directed to:
Leslie Blair
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Phone: 512-391-6507
Fax: 512-476-2286