Making the Most of Out-of-School Time
Resource type: Grantee Story
Every year, millions of youth leave US middle schools ill-prepared to enter high school. As a result, more than 25 per cent of high school students do not graduate within five years; and at least 10 per cent drop out entirely. Effective out-of-school-time (OST) programmes can help many students develop the academic and leadership skills they need for success in middle school, high school and beyond.
Purpose and Impact of the Grant
Citizen Schools has created one of the most sophisticated OST approaches for keeping disadvantaged youth engaged in learning. The organisation provides tutoring, apprenticeships and other educational activities after school and during the summer break. Its curriculum focuses on developing written and verbal communication skills, technological literacy, and proficiency in data analysis.
Citizen Schools also engages in OST research and, via Citizen Schools University, offers evaluation, curriculum development and instructor training for its staff. Very few OST providers serving disadvantaged youth have developed such a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum for programme participants or staff.
The organisation has successfully extended its programme from Boston to other cities in Massachusetts, as well as communities in California, New Jersey and Texas – demonstrating the potential of establishing a high-quality OST network.
Citizen Schools is now embarking on an ambitious five-year expansion plan. With Atlantic support, the organisation will strengthen its operations to ensure consistently high-quality results for all participants. This will position the organisation to significantly raise the performance standards for OST programmes nationwide.