Raising the Bar: Identifying Strategies to Increase After-School Program Attendance

Investigator: Deborah Lowe Vandell

Graduate Student Researcher: Femi Vance

Funding: Tiger Woods Foundation

Findings from an earlier study of a new community learning center in Southern California (click here) indicated that students who attended the center for 30 days or more during the school year benefited the most from that participation in terms of grades and work habits at school, and efficacy for science learning. In this project, we will conduct research and evaluation to identify ways to increase attendance at the center so that more youth reach (and exceed) the 30-day threshold. Major goals of the project include exploring the intensity and breadth of youth participation in the center overall and in specific activities; relations between youth and family characteristics and attendance; and relations between attendance and staff practices, youth reasons for participating, and parent perceptions of the program.