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A Practical Guide to the Science and Practice of Afterschool Programming: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 144



A Practical Guide to the Science and Practice of Afterschool Programming: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 144

Joseph L. Mahoney (Editor), Gina Warner (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-04917-3 December 2014 Jossey-Bass 128 Pages


Closing the gap between scientific research on afterschool programming and the practices occurring in these settings is the goal of this volume. Both sources of knowledge are critical to developing the afterschool workforce’s ability to provide high-quality programming. On the one hand, this means
afterschool staff should not work with young people until they have been adequately prepared—which includes training in evidence-based practices—and properly supervised. On the other hand, it requires that scientists understand and study those aspects of afterschool programming most relevant to the needs of practitioners.

This volume includes perspectives from the afterschool workforce, scientists who discuss the current research, and the practitioners who know how afterschool programs operate in practice.

This is the 144th volume of New Directions for Youth Development, the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series dedicated to bringing together everyone concerned with helping young people, including scholars, practitioners, and people from different disciplines and professions.

Issue Editors’ Notes 1
Joseph L.Mahoney, Gina Warner

Executive Summary 11

1. Using relational developmental systems theory to link program goals, activities, and outcomes: The sample case of the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development 17
Richard M. Lerner, Jun Wang, Paul A. Chase, Akira S. Gutierrez, Elise M. Harris, Rachel O. Rubin, Ceren Yalin

Commentary by Brian Burkhard

Positive youth development can be promoted when strengths are aligned with contextual assets found in youth after school programs.

2. Afterschool quality 31
Charles Smith, Tom Akiva, Gina McGovern, Stephen C. Peck

Commentary by Karen Pittman

A strong foundation has been built for the afterschool field to deliver high-quality services.

3. Moving beyond attendance: Lessons learned from assessing engagement in afterschool contexts 45
Jennifer A. Fredricks, Amy M. Bohnert, Kimberly Burdette

Commentary by Dale A. Blyth

This chapter describes different methods for assessing engagement and features of engaging afterschool programs.

4. Growth-promoting relationships with children and youth 59
Renée Spencer, Jean E. Rhodes

Commentary by Tiffany Cooper Gueye

Adults working in afterschool settings must be able to engage youth in core components of productive adult–youth relationships.

5. Behavior management in afterschool settings 73
Joseph L. Mahoney

Commentary by Julie Bookwalter

This chapter describes a proven approach to reduce or eliminate children’s problem behaviors in educational settings such as afterschool programs.

6. Family, school, and community partnerships: Practical strategies for afterschool programs 89
Matia Finn-Stevenson

Commentary by Jane Quinn

Through research and practical strategies, this chapter demonstrates the powerful role afterschool programs play in addressing the need for a whole child approach to education.

7. Cultural competence in afterschool programs 105
Sandra D. Simpkins, Nathaniel R. Riggs

Commentary by Lynne M. Borden

Afterschool program leaders must consider how to adapt their program to make it culturally relevant to the youth and families they serve.

8. Evaluating afterschool programs 119
Priscilla M. Little

Commentary by Amy R. Gerstein

This chapter provides practical guidance on how to create an alignment between program and evaluation design that can help to foster desirable outcomes for the participants.

Index 133