Title

Raising the Bar for Afterschool Programs: Georgia’s New Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards

Location

Savannah

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Head: Academic Achievement & Leadership – Research has shown that more time spent in high quality afterschool programs leads to greater benefits for youth, including better work habits, improved academic performance, and reduced school absences. This workshop will speak to how the Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development Standards address academic programming and alignment to the school day and how afterschool and school-day professionals can use this new tool to more effectively impact positive youth outcomes.

Heart: Social & Emotional Skills – High quality afterschool programming not only has positive impacts on youth academic outcomes, but also social-emotional outcomes. The standards address this through many facets, including program climate, relationships, and health and well-being. Similarly to “head,” the workshop will address “heart” by providing strategies to use this tool to assess how programs are set up to make these impacts on youth outcomes and to improve their practices.

Brief Program Description

The research is clear – high quality afterschool and summer learning programs have positive impacts on youth academic and social-emotional outcomes, but how can you be sure you are providing high quality, engaging programming? This workshop will provide an overview of Georgia’s new Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards, interactive activities exploring nine quality elements, and practice using the self-assessment tool.

Summary

Georgia’s afterschool and youth development programs provide thousands of youth—from kindergarten through high school—with safe and enriching environments in their time outside of the home and school contexts. High quality afterschool and youth development programs can make important contributions to young people’s development and well being. To ensure that Georgia’s young people are equipped to thrive and succeed in the multiple domains of their lives, our afterschool and youth development programs must provide environments and experiences that benefit youth socially, emotionally, and academically.

Employed as a self-assessment tool, the Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards can help assist programs facilitate a process of continual improvement through an examination of what they are doing well and where to make improvements. The assessment tool is intended to support a reflective process in which program staff and stakeholders explore their own programs and work collaboratively to develop strategies to enhance policies, procedures, and practices.

This session will begin with a brief overview of current research that demonstrates the positive youth outcomes associated with high quality afterschool and summer learning programs and then move into an introduction to Georgia’s new Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards. There will be a facilitated interactive discussion leading participants through the nine quality elements that standards are broken down into. Participants will then work in small groups to complete activities on understanding the quality improvement process, practicing how to observe and rate program practices, coming to a consensus on ratings, and developing a quality improvement plan.

By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Understand the Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development (ASYD) Quality Standards program improvement process
  • Learn how to use the Georgia ASYD Quality Standards Assessment Tool
  • Practice applying ratings to program practices
  • Explore options for examining assessment results
  • Learn how to use the ASYD Assessment results to improve your program
  • Leave with a copy of the Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards Assessment Tool and User’s Guide

Evidence

Research by Dr. Deborah Lowe Vandell has demonstrated that consistent participation in high quality afterschool activities yields positive youth results, including a narrowed gap in math achievement, greater gains in academic and behavioral outcomes, reduced school absences, better work habits, improved academic performance, and gains in self-efficacy. The Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards were developed to ensure that Georgia’s afterschool and youth development programs provide environments and experiences that benefit youth socially, emotionally, and academically so that young people are able to reap the benefits of high quality afterschool programs.

Georgia’s Afterschool and Youth Development Quality Standards are grounded in the widely held and well-established understanding that children, youth, and families benefit when programs increase their capacity to realize their mission by providing high quality programming. Most importantly, the ASYD Quality Standards are informed by research in a variety of disciplines including education, child development and psychology, organizational psychology, business management and public health. The Standards were carefully crafted to ensure that each standard and the supporting indicators are evidence-based, reflect current best practice and correlate with positive intermediary and long-term outcomes in youth. External peer review was provided by Dr. Gabriel Kuperminc, Chair of the Community Psychology Doctoral Program with the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University, Dr. Melissa Landers-Potts with the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia, and Dr. Cynthia Suveg with the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Katie Landes is the youth development policy advocate at Voices for Georgia’s Children (Voices) and the director of the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network (GSAN), a public-private collaborative dedicated to advancing, connecting and supporting quality afterschool programs to promote the success of children and youth throughout Georgia. She joined Voices in 2013 in this role and prior to that, served as the project coordinator for the Georgia Afterschool Investment Council, the former home of GSAN. Katie previously taught kindergarten and third grade in Atlanta Public Schools as a Teach for America corps member. She earned a Masters in Social Work at Georgia State University and her Bachelors of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.

Keyword Descriptors

afterschool, youth development, quality, standards

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-7-2016 3:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2016 4:15 PM

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Mar 7th, 3:00 PM Mar 7th, 4:15 PM

Raising the Bar for Afterschool Programs: Georgia’s New Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards

Savannah

The research is clear – high quality afterschool and summer learning programs have positive impacts on youth academic and social-emotional outcomes, but how can you be sure you are providing high quality, engaging programming? This workshop will provide an overview of Georgia’s new Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards, interactive activities exploring nine quality elements, and practice using the self-assessment tool.