Out-of-School Time Initiative
Increasing access to high-quality out-of-school time programming that supports students of color, students in under-resourced rural communities and students from low-income families.
The Out-of-School Time Initiative is an ongoing partnership between OCF and The Ford Family Foundation. Through this partnership, the foundations support programs that provide high-quality out-of-school time experiences for middle school students of color, students in under-resourced rural communities and students from low-income families, thus narrowing the opportunity gap experienced by those students and helping to mitigate educational disparities.
High-quality out-of-school time programs ensure students are physically and emotionally safe, provide a supportive environment through positive relationships, provide opportunities for youth to learn and engage with new content and build skills, and empower youth to be leaders in their own development (Ramaswamy, McGovern & Akiva, 2013).
An ever-growing body of research shows that high-quality out-of-school time programs support positive youth development, promote student attendance and engagement with school, improve academic success and boost social and emotional skills (e.g., Avika, Philips and McGovern, 2013; Naftzger, 2014; Pierce, Bolt and Vandell, 2010)
The Initiative focuses on middle school as a key transition point and opportunity to address the socio-economic, geographic and racial educational disparities faced by students of color, students in under-resourced rural communities and students from low-income families.
Out-of-school time programs supported through the Initiative receive flexible multi-year funding and participate in a robust learning community facilitated by the Institute for Youth Success at Education NW. Program funding and the learning community are designed to support program quality improvement, utilizing the nationally-recognized, research-based Youth Program Quality Intervention and Assessment.
Programs are selected due to their readiness for and interest in improving program quality as well as existing strengths in: 1) serving middle school students of color, students in under-resourced rural communities and/or students from low-income families, and 2) family engagement; 3) positive adult role models; and 4) purposeful academic connection.
Since 2013, the Initiative has invested over $11 million to strengthen the OST programming of over 50 community organizations and schools, reaching thousands of middle school students throughout Oregon.
Looking for information about the Summer Learning Fund? Please visit here.
A comprehensive overview of the Initiative to date and what we’e learning about the impact of out-of-school time programs on Oregon students, how to think about and measure this impact, and how to support intensive efforts to bolster program quality. It also offers recommendations for out-of-school time funders, programs, intermediaries and evaluators based on what we’ve learned so far.
Learning Briefs: These reports are summaries from our review of existing literature and what we were learning through and with participating programs.