Moving Forward

Our understanding of what high-quality out-of-school time looks like and how philanthropy can strengthen programs and build the out-of-school time field is both deeper and more expansive because of the Initiative. 

Initiative next steps

Our findings give us confidence that out-of-school time programs effectively address the opportunity gap and that investing in improving access to high-quality programs is worthwhile. In other words, the evaluation supports continuation of the Initiative. Our findings also reinforce the value of continuous adaptation and in response to participating programs and student needs.

Going forward, the Initiative team will continue to:

Fund existing high-quality out-of-school time programs, with a focus on program quality improvement.
Prioritize learning, utilizing a learning community to support participating programs.
Strengthen the out-of-school time field in Oregon.
Work proactively to refine the Initiative.
Adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support evaluation capacity-building without tracking student outcomes.

Recommendations for others

We offer the following recommendations for others who want to make use of what we’ve learned to date. Many of these considerations align with Initiative next steps, but we hope others will join us in working to improve out-of-school time opportunities for youth and advocating for the related systemic improvements needed to alleviate educational disparities in Oregon.


Recommendations for programs, funders, intermediaries and evaluators

Prioritize students most likely to experience the opportunity gap.
Recognize middle school as a particularly important developmental phase.
Support out-of-school time program staff and their professional development.
Invest in out-of-school time program quality improvement.
Strengthen out-of-school time programs and the broader field by providing opportunities for peer networking and learning.
Champion the contributions out-of-school time programs make to student success.
Build or strengthen relationships between out-of-school time programs and schools as a step toward systemic change.
Invest in social and emotional learning, and use it to build connections between out-of-school time and the educational system.
Focus on conditions that support student success, and reframe expectations for out-of-school time programs to center more relevant, proximal indicators of progress.


Invest in ongoing, high-quality out-of-school time programs of all types and approaches, including locally developed and/or culturally specific programs.
Provide longer-term funding for out-of-school time programs, especially when seeking to build program quality.
Embody and model a learning mindset and openness to adaptation.
Prioritize authentic engagement over high-stakes requirements to demonstrate particular outcomes or degrees of improvement.
Acknowledge and attend to systemic and structural factors.



bob Maureen, Coaching Leaders (2)


Corey Newhouse, Public Profit (2)