Summer Programming: What Do Children Say?

Abstract: Studies document that low-income children lose academic skills over the summer. Six years of reading achievement data collected by Energy Express, a nationally recognized summer reading and nutrition program in West Virginia, has established the efficacy of the intervention. The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics of a voluntary summer program that … Read more

Demographic Differences in Patterns of Youth Out-of-School Time Activity Participation

Abstract: Participation in structured out-of-school time (OST) activities is of growing interest to families, youth practitioners, and policymakers. OST activities benefit youth socially, emotionally, and academically, especially at-risk youth. Yet, little research has explored the characteristics of youth participants. This study examines whether demographic differences exist merely in getting youth “in the door” of activities, … Read more

Potential Protective Effect of the Community Involvement Asset on Adolescent Risk Behaviors

Abstract: The potential of Community Involvement as a protective factor (youth asset) for eight adolescent risk behaviors was examined in this study. Cross-sectional data were collected from a randomly-selected population using in-home, in-person interviews in racially diverse inner-city neighborhoods of two Midwestern cities. Research participants were teenagers (n=1,278) and parents of the teenagers (n=1,278). Data … Read more

A National Professional Development System for Youth Workers

Abstract: A persistent challenge in the youth development field is the lack of a systemic approach to attracting, developing and sustaining its workforce, particularly direct service workers. While serious efforts to address workforce development have dotted the youth work landscape, especially over the last 15 years, much of this progress has been organization-specific rather than … Read more

National Youth Service Day: A Youth Development Strategy

Abstract: A growing number of studies show connections between youth participation in service and service-learning opportunities and positive behavior outcomes. Building on this data, the article presents National Youth Service Day (NYSD) as a program that can be incorporated into ongoing activities to enhance youth development goals. The paper describes the program’s components: building a … Read more

Fostering Youth Engagement on Community Teams

Abstract: Within the youth development field a growing movement exists to establish youth member positions on community teams (e.g. organizational boards and planning committees). The involvement of youth on decision-making teams is commonly referred to as youth engagement. As a relatively new approach to youth and community development, the existing research shows the potential positive … Read more

4-H Afterschool – Making an Impact

Abstract: 4-H Afterschool is making a positive impact on youth, families, and their communities. Utah State University Extension has implemented a 4-H Afterschool club at four elementary schools in low-income neighborhoods. At each of the sites, 4-H offers sixteen different project clubs. Survey results indicate that the 4-H Afterschool program is building positive social skills … Read more

Online Surveys: Increasing Your Research and Evaluation Capacity

Abstract: Online surveys are increasingly viewed as a method to expand research and evaluation capacity. This article focuses on a case study utilizing online surveys for data collection conducted by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Arizona. The National Youth Participation Study makes use of computer technology and the interest youth … Read more

The SCANS Skills and Competencies Checklist: An Assessment Tool for Youth Work Readiness Programs

Abstract: The SCANS Report for America, 2000 (1992) identified the skills youth need to compete in the workplace. The not-for-profit sector responded by implementing programs designed to give at-risk youth opportunities to learn the skills and competencies required to be work ready. Program evaluators, however, are challenged with the need to assess behavioral changes, which … Read more

Reflect and Improve: A Tool Kit for Engaging Youth and Adults as Partners in Program Evaluation

Abstract: Highlights of a new evaluation resource ” Reflect and Improve: A Tool Kit for Engaging Youth and Adults as Partners in Program Evaluation ” are shared by the author. The Tool Kit is designed to help youth serving agencies strengthen program planning and evaluation through youth/adult partnerships. Introduction Engaging youth as research and evaluation … Read more