Summary of Analyses Related to Nashville After Zone Alliance Program Outcomes

As schools and communities struggle to close the persistent achievement gaps as well as meet the social and emotional needs of young people, a growing body of research has focused in recent years on the impact that afterschool programs are having on the youth who attend them. Although there is a great deal of research pointing toward the benefit of afterschool programs, questions remain about which types of programs are most effective and how often young people need to attend them in order to reap the benefits.
With those questions in mind, American Institutes for Research (AIR), with support from the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality (Weikart Center), has begun to explore the relationship between program attendance, program quality, and school-related outcomes for youth participating in afterschool programs associated with the Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA). AIR developed several questions to guide the work:
  1. Do youth who participate in afterschool programming for a greater number of days demonstrate better youth outcomes than youth participating in programming for a fewer number of days?
  2. Do youth participating in higher quality programs demonstrate better youth outcomes than youth participating in lower quality programming?
  3. Is there a significant interaction between participation in higher quality programming, levels of afterschool program attendance, and education-related outcomes? For example, is the effect of participating in higher quality programming intensified as the number of days attended increases?
The research team used a two-step approach to answer these questions. First, we assigned afterschool programs enrolled in the NAZA initiative to higher and lower quality profiles using data from the Youth Program Quality Assessment (Youth PQA). Second, we used statistical techniques to explore the relationship between program quality, levels of program attendance, and education-related outcomes.
 
The analysis does suggest a relationship between program quality, attendance, and youth outcomes that is worth pursuing in further research.

Authors: Neil Naftzger,Elizabeth Devaney and Kimberly Foley

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AIR_NAZA_Outcomes_Analysis_Brief.pdf - 245.24 KB