Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Department or Academic Unit
College of Professional Studies. Department of Education.
after-school programs and student learning, at-risk students, increase time and increase learning, raising achievement for at-risk students, student achievement
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
During the 2009-2010 school year, PBS Elementary School, located in the northeast, implemented an after-school program, funded by a 21stCentury Childrens Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant, a government program that provides additional learning opportunities during nonschool hours. The after-school program extended the school day by three additional hours for student participants who registered for one or more of the three sessions offered throughout the school year. The three ten-week sessions, which ran during the fall, winter, and spring of the 2009-2010 school year, included both an academic and an activity portion. The one-hour academic part of the program provided students with either homework help in a homework club or reading support in a reading program. This was then followed by an hour and a half activity class chosen by the students from a list of options. The purpose of this research study, entitled Increase Time, Increase Learning: The Impact of an AfterSchool Program on the Reading Achievement of At Risk Students, was to discover whether the additional learning opportunities had an impact on the reading achievement of four at-risk students who participated in both the reading and activity portion of the afterschool program over the three sessions throughout the 2009-2010 school year. For the purposes of this study, these four students are referred to as PBS scholars. The PBS scholars were identified as at-risk because they were significantly below the benchmark in reading, based on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Assessment. A major goal of the afterschool program was to close the gap in reading achievement for the PBS participants through targeted support in oral reading fluency, decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension, and additional learning opportunities presented in enrichment activities including arts & crafts, athletics, computer skills, music, and theater. This study examined the effectiveness of this first PBS Children Opportunity Zone (COZ) After-School Program instituted in the 2009-2010 school year as a strategy for closing the achievement gap in reading for at-risk students. Additionally, this study adds to the body of knowledge that supports additional learning opportunities in afterschool programs as a method to enhance student learning.
Cheryl Ann McWilliams
McWilliams, Cheryl Ann, "Increase time, increase learning: the impact of an after-school program on the reading achievement of at-risk students" (2011). Education Doctoral Theses. Paper 33. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002692
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