Study of Promising After-School Programs

This study examines the effects of high-quality after-school programs on developmental and learning outcomes among children and youth who are at high risk of school failure. We hypothesize that disadvantaged youth between the ages of 8 and 14 who participate in high-quality after-school programs achieve significantly greater developmental and learning gains than disadvantaged youth who do not participate in similar opportunities. We focus on low-income children, families, and communities that are among those in greatest need of external supports of all types, including after-school programming.

This research targets school-based or school-linked after-school programs that are consistent with the model of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. The Study is being conducted in three phases. In Phase 1, we identified the elementary school and middle school programs that exemplified high-quality programming. In Phase 2, we evaluated short-term effects of these promising programs on students' academic, social, and behavioral development over a single academic year. In Phase 3, we will consider longer term effects over a second academic year.


Deborah Vandell


Connie Showalter


C.S. Mott Foundation

Project Website


Completed on December 31, 2008

Contact Information

Kimberly Dadisman