ERIC Number: ED481494
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Sep
Learning To Bridge - Bridging To Learn: A Model and Action Plan To Increase Engagement between Schools and Afterschool Programs in Boston.
Noam, Gil G.; Biancarosa, Gina; Dechausay, Nadine
Many children and adolescents, in Boston and elsewhere, experience drastic incongruities between their home, school, and community environments. Arguing that after-school programs can help to unify these disparate worlds, thereby fostering a sense of continuity for youth and aiding their development as learners, this report shows how best to strengthen and support meaningful "bridging" between after-school programs and schools throughout Boston, as well as between after-school programs, families, and communities. The report begins with a discussion of the potential of after-school programs for connecting the multiple worlds of youth. Drawing upon a range of empirical data from focus groups, interviews, and literature reviews, the report illustrates effective bridging practices, focusing attention on three domains specifying the form bridging can take (interpersonal, curricular, and systematic) and four dimensions that articulate why and how programs bridge (program location, program learning philosophy, organizational capacity, and school climate). The report offers a new typology of bridging intensity to better conceptualize the major issues confronting practitioners, researchers, and policymakers: (1) self-contained; (2) associated; (3) coordinated; (4) integrated; and (5) unified. The report asserts that the most common challenges confronted by after-school programs in attempts to connect with schools can be traced to a lack of real and ongoing communication between programs and schools; a chronic shortage of resources, time, and organizational capacity; and a lack of well-targeted and sustained funding for initiatives that will help to truly bridge children's multiple worlds. A summary of effective bridging practices provides a list of "dos" and "dont's" for programs. The report proposes recommendations related to funding and policy choices to provide children with environments most conducive to their development, focusing on first order priorities to systematically strengthen bridging efforts and second order priorities for professionals working at the program level. Appended is a list of the individuals interviewed. (Contains 44 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Adolescents, After School Education, After School Programs, Agency Cooperation, Children, Developmental Continuity, Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, Models, Partnerships in Education, Program Effectiveness, School Community Relationship, Student Needs
Afterschool Education and Research (PAER), Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Larsen 601, 8 Story Street, Third Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-496-0636; Fax: 617-384-8152; Web site: http://www.paerweb.org. For full text: http://www.afterschoolforall.org/news/LG Research/WP_learntobridge_r4.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education.; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Medical School.
Note: Produced with Harvard's Program in Afterschool Education and Research. This report was commissioned by Boston's After-School for All Partnership.