Denver Thrives. When Our Youth Succeed. Afterschool is making a difference in the lives of Denver s youth

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1 Denver Thrives When Our Youth Succeed Afterschool is making a difference in the lives of Denver s youth

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3 Who We Are We are a diverse collaborative of stakeholders including the City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools and many of Denver s community-based and funding organizations. Our vision is that every child in Denver who needs afterschool has it, so together we create a city where our kids are safe, inspired and prepared for success now and in the future. What We Do Ensure all youth have access to and participate in quality afterschool programs so kids succeed and Denver thrives. To strengthen our community, we coordinate stakeholders and resources to: Improve afterschool quality and data-driven decision making Ensure access to high quality programs Develop an afterschool system to leverage resources and serve as a unified voice for afterschool program providers

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5 Message from the Board Dear Friends We know afterschool works. We see it everyday. Youth of all ages, all backgrounds and from all neighborhoods come to afterschool programs across the city to engage in new experiences, learn deeply, discover new passions and connect with caring adults. The Denver Afterschool Alliance is here to ensure that all of Denver s youth have access to high quality and engaging afterschool and summer programs. We are a diverse collaborative of educators, afterschool providers, policymakers and community members working together to achieve the goal of afterschool for all Denver youth. We re off to a strong start: We have seen an increase in the number of low-income students in targeted neighborhoods participating in afterschool programs. We have increased the number of programs participating in the nationally recognized Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) from 19 to 48. We have evidence in the form of improved school day attendance and increased academic and social emotional learning measures that afterschool works. But, we are just getting started. To accelerate the Denver Afterschool Alliance s momentum through the school year we will: 1. Improve afterschool quality and impact so youth will benefit. 2. Increase collaboration and access so communities will benefit. 3. Advance advocacy and program sustainability so Denver will be stronger. The Alliance draws its strength from its partners. We need your help to continue to speed up our progress. Read on to learn more about where we have been and where we are going and how you can support the work of the Denver Afterschool Alliance. John Albright Co-Chair, Denver Afterschool Alliance Deputy Chief of Staff, Denver Public Schools Erin Brown Co-Chair, Denver Afterschool Alliance Executive Director, Denver Office of Children s Affairs

6 Afterschool programs support youth success, academic achievement and character development.

7 Afterschool participants believe they are good learners and have high expectations for their future. They set personal goals, seek help when they don t understand a new concept and try hard in school. Youth attending afterschool programs in Denver have better school attendance rates. Research shows that children who attend school more than 90% of the time are able to keep up and succeed academically.* Denver exceeds this important attendance benchmark. In the evaluation of Denver s afterschool programs, we learned participants had a school day attendance rate of 94%. The rate of regular school attendance improves the longer students are involved in afterschool programs. Participants attending afterschool programs for two years or more had a school day attendance rate of 95%. * Attendance Works; Students attending afterschool programs are doing better academically. Students who attend afterschool programs for two or more years demonstrate more yearly growth on state standardized test scores than students not attending afterschool programs. More than half of students participating in afterschool programs believe it has helped them do better in math and reading. Our vision in the Denver Public Schools is that every child succeeds. Quality afterschool programs support our students academic and personal growth, while helping them build skills they need to make positive choices about their future. Ultimately, that s what our work is about-ensuring all Denver youth graduate from our schools ready for college, career and adult life. Afterschool programs are helping us achieve this vision. Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools

8 In Denver, afterschool programs are closing the opportunity gap by serving youth who are most in need of support.

9 During the school year, 17 afterschool programs * collectively served 5,134 students across the city. Afterschool programs in Denver provide students with a continuum of learning, offering activities that expand learning, provide new experiences, teach life skills and support healthy youth development. Afterschool programs help close the opportunity gap by offering low-income students experiences they might not otherwise have. These programs are serving students who can most benefit from additional services and supports: 48% of participants attended a school on watch, priority watch or probation 91% of participants came from low income families ** ETHNIC DEMOGRAPHICS All others 7% White 8% Youth take advantage of a rich variety of activities afterschool Black 12% Hispanic 73% 52% Academic Enrichment 41% Health, Nutrition & Recreation 18% Arts and Culture 18% Technology 16% Leadership 4% Wrap Around Services *These programs have worked collaboratively for the past decade, aligning program practices, evaluation and sustainability. The data referenced throughout this document reflect the findings of a 3rd party, professional evaluation of these programs. ** As measured by a student s enrollment in the federally subsidized Free and Reduced Lunch Program Emerging research points to a broad and growing opportunity gap" that extends far beyond the school day and is a major contributor to gaps in achievement between low-income students and their more affluent peers. Higher income families far outspend lower income families on enriching activities, exposure to novel environments, and other out-of-school supports that help their children build the skills and background knowledge they need to succeed in school and beyond. Duncan, G and Murnane, R (eds). From Whither Opportunity: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children s Life Chances. Russell Sage Foundation, 2011.

10 Afterschool programs are a wise investment, one that will help Denver achieve its goals for a better community. There is nothing more important for the strength of our City than investing in quality afterschool programs that provide our youth with the supports and tools they need to keep their minds and bodies actively engaged when they are not in school. Michael B. Hancock, Mayor, City and County of Denver

11 Schools, community-based organizations and citizens across Denver are working collaboratively, during the school day and after school, to help youth thrive. The work of the Denver Afterschool Alliance supports and aligns to the Mayor s five goals for Denver s Children: Increase the number of children served by early childhood education by aligning publicly funded programs Increase the number of students who can read on grade level by third grade Reduce the number of disconnected youth Increase the number of high school students who complete a postsecondary pathway and obtain a job Reduce the number of overweight and obese children Additionally, the Denver Afterschool Alliance s work helps advance the goals outlined in the Denver Plan 2020: Great Schools in Every Neighborhood A Foundation for Success in School Ready for College & Career Support for the Whole Child Closing the Opportunity Gap Afterschool is a wise investment. Across the country, afterschool programs generate between $5 and $7 in public savings for every dollar invested. $1 INVESTED $5-7 PUBLIC FUNDS SAVED As the former superintendent of Aurora Public Schools I saw the great benefits afterschool programs made for our children and families. Now as the leader of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, our team is honored to be able to partner with the Denver Afterschool Alliance to increase the impact of afterschool in Denver. John Barry CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver

12 Quality programs with trained and supported staff as well as intentional activities engage youth in meaningful ways.

13 Denver cares about the quality of its afterschool programs. Sites use a nationally recognized quality improvement construct to assess the quality of the city s afterschool programs. The city started this project with 19 sites in Today, 48 sites use the YPQI to guide continuous program quality improvement efforts. When staff participate in quality improvement programs, such as the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) from the David P. Weikert Center for Youth Program Quality, youth report more positive afterschool experiences. Denver also wants to know what students think about their afterschool experience. Programs use the Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes (SAYO) from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time to gather feedback from afterschool program participants. Results tell us that quality matters not just to adults, but also to youth. In great programs, youth are engaged and challenged. Participants note high rates of enjoyment and engagement as well as high rates of challenge in the program, with notably high response rates to the question: Do you learn new things? In great programs, youth thrive. In programs rated very high, youth report overall positive feedback including specific strengths in social environment, leadership and responsibility. Further, results of the SAYO survey show us these strengths increase when participants return for a second year of programming. We know that quality afterschool programs make a positive lasting impact on youth in our city. That s why the Denver Afterschool Alliance is so important. It supports afterschool providers through shared quality standards and technical training so that we increase access to quality programs for Denver kids. Christine Benero, President & CEO, Mile High United Way

14 Community level impact is increased when there is an intermediary organization providing infrastructure and coordination. Denver Afterschool Alliance is Denver s afterschool intermediary. The transition from supporting individual afterschool programs to building more comprehensive, citywide afterschool systems is a major change to how city and community partners do business that alters perspectives, deepens local partnerships, improves the odds for sustainability and generates momentum for long-term and continuous improvement. National League of Cities

15 The Denver Afterschool Alliance is a strong example for how other communities can align efforts between the City, school district and non-profit organizations to work together with a unified voice to strengthen supports for quality afterschool programs. Priscilla Little, The Wallace Foundation The Denver Afterschool Alliance is built on a collaborative of afterschool program providers and community partners who have worked together informally for more than a decade to increase opportunities for Denver s youth. In 2012, The Wallace Foundation and local foundations provided funding to Denver to formalize these efforts and create the Denver Afterschool Alliance. Denver is part of a national learning network of large cities that coordinate afterschool services in their community through an intermediary. The Denver Afterschool Alliance is working to coordinate data systems to support smart decision-making. More than 100 organizations have signed on to an effort to collect data that can be used for decision-making to improve afterschool program quality, impact and reach. During the school year, Denver Afterschool Alliance will engage 12 organizations across 37 sites in a Demonstration and Capacity Building Project that will help programs better meet student needs through data-driven decision-making using YPQI, the SAYO, and academic student data.

16 Be part of the future of afterschool!

17 The Denver Afterschool Alliance believes in the strength of collaborative effort together we can improve quality, increase access and develop an afterschool system to leverage resources and serve as a unified voice for young people. Learn More Increase your understanding of what is available in your community and how programs are collaborating to ensure all students are served. Learn about how afterschool programs are measuring their impact on social emotional learning using the SAYO. Learn more about YPQI by visiting one of the participating sites and seeing how the construct of quality is applied in programming. Help Us Be part of improving the effectiveness of programs in meeting identified youth outcomes. Develop and publish quality standards for afterschool programs. Support continuous quality improvement based on data. Engage more programs in YPQI and SAYO. Add Your Voice Advocate for sustainable funding to ensure all Denver youth have access to engaging, high quality afterschool programs. Engage with education and community leaders to discuss how an afterschool system benefits youth participating in programs. Secure financial resources for city-wide infrastructure supports. Advocate for additional program funding to ensure sustainability. Increase access to high quality programs by aligning program capacity and locations to student need. Join the Denver Afterschool Alliance For more information contact: Maxine Quintana, Denver Afterschool Alliance,

18 Thank You to Our Many Supporters Program Providers Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, Denver Public Schools Department of Extended Learning & Community Schools, Mi Casa Resource Center, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver and to the 17 schools that partnered with these organizations. Evaluation Partners Denver Public Schools Assessment, Research & Evaluation Team and Daniel Read, Evaluator. 21st Century Community Learning Center for providing grant support to the 17 programs. We also gratefully acknowledge the other financial supporters of this important work. Sponsorship & Funding The Denver Afterschool Alliance is a sponsored initiative of the Office of Children s Affairs of the City & County of Denver. The Denver Afterschool Alliance is funded by The Wallace Foundation with local match provided by the Denver Public Schools Foundation, Mile High United Way, Office of Children s Affairs and the Piton Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, CiviCore and Denver Public Schools. Thank you to Collaborative Communications for technical assistance and communications support provided through The Wallace Foundation s Next Generation After School Systems Building Grant. We would like to thank the leadership and staff of the Denver Afterschool Alliance for their continued commitment to ensuring accessible quality programs for Denver youth.

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