Project Summary: The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), an action project of WCW, will work with seven out-of-school time programs in Philadelphia, PA, to enhance and implement program quality assessment, literacy skill-building best practices, and continuous program quality improvement.
The emphasis on “quality first” is the foundation of NIOST’s approach to working with out-of-school time programs. Throughout this project, NIOST will work with the seven programs in Philadelphia, PA, to support a process that builds program quality and creates the conditions needed to support and elevate literacy skill-building.
To reach this objective, NIOST will assess how the programs are currently implementing research-based best practices and literacy skill-building. Researchers from NIOST will interview staff at the seven program sites to understand their unique needs and develop an individualized coaching plan and set of objectives. Staff at each program site will then be trained to use the APAS System -- a suite of three research-based measurement tools for out-of-school time programs developed by NIOST -- to improve their program quality and youth outcomes. Literacy specialists will develop coaching plans for the programs to implement best practices for literacy development, integrate literacy into their existing programming, and engage families and dual language learners. Staff from each site will also engage in a ‘community of practice’ to learn together and share their knowledge.