October 8, 2008
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) has selected the first group of scholars to participate in the National Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship for out-of-school time professionals. This program addresses a critical need in the out-of-school time field – a long-term professional development opportunity that, through inquiry, supports the generation of knowledge by practitioners themselves to identify program improvement strategies and features of effective out-of-school time programs. The program, funded by the Robert Bowne Foundation, will be conducted by and based at two locations for the National Writing Project: The Bay Area Writing Project at UC Berkeley, and the Philadelphia Writing Project at the University of Pennsylvania.
"It's very important that professionals who are working day-to-day in the field have the opportunity to share their expertise and experiences with local colleagues," says Georgia Hall, Ph.D., NIOST senior research scientist. "Fellows will engage in an inspiring interactive process that will inform program quality and improve practice through reflection and inquiry."
The Afterschool Matters Initiative includes the Practitioner Fellowship Program; the production of key industry publications; the Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. Research Grantee program; and research roundtables that provide a forum for connecting research and practice.
For more than 30 years, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time at the Wellesley Centers for Women has been dedicated to moving the afterschool field forward through its research, education and training, consultation, and field-building. Much of NIOST’s work has encompassed projects of national scope and influence, several representing “firsts” for the field and many focusing on building out-of-school time systems. NIOST is a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women. Since 1974, scholars at WCW have helped drive social change through their rigorous research projects and pivotal training programs.