Building APAS and Literacy Capacity in Philadelphia Out-of-School Time Programs

Ongoing Since: 2019-2022

Project Directors: Georgia Hall, Ph.D., and Kathy Schleyer, M.S., National Institute on Out-of-School Time

Funded by: William Penn Foundation

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.

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    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
Directions to NIOST

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