“What does the research say?”

On December 9th, Beyond School Bells hosted a breakfast briefing, “What does the research say?”, to discuss the importance of quality and evaluation in ELO programs.

The presentation and panel discussion focused on what research tells us about the impact of quality ELO experiences on the lives of youth and emerging frameworks for measuring this impact.  Jennifer Jones, Beyond School Bells Network Coordinator, provided a national context to this discussion as well as illustrations of quality in Nebraska ELO programs. Karen Stevens, the Statewide Director of 21st Century Community Learning Centers in Nebraska, shared the tools and processes that go into ensuring quality programming in our state’s 21st CCLC programs.

Dr. Teresa Wanser, Assessment/Evaluation Specialist with Lincoln Public Schools, and Dr. Anne Herman, United Way-Omaha Data Collaborative, shared how Lincoln and Omaha are developing their own city-wide systems to measure the impact of regular participation in high quality ELO programs. Dr. Wanser provided an overview of the systems and evaluation framework that the Lincoln Community Learning Centers have in place to ensure quality.  Dr. Anne Herman discussed the work of the Omaha Data Collaborative and their initial processes of connecting together school, out of school data and other community data to ensure and promote quality ELO programming in Omaha.

It was a very informative discussion and we plan to continue this important discussion on quality and evaluation. We plan to continue and expand this discussion at a second quality breakfast—details to come in the next few weeks.

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