Calgary AfterSchool Evaluation - page 8

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Calgary AfterSchool Evaluation
Summary Report
Guyn Cooper Research Associates
School engagement
CAS participation had little or no effect on children’s engagement in school. This is not surprising because
there were no CAS programs that explicitly sought to improve school engagement. Rather, a handful of
programs intended to improve other outcomes also collected pre- and post-program data on school
engagement. This finding from the evaluation is consistent with previous research emphasizing the
importance of program intentionality in accordance with “SAFE (sequenced, active, focused, explicit)”
principles. If a program is not explicitly designed and structured to achieve a specific outcome, it is
unlikely to bring it about.
Although the CAS data at the program level was quite limited, the findings of the evaluation appear
to be consistent with the broader research on after-school programming. We can reasonably conclude
from the analysis of data from recreation programs that some programs were more effective than others
in important ways, such as building good relationships between leaders and participants, providing
opportunities for leadership development, and helping young people to make new friends.
Based on the available data, it appears that the few highly SAFE/intentional programs provided through
CAS were by far the most effective in improving developmental outcomes. The effect sizes for these
programs were generally very impressive. A few of the somewhat SAFE/intentional programs either did
not collect enough data to analyze or did not appear to have much effect on the desired outcomes of
their particular program. It is likely that these less intentional programs helped the well-adjusted children
and youth to stay on a positive developmental pathway, but we simply do not know if or how they might
have benefited at-risk children and youth.
6. Conclusion
Overall, the findings of the evaluation confirm that CAS has developed and implemented a city-wide
network of after-school programming for children and youth; reducedbarriers to participation for Calgary’s
children and youth; increased the participation of children and youth in supervised, constructive activities
during the after-school hours, particularly children and youth who previously lacked such opportunities;
and improved the social competence and emotional well-being of children and youth who needed help.
These accomplishments demonstrate that CAS has fully achieved its objectives and should serve as a
model for other cities seeking to improve the lives of large numbers of children and youth.
a,b,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10
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