Calgary AfterSchool Evaluation - page 3

Guyn Cooper Research Associates
Calgary AfterSchool Evaluation
Summary Report
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The benefits of participation in after-school programming may be greatest for young people who
face challenges in life, such as physical or intellectual disabilities, dysfunctional families, negative
environments, language or cultural barriers, and low income, and for young people who feel excluded
from the “mainstream” for any number of reasons. For vulnerable children and youth, participation in
developmental programming may help to offset multiple risk factors.
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Even for young people who are not
at-risk, the opportunities afforded through programming may help them avoid exposure to risk factors
and support and encourage them to continue on a positive developmental pathway. Research also
shows that youth living in low-income families, lone-parent families, and families with parents who have
not completed post-secondary education are the least likely to participate in after-school programming,
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which supports the argument for making programming available to all young people, in all areas of a city.
3. Project History and Description
CAS was developed in the first six months of 2009 and formally launched in September 2009 by a steering
committee comprisedof representatives of twoCity of Calgary business units – Recreation andCommunity
& Neighbourhood Services (CNS), and FCSS – and a representative of UpStart, who provided expertise
on program development and input on the evaluation, and served as fiscal agent for the evaluation.
Steering committee members began by establishing a high-level collaborative governance structure
among the governing and funding partners and implementing a plan to:
increase parental knowledge about the value of after-school programming;
increase the number of after-school program spaces;
increase the physical, cultural, and financial accessibility of programming;
ensure or increase the quality of programming;
provide both recreational and developmental programming; and
increase inter-program collaboration.
CAS was modeled upon TeenZone, a multi-stakeholder, three-year demonstration project that created
a comprehensive network of high-quality after-school programs for youth in a cluster of six Calgary
neighbourhoods. Like TeenZone, CAS provides a broad range of after-school programming free of
charge from September to June, expanding the scope of the initiative to include Calgary children and
youth aged six to 16 years throughout the city. Over 100 programs are available at any one time during
the school year, with some programs provided in multiple locations and. Programs were provided by two
City business units – Recreation and Community & Neighbourhood Services – and up to 21 non-profit
organizations with funding granted by FCSS.
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See, for example, Feldman, A.F.; Matjasko, J.L. 2005. “The role of school-based extracurricular activities in adolescent development: A
comprehensive review and future directions.” Review of Educational Research, 75(2), 159–210.
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See, for example, Guèvremont, A.; Findlay, L.; Kohen, D. 2008. “Organized extracurricular activities of Canadian children and youth.” Health
Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 82-003-X. (Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry).
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