Calgary AfterSchool Evaluation - page 6

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Calgary AfterSchool Evaluation
Summary Report
Guyn Cooper Research Associates
in unconstructive activities, like watching television, playing electronic games, texting, and hanging out
in malls with nothing to do, spent less time doing these things and more time in supervised, high-quality
after-school programs.
CAS programmingwas of high quality as defined in terms of safety, accessibility, staffing, and collaboration
to decrease costs and increase effectiveness.
CAS programs addressed the many barriers identified by research – language, cultural, financial,
physical location – that often prevent low-income and newcomer youth from participating in after-school
programming and other extra-curricular activities. All programs were offered free of charge, many were
located in schools or in close proximity to schools, all programs were accessible by walking or transit,
almost all programs were accessible to participants with physical disabilities, some programs were
accessible to participants with intellectual disabilities/impairments, and there appeared to be no gender
or cultural barriers in any program.
Evaluation Question 2: Did participation in CAS programs contribute to improvements in
participants’ friendships and social competence, emotional well-being,
and/or school engagement?
CAS’s impacts on the positive development of at-risk children and youth were quite profound, especially
given the wide range of program types and designs.
The vast majority of program participants were developing optimally before they ever registered for a
program. Theyalreadyhadmany friends, goodsocial skills, highself-esteem, andstrongpro-social attitudes
and behaviours and there was little room for improvement. For these young people, participation may
have helped to ensure that they continued to flourish and avoided becoming involved in negative peer
groups or in negative activities. Most notably, there were no declines in self-esteem or self-confidence,
and no increases in negative peer influences or involvement in unconstructive activities among youth
participants, which may be unusual for a group of young people in early to middle adolescence.
Most importantly, for children and youth who might be considered to be at risk in some way, participation
in CAS programming was associated with improvements in almost every dimension of social competence
and emotional well-being. Moreover, the size of the positive effects of participation were comparable to
those reported in evaluations of well-known, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs
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and developmental after-school programs.
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See, for example, Jones, S.M.; Brown, J.L.; Aber, J.L. 2011. “The longitudinal impact of a universal school-based social-emotional and literacy
intervention: An experiment in translational developmental research.” Child Development, 82(2), 533-554.
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Durlak, J.A.; Weissberg, R.P.; Pachan, M. 2010. “A meta-analysis of afterschool programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in
children and adolescents.” American Journal of Community Psychology, 45, 294–309. Note: The authors did not identify which statistical
measure of effect size they used.
a,b,1,2,3,4,5 7,8,9,10
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