In the 2017-2018 school year, NAZA sponsored programs operated in 44 program sites serving 1528 students from 27 middle schools through afterschool programs, 304 middle school students through summer STEAM programming over summer in partnership with Metro Parks and 544 high school students (ages 14-16) through Teen Explorer’s Camp (paid experience learning program for youth) in partnership with Mayor’s Opportunity NOW.
The following is the data of participation in afterschool programs:
Fall STEAM Initiative:
STEM Engagement & STEM Identify
NAZA used the Common Instrument Survey (CIS) from PEAR Institute to measure the experience of young people in NAZA supported STEAM activities in Fall semester.
The CIS survey measures whether youths’ attitudes about STEM engagement (i.e. interest and excitement in participating in STEM activities) and STEM identity (i.e. the degree to which youth see themselves as inventors, scientists, engineers, or mathematicians) change as a result of participating in their program.
- 78% of youth reported increased STEM engagement as a result of participating in their program as compared to the national average of 86%
- 63% percent of youth reported an increase in STEM identity as compared to the national average of 59%.
21st Century Skills
The CIS survey measures whether youth reported increases in four 21st Century Skills including: critical thinking, perseverance, relationships with adults, and relationships with peers.
- 79% of NAZA youth reported gains in critical thinking skills, as compared to the national average of 73%.
- 76% of NAZA youth reported gains in perseverance skills, as compared to the national average of 66%.
- 75% of NAZA youth reported gains in relationships with adults, as compared to the national average of 61%.
- 78% of NAZA youth reported gains in relationships with peers, as compared to the national average of 67%.
NAZA promotes youth programing that is based on the following principles:
Promote a Sense of Physical, Social and Emotional Safety. Youth must feel as though the adults in this setting will protect them from any harm. They also must feel they are valued and accepted by the group.
Encourage Relationship Building. Young people need many supportive long-term relationships to help them navigate their adolescence. They need guidance from caring adults as well as emotional and practical support from their peers.
Foster Meaningful Youth Participation. Youth must have an active role, voice and choice in shaping their experiences. They must have the opportunity to practice and develop leadership skills, and they must know their contributions are valuable.
Provide Opportunities for Building Purpose. Young people must live purposefully and contribute in meaningful ways. Creating opportunities for youth to become involved in the community and for community members to interact with youth is a powerful way to foster a sense of purpose and develop positive values.
Engage Youth in Learning Experiences that Build Healthy and Valuable Life Skills. Young people need opportunities for experiential learning and practice that will help them build skills needed to succeed in every area of life.
With integration of these principles in daily curriculums and with adequately trained staff most of the program partners do well in engaging and retaining students in after school programs.
Stats from the year
89% of students attending NAZA-funded program reported to be satisfied with their programs.
All sites improved in at least one area of supporting youth in reading and writing, and 86% of sites increased their overall scores on the Weikart Center’s YPQA literacy scale. The average score for sites in the spring was a 4.2/5
On average 79% of Opportunity NOW respondents, out of which 28% were NAZA participants for Summer Teen Explorers’ Camp, reported learning 21st century skills (medium to great deal) such as communication, teamwork, imitative, creativity, flexibility, critical thinking and problem solving
Findings from Vanderbilt evaluation
NAZA students showed better growth in school attendance relative to comparison students
NAZA students showed better growth on a school discipline outcome relative to comparison students
Students who participated in NAZA longer experienced better growth in TCAP scores and school attendance; demonstrated greater decreases in truancy offenses over time; and showed higher PLAN percentile scores.
Caregivers were generally pleased with afterschool programs and value NAZA programs as free, offering a safe place for their children, promoting youth academics, and offering healthy food and enhancement activities
Caregivers attributed positive academic, social and emotional, behavioral, and physical outcomes to the afterschool programs
Parents generally had very positive interactions with program staff