Educators and Youth Workers Focus on Unique Needs of ESL and Refugee Youth in Out-of-school-time Programs

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The newest edition of Afterschool Matters, the national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in the field of afterschool education, highlights out-of-school-time (OST) programs that address the unique needs of English language learners and African refugee families, and approaches for their academic success. The journal, published by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time with support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, includes contributed articles by practitioners from across the U.S.

Afterschool Matters Journal-Fall 2011

... immigrant children have used OST program experiences to safely ‘try out’ language skills, get tutoring in school subjects, strengthen relationships with peers, and build their ability to manage multiple cultural contexts and value systems

The fall 2011 edition of Afterschool Matters, the national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in the field of afterschool education, highlights out-of-school-time (OST) programs that address the unique needs of English language learners and African refugee families, and approaches for their academic success. The issue also features articles on afterschool art initiatives that utilize recycled materials; keeping youth at-risk for dropping out of high school on track through out-of-school programming, and ways OST centers can build relationships in the community and with schools.

“Over the last few years, OST programs have increasingly been expanding their role in supporting school learning,” says Georgia Hall, Ph.D., managing editor of Afterschool Matters and senior research scientist at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women. “Many [English language learners] and immigrant children have used OST program experiences to safely ‘try out’ language skills, get tutoring in school subjects, strengthen relationships with peers, and build their ability to manage multiple cultural contexts and value systems. We hope that all the articles in this issue will help to clarify important directions in which to invest time and funding in the OST field.”

Articles included in the current issue include “English Learners and Out-of-school Time Programs: The Potential of OST Programs to Foster EL Success,” "Learning English and Beyond: A Holistic Approach to Supporting English Learners in Afterschool,” “Keeping High-risk Youth on Track to Graduation through Out-of-school Time supports,” “Youth Are Here: Promoting Youth Spaces through Community Mapping,” “A Place for the Arts: Lessons Learned from an Afterschool Art Experience with Reclaimed Materials,” “Power Sharing: Building Community School Relationships from Friendship to Marriage,” and “Researcher’s Notebook: Converging Issues in an Out-of-school Time Program for African Refugee Children.”

Afterschool Matters is published by NIOST with support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, and serves those involved in developing and managing programs for youth during the out-of-school time hours, in addition to those engaged in research and in shaping youth development policy.

For more than 30 years, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time has been dedicated to moving the afterschool field forward through its research, education and training, consultation, and field-building. Much of NIOST’s work has encompassed projects of national scope and influence, several representing “firsts” for the field and many focusing on building out-of-school time systems. NIOST is a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Since 1974, scholars at WCW have helped shape a better world through their social science research projects and action programs.

More information about Afterschool Matters, including links to current and past issues of the journal, is available at http://www.niost.org/Publications/afterschool-matters-journal.

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Donna Tambascio
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