SOURCE: New Jersey After 3

New Jersey After 3

May 18, 2011 18:49 ET

Independent Evaluation Documents Positive Results for Trenton Students and Families

New Jersey After 3's Citywide Afterschool Partnership Deemed Successful Investment

TRENTON, NJ--(Marketwire - May 18, 2011) - New Jersey After 3, a statewide network of afterschool programs, was selected by Trenton Public Schools to implement its research-based model of afterschool programming in all 21 Trenton public schools. This unique initiative, "The Trenton Afterschool Partnership" (TAP), launched in September 2009 for the 2009-2010 school year. A recent independent evaluation of this initiative performed by Policy Study Associates, a national leader in educational research, documented high levels of student & parent satisfaction, attendance, enrollment, retention, and academic achievement.

The Trenton Afterschool Partnership initiative aligned with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's recommended strategies on how to reshape school structures in support of working families who require a safe place for students to learn after traditional school hours. By expanding learning time by more than 30%, high-quality afterschool programs have demonstrated that they positively impact student achievement, improve graduation rates, reduce juvenile crime and prepare students for the 21st century workforce by building critical academic and life skills.

This citywide partnership engaged more than 2,400 students across Trenton's twenty-one public schools from 3pm to 6pm each school day. The programs offered a well-rounded mix of activities, including: Tutoring and Homework Help; Basketball, Tennis, Soccer and Other Sports; Art, Dance and Drama; College and Career Skills; and Volunteerism.

Parents reported that their children performed better in school because of the program, and that access to the program helped them keep their jobs. Students reported a variety of academic benefits and behavioral benefits.

Impressive highlights from the TAP evaluation include:

Parents Reported High Levels of Satisfaction:

  • 93% of parents agreed that their child was doing better in school because of enrollment in the afterschool program and that their child was safer during out-of-school hours.
  • Large majorities agreed that the program provided benefits for their children while also helping to meet parents' own needs.
  • 97% of parents said that the program was important to them.
  • 89% of parents indicated that safety was a "big reason" for enrolling their child in the program.
  • 90% of working parents said that the afterschool program made it easier for them to keep their jobs.

Academic Benefits Associated with the Program:

  • 85% of youth reported that the program helped them finish their homework all or most of the time; 97% of youth reported that the program helped them finish their homework at least some of the time.
  • Youth participants in NJ After 3 TAP reported high levels of exposure to engaging program activities, positive relationships with staff and peers, opportunities to lead, and feelings of attachment to the program. (Key indicators of longer-term academic success.)
  • Youth who spent more time on homework assistance and other academic activities while in the program reported experiencing more academic benefit from participating in the program.

High Attendance/Retention Rates/Time on Task:

  • The average citywide attendance rate was 80% (high among some of the best programs in the nation).
  • Retention: 85% of youth who had enrolled in the program by November remained in the program through the end of May.
  • NJ After 3 TAP participants spent an average of 49% of program time on academic activities. 26% percent of time on health and fitness activities, and 25 % of time on other enrichment activities.

"The numbers speak for themselves," attested Mark Valli, New Jersey After 3's President & CEO. "We were able to provide an evidence-based program to more kids, in more schools, for a fraction of what afterschool programming had cost in previous years. The best takeaway of this evaluation was that students and parents alike reported outstanding academic and social benefits."

New Jersey After 3 programs are supported by a combination of state and other public and private funding sources. "At Capital One Bank, we believe that a quality education is the most important determinant of future success for children and youth. We recognize that public-private partnerships that support education are not only good for our children, but are vital to the continuing economic health of our communities. That's why we are proud to support organizations such as New Jersey After 3 that are helping to expand educational opportunities for students across the state," explained Douglas Kennedy, State Market President of New Jersey, Capital One Bank.

New Jersey After 3 is currently faced with a proposed budget elimination for FY12 and is working with the State Legislature and other State leaders to restore its funding. For more information, please visit: or click HERE to read the complete TAP evaluation summary.

Contact Information

    Shannon Boehmer
    New Jersey After 3
    Email Contact