In February, the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) published After School Programs in the 21st Century: Their Potential and What It Takes to Achieve It (Little, Wimer, & Weiss, 2008), a brief that summarizes 10 years of research on afterschool programs and discusses implications for the future. Featured in the brief are studies that evaluate large afterschool programs with experimental or quasi-experimental designs. The authors, Priscilla M. D. Little, Christopher B. Wimer, and Heather B. Weiss, drew on those evaluations to address two primary questions: 1) Does participation in after school programs make a difference, and, if so, 2) What conditions appear to be necessary to achieve positive results? In this article, we summarize their findings and discuss the characteristics of programs leading to positive student outcomes.

Does participation in afterschool programs make a difference?

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