ENHANCED OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME ACTIVITIES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND Presented by Julie Pokela, Ph.D. Market Street Research, Inc. April, 2004
Objectives • The objectives were to determine for middle school students and their parents: • Decision-making about OST activities • Current participation in and satisfaction with OST activities • Barriers to participation in OST activities • Interest in specific types of organized activities • Preferences for OST program structure • Likely attendance of OST program • Sources of information about OST activities
Methodology • Phase One: Focus Groups
Methodology (cont.) • Phase Two: Survey of Students and Parents • Telephone survey of 200 middle school students and 200 parents of middle school students • Students were interviewed in-person at school • Phone numbers for the parent survey were obtained from middle school students in the Providence school system • Parents were interviewed by telephone • Interviews with students were conducted between January 6 and January 15, 2004 • Interviews with parents were conducted between January 8 and January 25, 2004 • The response rate for the parent survey was 80.2%
Methodology (cont.) • Phase Two: Survey of Students and Parents (cont.) • We weighted the total results based on the actual population distribution of middle school students within the Providence school system, in terms of grade, gender and ethnicity • The intercept interviews with middle school students and the method used to generate phone numbers for parents results in a convenience or non-random sample • For the purpose of analysis, we have treated these results as if they were from a scientific sample, and have calculated an error rate under these assumptions • The margin of error for this study is plus or minus 2.9 to 4.8 percentage points
Race, Ethnicity and Primary Language Race or Ethnicity: Language Spoken Most at Home:
Average Number of Weekdays Spent in Specific OST Activities Number of school days per week
Structured OST Activities Middle School Students are Participating in
Reasons for Dissatisfaction with Out-of-School Time* *Among parents and students who do not like how time after school is spent “a lot” (N=174).
Lack of High-Quality Activities Middle school students: “I support after-school programs completely, because you talk to your friends, and nobody wants to go home after school. Nobody.” “I don’t like going home after school.” “Me neither.” “I just go because I have to. If I had somewhere else to go, I would go somewhere else.”
Barriers to Participation in OST Activities • Students’ safety • The quality of programs and activity leaders, including the extent to which programs offer challenging, rewarding activities and are appropriately supervised • Possible adverse influences from other participants • The cost of participation • Transportation to activities
How Much of a Problem is Having Other Kids in the Program Who Have Bad Attitudes, or Seem Threatening?
Safety Concerns: Parents Respondent: “My daughters, they are not allowed to go nowhere anyway, that’s just the way it is. . . . Sorry, they ain’t going nowhere. . . . ‘You’re not going nowhere. You stay home until I get home from work,’ that’s just the rule now. Basically, I know what they are doing because they are home.” Moderator: “Are you worried about what your kids are doing after school?” Respondent: “Not too much. For the most part, they are always in the house. There are not a lot of after-school programs at the school they go to. There’s a lot of money invested in the computer and a lot of money on the shelf in Play Station. But if that’s what it takes to keep them in…”
Safety Concerns: Students Respondent: “[I would go to an after-school program] if I know other people who are there. . . . ‘Cause you don’t want to be hanging around there by yourself like that.” Moderator: “What about if there were other kids there, but you just didn’t know them?” Respondent: “The problem is there’s a lot of haters.” Moderator: “Haters?” Respondent: “There’s too much stuff going on.” Respondent: “Too much stuff. If I were to make like some beautiful stuff like that [through an after-school program], out on the street, I would take no junk from nobody.”
Quality of Programs and Activity Leaders Parent: “One year, this was a couple years ago, I tried to take them to an after school program. I said, ‘I’m going to give it a shot to see how it is.’ They went in there, I kept them there for three weeks. It was out of control, the kids were not being watched. . . . My kids were getting beat up. They were getting pushed in the bathrooms, punched, and all this stuff. I was like, what is going on? And the people who are supposed to be watching the kids, they not watching them. It was like, you go and leave the kids in there, and they go and chat and drink the coffee. The kids can kill each other there, they don’t care. . . . I felt I was just putting my kids in a dangerous situation. . . . I was like putting them in the lion’s den, and they were just attacking them, you know. That’s how I felt.”
Adverse Influences Parent: “I’m not going to let my child into the after-school program when you have all these different types of people, kids, children, who are coming there and it’s not supervised. We don’t know what the moral content is with all the children. My kids go down to the bus stop, and they are swearing—these are little kids! . . . There’s the price you are going to pay for your child to be in an after-school program: that [it] is just going to tear [down] everything that you are trying to build up in them. It’s not worth it.”
How Much of a Problem is Transportation or Not Having a Good Way to Get to Activities?
Interest in Specific Arts and Culture Activities: Parents* *Among parents interested in any arts or culture programs (N=193).
Interest in Specific Arts and Culture Activities: Students* *Among students interested in any arts or culture programs (N=178).
Preferences Relating to High School or College Student Activity Leaders
Likely Attendance of OST Activities: Average Number of Days Number of school days per week
Community Building Parent: “It is hard to meet the parents, beyond the closest friends of my son and my daughter. But if we could—if parents of each class could have some sort of a program where they could meet, vent their problems, and then assist each other, you know—if [her] daughter is having a problem, and I happen to know my son is in the same class as her, and I know the problems that she’s willing to trust to tell me, then probably I could be of some sort of resource for her.”
Reactions to Program Prices* *Among parents (N=200).
Sources of Information About OST Activities* *Among parents (N=200).