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Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children’s Learning

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Opinions

In this post, we are sharing a resource from another organization that supports afterschool and youth development. The following text is not original to School’s Out Washington.

NCSL & Harvard Family Research Project Brief Series: ELO Research, Policy, and Practice

Number 2, April 2012
Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children’s Learning

by Erin Harris, Heidi Rosenberg, & Ashley Wallace

Families play an important role as the primary bridge between the multiple learning settings where their children learn and grow. For this reason, there is an increasing need for expanded learning opportunities (ELOs), including afterschool and other out-of-school time programs, to engage families in more meaningful ways to better support children’s learning and development.

In this second brief in our series with the National Conference of State Legislatures, we explore the ways that families and ELOs must work as equal partners in order to ensure ELOs are contributing to children’s learning in meaningful ways. These include:

Understanding children’s learning needs
Ensuring that program goals and activities align with children’s larger learning goals
Facilitating communication with other settings where children learn to better coordinate learning supports (e.g., tutors, books, and other learning materials)
Sharing key data and results regarding children’s learning progress

This brief discusses these elements in more detail, supported by evidence from recent research.


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