In light of research proving the importance of out-of-school time (OST) in children’s learning and development, SMART is piloting a new OST SMART model during the 2018-19 school year. This model retains the core elements of SMART: one-on-one reading sessions with trained volunteers and access to books to keep while expanding programming outside of the school day. OST programs will take place during afterschool programs, in partnership with community organizations, and during the summer. During the piloting phase for this model, we are gathering both quantitative and qualitative evidence of student outcomes and honing the model to meet the needs of partner organizations, staff, and volunteers.

Model Benefits:

  • Research supports the impact of out-of-school programming, especially for children of color and in one-on-one settings. Summer programs and afterschool programs can address the “summer slide” and reinforce learning that occurs throughout the school day.
  • This model allows us to reach more students by offering programming outside school buildings and during hours when in-school programming is not an option.
  • Offering programming outside of school hours provides an opportunity to increase community engagement by reducing employment and cultural barriers to participating for adult volunteers, particularly for potential volunteers from communities that have been historically underrepresented in our program.
  • The OST model creates opportunities to continue to build and sustain culturally-specific partnerships.

To learn more about SMART’s OST model, contact Alexis James, SMART Program Director, at ajames@getsmartoregon.org or 971-634-1606.