Engaging Older Youth
Middle- and high-school students stand to benefit from strong after-school and other out-of-school time (OST) programs. However, it is much tougher to recruit older than younger youth and make sure they participate in OST activities regularly. This study looks at almost 200 programs serving mostly disadvantaged young people in six cities that are building systems of out-of-school time programs. The researchers find that high retention programs have five key characteristics. Among them: providing leadership opportunities to the students and having staff members who stay informed about students' lives outside of programs.