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Give a Summer for Boston

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Analysis of the summer programs participation, future summer plans, and barriers to summer programs for 227 students around Boston. Survey conducted in spring 2015.

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Give a Summer for Boston

  1. 1. GIVE A SUMMER FOR BOSTON Analysis of the summer programs participation, future summer plans, and barriers to summer programs for 227 students around Boston. Survey conducted in spring 2015. Prepared by Give a Summer ramon@giveasummer.org GiveaSummer.org
  2. 2. Background on report 2 • This is the public version of a report Give a Summer created based on 227 student surveys across several Boston area schools asking students about their summer program participation, future summer plans, and barriers to accessing summer programs. • Give a Summer collaborated with Generation Citizen, an innovative in-school civics program, to include Give a Summer’s survey with Generation Citizen’s spring 2015 end- of-semester survey to students. • Parental consent for participation in Give a Summer’s survey was secured through BPS- approved consent forms. Generation Citizen processed the data which Give a Summer then analyzed. • Give a Summer is releasing this public report as a further example of how communities can better understand and support youth participation in summer opportunities. • Give a Summer believes that getting communities to collect and analyze data about where and why kids miss out on summer programs will: • improve youth access to summer programs by broadly identifying high-need areas and barriers to summer program participation • empower youth-serving organizations, such as schools and mentoring organizations, to more effectively target and support individual students to make great summer plans • strengthen advocacy efforts by clarifying the need for opportunities • increase public accountability for improvement
  3. 3. Outline of presentation • Executive Summary • Findings: Previous summer participation • Findings: Barriers to summer participation • Areas for action • Areas for investigation 3 Slide # 4 7 8 13 15
  4. 4. Executive summary: key facts Past attendance: 39% of students attended a program last summer. Satisfaction: Students enjoy their programs: about 65% enjoyed their programs, with another 20% saying they somewhat did. Future plans: Student interest in attending programs varies: 32% are interested, while another 28% are not sure. Barriers: Across all students, the largest barrier to summer participation is conflicts with family vacation plans (24% of students said that was a big deal for them), with lack of interest in programs and not knowing about programs that interest them close behind. • When comparing students who went to a program and those that did not, lack of awareness of summer programs that interest the student and being needed at home were significantly larger barriers for the second group, suggesting these barriers may be key ones blocking students from accessing programs. • When comparing students who want to go to a program over the summer vs. those who are not sure, summer program conflicts with family vacation plans and being needed at home stand out as larger barriers for the students who are not sure, suggesting that these barriers may be particularly important to students’ planning for the summer. 4
  5. 5. Executive summary: key actions Highlight programs that have flexible schedules to accommodate family vacation plans: This was a big deal to 24% of students and by a good margin the biggest barrier to participation, both for students who want to attend a program this summer and (especially) for students who are not sure. Lack of interest in program options matters, but can be solved. This was the 2nd largest barrier and a differentiator between students who did and did not attend a program last year. Given the relatively high satisfaction of students with programs, one approach is to learn about the programs students are already attending and enjoying and share these programs with students struggling to find ones. Personalize support to students interested in attending but who didn’t last year or who are unsure about attending but only have one or two ‘big deal’ barriers. 10% of students fall into the first category and another 7% more students are in the second group. Personal outreach to these students could be particularly effective to help them access summer opportunities. Use student-level data on barriers to effectively connect students with programs that match their interests and needs. The Excel file (not included in this public report) has student-level data on past and upcoming attendance and student ratings of summer program barriers to help effectively and efficiently connect students with summer programs that match their needs. 5
  6. 6. Executive summary: key questions What are parent perspectives on barriers to summer program participation? • Impact: improve efforts to expand summer access by incorporating influential parent perspective When and for how long do families take vacations? • Depending on when and for how long families take vacations, there are different ways to best support summer opportunities for students: highlighting programs in July for families that take August vacations or recommending week by week programs for families that travel in July. • Impact: better target communication and suggestions to students’ and families’ needs. How do students’ plans for summer participation compare to their actual summer participation? • Knowing how well students’ plans for the summer match their outcomes would inform how much do you want to concentrate on students who are not sure of their plans vs. working more broadly with all students. • Impact: more effectively help students access summer opportunities Why are students needed at home over the summer? • This was a major relative barrier between students who did and did not attend programs. Understanding the reasons why students are needed at home is crucial to effectively helping students find programs that work around this barrier for students. 6
  7. 7. Findings: participation, enjoyment, and future plans 7 • High program satisfaction suggests there is room to increase student interest in attending a program. Did you attend a summer program last summer? Did you enjoy the summer program? How long was the program? Do you want to attend a program next summer?
  8. 8. Findings: description of different barriers 8 • Students were asked to rate how important various potential barriers were to participating in summer programs. • Below, the text of those barriers is presented and barriers are grouped into categories. • Students rated barriers as a “Big deal”, “Small deal”, or “Does not apply” • Those descriptions were converted to scores: “Big deal” is a 2, “Small deal” is 1, “Does not apply” is 0
  9. 9. Findings: barriers to summer participation 9 • “Conflict with family vacation” was the largest barrier to summer program participation, with lack of interest and lack of excitement about summer options close behind. • Expense of programs, transportation, and childcare responsibilities at home were also sizable barriers.
  10. 10. Findings: barriers to summer participation based on previous attendance 10 • Students who did not attend a program last summer rated lack of interest in programs and being needed at home as significantly higher barriers than students who attended a program. • That finding suggests that those factors may be crucial swing factors that affect students’ eventual participation in programs. See dark green • Action: Focus on helping students find programs that match their interests and understanding more why students are needed at home.
  11. 11. Findings: barriers to summer participation based on upcoming interest 11 • Students who are unsure about attending programs rated conflicts with family vacations as substantially larger barriers than students did who are interested in attending programs (see dark green). • Students who are unsure had moderately higher barriers than students who wanted to go to a program across almost all categories, suggesting that student perceptions of access barriers are meaningfully informing their interest in participating in summer programs. • Action: To help students who are unsure about attending a programs, this data suggests especially highlighting programs with more flexible schedules that can work around family vacation plans.
  12. 12. Findings: barriers to summer participation for interested students who didn’t attend last summer 12 • 10% of students want to attend a program but didn’t last year. • When compared to all students interested in attending a program, the students who didn’t attend one last year rate most barriers almost exactly the same. • Action: To help students interested in programs but who didn’t attend last year, there is no silver bullet barrier to focus on. Still, personalized support for these students might be particularly impactful given students’ interest in attending a program but non-attendance last summer.
  13. 13. Areas for action: general 13 Highlight programs that have flexible schedules to accommodate family vacation plans: In addition to lack of interest in program options, this was the biggest barriers to participation, both for students who want to attend a program this summer and for students who are not sure. • Action: Find and highlight programs that have week-by-week schedules • Action: Find and highlight programs that are daily, such as these run by BCYF Lack of interest in program options matters, but can be solved. This was the 2nd largest barrier and a differentiator between students who did and did not attend a program last year. • Action: recommend to students unexcited by their options some of the great programs students have previously enjoyed.
  14. 14. Areas for action: student specific 14 Two groups of students seem like promising ones to focus personalized support on: • 1) Want to attend but didn’t last year: 10% of students fall into this category which seems a promising area to focus individual attention on. No barriers stand out for these students compared to their peers, though personalized support and encouragement could make a big difference. • 2) Not sure of attending but only have one or two big deal obstacles: this applies to 7% of students and is another promising group of students to support with individualized help. See the accompanying Excel for more information on these students (not included in public report). Use student-level data on barriers to effectively connect students (and families) with programs that match their needs. The attached Excel file (not included in public report) has student-level data on attendance and summer program barriers to help effectively and efficiently connect students with summer programs that match their needs. • Action: Use data to best match students with programs visiting school. • Action: Share “top students to focus on” with each homeroom teacher.
  15. 15. Areas for investigation 15 What are parent perspectives on barriers to summer program participation? • For example, students don’t rate difficulty signing up for programs as that big a deal, though teachers often describe this as a big challenge. What do parents think? • Impact: improve efforts to expand summer access by incorporating influential parent perspective When and for how long do families take vacations? • Depending on when and for how long families take vacations, there are different ways to best support summer opportunities for students: highlighting programs in July for families that take August vacations or recommending week by week programs for families that travel in July. • Impact: better target communication and suggestions to students’ and families’ needs. How do students’ plans for summer participation compare to their actual summer participation? • Knowing how well students’ plans for the summer match their outcomes would inform how much do you want to concentrate on students who are not sure of their plans vs. working more equally with all students. • Impact: more effectively help students access summer opportunities Why are students needed at home over the summer? • This was a major relative barrier between students who did and did not attend. • Impact: crucial to effectively problem-solving for this barrier.

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