Ready by 21 Dashboard

Outcome: Socially and Civically Engaged

Involved In Extracurricular Activities

Still improving

Significance of Indicator: The term Out of School Time (OST) refers to the array of safe, structured programs that provide children and youth from kindergarten through high school with a range of supervised activities intentionally designed to encourage learning and development outside of the typical school day.  OST programs occur before and after school, on the weekends, during school holidays, and in the summer.  They take place in a variety of settings, including schools, museums, libraries, parks, faith-based organizations, youth service agencies, health agencies, and community-based organizations. Activities offered by OST programs include academic enrichment, tutoring, mentoring, arts (e.g., music, theater, and drama), technology, science, civic engagement, health and fitness, and activities to support and promote healthy social/emotional development.

Children who participate in Out of School Time programs are more likely to be academically successful, healthy and safe.  Out of School Time programs decrease the likelihood that students will engage in risky behaviors and increase potential to thrive academically, socially and physically.  Participation in afterschool programs also directly correlates with higher attendance rates for public school students.

what the data tell us

Definition: The percentage of K-12 students enrolled in area public schools who participated in afterschool programs for more than 30 days during the 2010-2011 academic year in economically disadvantaged areas of Central Texas.

Data Source: Central Texas Afterschool Network Mapping Study

Data Considerations: This data was based upon a survey distributed to after school program providers in 17 low income zip codes in Central Texas. Zip codes were classified as low income if 70% of children attending area public schools qualified for free or reduced price lunch. Zip codes included in this study are located in Austin, Manor, and Del Valle.

The story behind the data

A survey conducted by the Central Texas Afterschool Network (CTAN) found 22% of youth attending schools in 17 low income zip codes in Central Texas participated in afterschool programs for greater than 30 days during the 2010-2011 school year.  59,795 students are enrolled in public schools within the 17 zip codes surveyed for the CTAN study.   13,331 of these students attended an afterschool program for more than 30 days this past academic year.  Of the 17 zip codes surveyed for the CTAN study, the 78722, 78751, 78757, and 78748 zip codes house the fewest number of OST programs and serve the fewest students.†

Engaging in community, school and/or extracurricular activities is a key component to securing healthy outcomes for youth.  After school programming offers a structured environment for students to participate in healthy enrichment activities, and decreases the likelihood that students will participate in risky behaviors. Students who regularly participate in afterschool programming perform better academically, attend school more regularly, and graduate from high school at higher rates than their peers who do not attend.   

A recent national study found that students who participated in federally funded afterschool programs saw significant grade improvement in math (42%) and reading (43%). Studies have also shown that participation in afterschool programming decreases the number of reported behavior problems and the prevalence of drug and alcohol use among disadvantaged youth.  Students who participate in afterschool programs are also less likely to be obese or become teen parents.

Out of school time programming has enormous potential to increase academic equity and provide a safety net for students from low income communities who may not have access to other support systems.  62% of Austin ISD students, 85% of Del Valle ISD students, and 79% of Manor ISD students are economically disadvantaged‡.

Over the past 10 years, total student enrollment increased by 9% in Austin ISD, 67% in Del Valle ISD, and 179% in Manor ISD.  During this period, the number of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch in each district increased by 48%, 122%, and 315% respectively÷.  Additionally, between 2004 and 2009, the number of children living in poverty under 5 in Travis County rose from 15% to 26%°.  In light of this data, the number of economically disadvantaged students enrolled in Austin, Del Valle, and Manor is projected to continue to rapidly increase in the near future.  Statistically, these students are often less academically successful, have lower graduation rates, are less likely to meet college readiness standards, are less likely to have health insurance, and are more likely to participate in risky behaviors.  Financial and social investment in prevention and support systems such as afterschool programming will be critically necessary to serve the needs of this growing student population. 

Initial analysis of the 2010-2011 CTAN mapping study identified multiple areas for improvement in the provision of afterschool programming for low income areas of Travis County.  The data suggests OST services in could be improved by expanding outreach efforts to engage and inform parents about afterschool programming, enhancing the types of services provided per programming site, increasing the number of afterschool services available to high school students, and expanding summer programming.  Currently, approximately 11% of youth enrolled in public schools in low income areas of Travis County attend OST programming during the summer.  The survey data also indicates increased interest among OST site directors and coordinators in the use of assessment tools such as the Youth Program Quality Assessment to improve OST programs.†

†CTAN, "CTAN Mapping Study"  Survey.  June 1, 2011
‡"Academic Excellence Indicator  2009-2010."  Texas Education Agency, 2010.  Accessed on June 23, 2011. http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/2010/index.html
÷Harner, Dennis. "Demographic Analysis and Enrollment Projections for the Austin Independent School District"  Harner and Associates.  December 16, 2010.  http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/2004bond/boundaries/docs/2011_demographic_update_report.pdf
°American Community Survey

Local efforts to improve the indicator

A closer look at the data

This information is still under development

contributors for this indicator

Central Texas Afterschool Network (CTAN)