As anyone who knows a teen or a tween can attest, media are among the most powerful forces in young people’s lives today. Eight- to eighteen-year-olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping—an average of more than 7½ hours a day, seven days a week. The TV shows they watch, video games they play, songs they listen to, books they read and websites they visit are an enormous part of their lives, offering a constant stream of messages about families, peers, relationships, gender roles, sex, violence, food, values, clothes, and an abundance of other topics too long to list. Understanding the role of media in young people’s lives is essential for those concerned about promoting the healthy development of children and adolescents, including parents, pediatricians, policymakers, children’s advocates, educators, and public health groups. It is the purpose of this study to foster that understanding by providing data about young people’s media use: which media they use, which they own, how much time they spend with each medium, which activities they engage in, how often they multitask, and how they differ from one another in the patterns of their media use. Our aim is to provide a more solid base from which to examine media’s effects on children and to help guide those who are proactively using media to inform and educate America’s youth.
Children whose parents make an effort to limit media use--through the media environment they create in the home and the rules they set--spend less time with media than their peers.A Kaiser Family Foundation Study (January 2010)
This longitudinal study examined associations between three after-school program quality features (positive staff–child relations, available activities, programming ﬂexibility) and child developmental outcomes (reading and math grades, work habits, and social skills with peers) in Grade 2 and then Grade 3. Participants (n = 120 in Grade 2, n = 91 in Grade 3) attended after-school programs more than 4 days per week, on average. Controlling for child and family background factors and children’s prior functioning on the developmental outcomes, positive staff–child relations in the programs were positively associated with children’s reading grades in both Grades 2 and 3, and math grades in Grade 2. Positive staff–child relations also were positively associated with social skills in Grade 2, for boys only. The availability of a diverse array of age-appropriate activities at the programs was positively associated with children’s math grades and classroom work habits in Grade 3. Programming ﬂexibility (child choice of activities) was not associated with child outcomes.
It appears that in both Grade 2 and Grade 3, both boys and girls are sensitive to how positive the after-school program staff are to children in their programs.Pierce, K.M., Bolt, D.M., Vandell, D.L. (2010). American Journal of Community Psychology.
Identifying quality as a priority is an important first step, but addressing it in a systemic way is complicated; it requires research, planning, consensus building, resource development, managing new processes and sometimes redefining old relationships. This guide can help those working to create better, more coordinated afterschool programming get started building a QIS, or further develop existing efforts. It helps readers understand what constitutes an effective QIS, describes the tasks involved in building one, and offers examples and resources from communities whose work is blazing a trail for others.
DEFINITIONS OF LEARNING ARE SHIFTING. Momentum to expand learning opportunities beyond the school day and school building is spurring dialogue about what, where, when and how children and youth learn. Schools face unprecedented budget constraints as they consider these questions, making this an even more pressing opportunity to rethink the learning infrastructure in communities. Afterschool systems have a short window of time to demonstrate they can be viable, accountable partners in community-wide efforts to support learning and development.”Yohalem, N., Devaney, E., Smith C., & Wilson-Ahlstrom, A. (October 2012)