Expansion of Literacy Programs

 
$1,612
$98,388
Raised
Remaining
Jul 18, 2014

2013-2014 Year End Project Report

 At the start of the program year (September of 2013), there were 223 total youth enrolled in the Literacy Intervention program; however by year end there were 190 of the original youth who maintained enrollment as participants. The 33 youth who did not remain in the program were dropped primarily due to families moving outside of the program service area (an issue that is common among the low-income families who are served by the Boys & Girls Clubs, where families tend to be more transient due to employment needs, loss of housing or other family connections).

 As participants dropped out of the program, new youth were enrolled; however, these youth were not tracked with the original cohort group that began in the fall, to ensure that the outcome data would not be distorted. At year end, Including the new youth who joined the program late, there were a total of 221 youth enrolled - 190 who had maintained participation through the entire program year and 31 youth who joined mid-year (December 2013) or later.

 All 190 youth who were tracked for reading proficiency gains ranged from 1st through 5th grade students. The Literacy Intervention staff utilized DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessments to track and measure the reading proficiency of all participants. The assessments were administered every two months to gauge the progress of youth, with the pre and post test scores for the program year being used to measure participant reading achievement gains. The average documented reading proficiency gain for the 190 youth was 66% at year end. The fact that the entire cohort group achieved 66% median gain demonstrates that the participants clearly exceeded the goal of 40%.

In the coming 2014-2015 program year, which will begin in September 2014, we plan to implement a math intervention component that will help provide opportunity to reinforce math skills among participants. However, at this current time, the final decision on the program implementation has not been completed. We are working in conjunction with five local school districts to receive their input on what this program should be and how to track the outcomes most effectively, while supporting our participant’s in-school time. We do however anticipate being able to report on the outcomes of this academic math program at the close of the next program year.

Nov 18, 2013

2013-2014 Targeted Literacy Programs

The Need:
In recent months Portland has reported a rise in some of the most detrimental indicators impacting youth.
  • The number of gang-related incidents reported in 2012 was the highest on record in over a decade (an increase of 281% since 2006).
  • In the state of Oregon, during 2011, students who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch (an indicator of low family income) had an average reading score that was 26 points lower than students from higher income families who were not eligible for the program. Oregon was one of only seven states nationally reporting a widening of the gap between scores of low-income students and higher income students in 2011 compared to their respective scores in 2003. 
  • In the last decade, schools in the Portland area have seen a 14% increase of low income students.
  • 56.1% of total students enrolled in Portland’s schools qualified for Free and Reduced Lunch programs during 2012-2013.
  • In the last decade, schools in the Portland area have seen a 15% increase of students of color. In Multnomah County, the disparity of academic failure is sharply contrasted among children of color verses their counterparts:
  • While 79% of White students met or exceeded 3rd grade reading benchmarks in 2012, only 50% of Black/African American students and 46% of Latino students met the 3rd grade reading benchmark.
  • While 72% of White students met or exceeded 8th grade math benchmarks, only 41% of Black/African American students and 46% of Latino students met the 8th grade math benchmark.
  • Childhood poverty now impacts more than 1 in 4 youth in Multnomah County (26.1%).
 
As these issues of disparity in the Portland area have risen to all-time highs, more families – especially low-income families – have come to rely upon the services offered by the BGCP. In the last decade alone, the number of youth served by the BGCP has increased, 342% and to meet the needs of this growing population the number of Boys & Girls Club site locations in the Portland area has increased 160%. Today, across the majority of our current fourteen site locations, as many as 80% to 90% of BGCP members qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch programs, 30% higher than what is reported across Portland’s local schools—low income youth are in tremendous need of the services we provide.
 
However, BGCP is poised to significantly impact the lives of these youth who need us most; we know our Clubs make a difference. With proven programs spanning six Clubhouses and eight afterschool extension sites, the BGCP offer trained professional staff and experience that has delivered decades of hope and opportunity for youth, enabling them to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible adults.
  • 57% of Club alumni claim the Club saved their life
  • 90% of Club alumni graduate from high school
  • 51% state the Club helped them achieve a higher level of education than thought possible
  • 62% cite they became more committed to their education
  • 45% say the Club was critical to their graduation from high school
  • 33% say they would not have gone to college without the Club
  • 33% were first in their family to attend college
  • 28% state that without the Cub, they would have dropped out of school
 
Our Strategy
Any adverse experience in a child’s life can have a dramatic impact on their ability to succeed in school. Efforts by schools during the school day, and afterschool academic and mentoring programs, such as those offered by the BGCP, can help mitigate these influences and lead to increased academic success for children.
 
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland predominantly serve youth from low-income families and neighborhoods with increased disparity. Among the population of youth served by BGCP there are several major factors undermining grade-level reading proficiency development.
·        Too many children from low-income families lack early interactions that foster linguistic development, including verbal interactions with their parents, being read to, and access to books in their home, compared with children from middle-income families.
·        Over the past decade, almost 38 percent of the nation’s fourth graders, and at least 60 percent of fourth-grade children growing up in poverty, fail to meet basic literacy standards.
·        Low-income children are less likely than middle-income children to participate in high-quality early childhood and pre-kindergarten programs that prepare children to succeed in school. This readiness gap becomes an achievement gap when children enter school, and this gap persists over the students’ school experience.
·        Research shows that low-income children fall behind during the summer by as much as two months of reading achievement—while their middle-income peers make slight gains.
·        Too many children are distracted by childhood hunger and food insecurity, housing insecurity, and family mobility. Almost 1 in 4 American children (Nearly 70% of total BGCP Club members) struggle with hunger and food insecurity (not knowing when the next meal will come).
·        Young children exposed to family violence, parental depression, and abuse and neglect are considerably more likely to experience problems that interfere with learning.
 
Providing early literacy intervention is critical to impacting the academic success of youth who demonstrate signs of struggling in the areas of reading and writing.  Without aggressive and innovative approaches to prevent and remediate reading difficulties, a bleak future awaits many of these children as they transition into adulthood.
 
•      50% of American adults are unable to read an eighth-grade-level book.
·        60% of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.
·        Longitudinal studies show that among children who struggle with reading in the third grade, 74% remain struggling readers in the ninth grade.
·        It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year.
 
 “If educators want to shrink the number of students who drop out of high school each year, they must greatly increase the number who can read proficiently by the time they're in fourth grade. Ralph Smith, executive vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says that for students who aren't proficient in reading by the time they enter the fourth grade, it's "pretty hard for them to catch up on anything."
 
According to research by the National Institute of Health, it is possible to project with better than 80% accuracy that a 3rd grader will later drop out of school based on reading skills which are below grade level, or due to having to repeat a grade. In the Portland metro area, poverty is the single greatest risk factor impacting a child’s school preparedness, and once enrolled there remain a number of factors that impede their success: 1) only 40% of students living in poverty graduate; 2) students of minority are five times more likely to drop out; and 3) youth from single parent homes are almost twice as likely to drop out. These contributing factors are the reality for the majority of BGCP’s Club members.
 
The goal of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland is to ensure that all children receive the supplemental support needed during their out of school time to develop strong reading and writing skills. The importance of providing academic mentoring programs for the youth of the BGCP is critical to our members’ future success. The Boys & Girls Club is uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of youth who, if solely viewed through the lens of statistical data, characterize the number of youth who drop out of school annually, or fail to meet their grade level benchmarks, or become involved in negative social pressures. We cannot sit by and watch these children fall prey to becoming another local statistic.
 
Project Impact:
Since 2006 the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland have provided Targeted Literacy Intervention programs to an average of 240 elementary aged youth across six site locations. This project focuses on the needs of members struggling to attain grade level reading benchmarks. Among youth who participated at the six site locations during the 2012-2013 program year, participants demonstrated the following outcomes:
  • 1st grade participants demonstrated reading proficiency gains of 90%
  • 2nd grade participants demonstrated reading proficiency gains of 56%
  • 3rd grade participants demonstrated reading proficiency gains of 43%
  • 4th grade participants demonstrated reading proficiency gains of 33%
  • 5th grade participants demonstrated reading proficiency gains of 14%
 
The Literacy Centers are open during the afterschool hours between 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Youth participating in the small group sessions receive teacher led and individualized instruction during the hour long session, while they spend the remainder of their Club day engaging in other character building and fun activities. The Centers also provide access to computer programs that are designed to engage youth in the areas of reading progression.
 
To evaluate and ensure the efficacy of these programs, BGCP has developed many local, state, and national partnerships which have provided their support to development, implementation and ongoing success . These partners represent some of the finest minds in the area of research and the education of youth. Some of these partners include: Dr. Edward Kame'enui, the first U.S. Commissioner on Special Education Research and current Dean Knight professor of Education and head of the Center on Teaching and Learning from the University of Oregon; the Slingerland Institute (Bellevue, WA); Dr. G. Reid Lyon, Executive Vice President for Research and Evaluation at Higher Ed Holdings; Dr. Robert Brooks, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Guinevere Eden, Georgetown University (President of International Dyslexia Association); Dr. Nancy Rovai, the Reading & Dyslexia Center of the Desert (Palm Desert, CA); the Prentice School (Santa Ana, CA); Maryanne Wolf, Director of Center for Reading and Language Research, Tufts University; and Charles Schwab Learning Centers.
 
“I heard my child read out loud for the first time. It was amazing. She was so far behind and I couldn’t afford the reading programs she needed. The Boys & Girls Club of Portland Literacy Intervention program changed our lives.”
- Sue, BGCP Parent
The evidence related to outcomes of the Targeted Literacy Intervention Programs is clear and has demonstrated not only a great need among the low-income youth who are served by these programs, but their impact upon the healthy learning development of youth who are recognized as struggling readers.
 
For the past seven years, the positive effects in the lives of youth participating in the literacy programs have been demonstrated through numerous measurable outcomes, such as those previously shared. However, the impact upon the lives of youth members extends well beyond educational achievements. Discovering success through the Targeted Literacy Intervention program is tied such areas as: increased self-confidence, improved work habits and concentration skills, improved social interaction with peers, family and mentors, reduced risky behaviors, and improved school attendance.
 
Through support of such sources as private foundations, corporations and caring individuals, the program has continued with great success. To ensure the continued effectiveness of the Targeted Literacy Intervention Program BGCP is committed to ensuring ongoing program development and improvements, through:
 
  • Staff development and certification trainings
  • Monitoring and coaching of staff
  • Collection and analysis of data demonstrating participant achievements
  • Continued analysis of the strengths of the programs and their ability to reach targeted goals
  • Continued development of partnerships that will enhance and improve program outcomes
 
The long-term goal of these programs is to to impact the academic success of all youth served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area. BGCP’s Literacy Centers are the only such programs operating in the Portland metropolitan area which are open to all youth for the low cost of an annual Club membership of just $5.00/year. BGCP’s Literacy programs provide a necessary, affordable and quality after-school program for youth who are in greatest need of academic support. Plans to sustain this project include the on-going development of a best practice model, raising awareness of the need among youth who are struggling academically, the ongoing development of key partnerships, and securing ongoing support of caring community leaders. 
 
Your gift through Global Giving will make have a life changing impact, with a membership of just $5.00 per year, each gift delivers hope to youth who truly need us most. 

Links:

Aug 13, 2013

2012-2013 Year End Progress Report

The 2012-2013 program year, marks the seventh year of Targeted Literacy Intervention Programs being offered at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area (BGCP). This locally developed program was first implemented in 2006, to address a critical educational need among Club members who had been identified as struggling readers and who were failing to reach their grade level benchmarks: a trend that BGCP recognized was also coinciding with a dropout epidemic that had exceeded 50% in Portland Public Schools.

 In response to this need, in September 2006, the first afterschool Literacy Center was established at the Meyer Memorial Boys & Girls Club, located in the community of Sellwood. In September 2007, the program was expanded to a second location with the grand opening of the Regence Boys & Girls Club in North Portland. In that same year, an in-school pull-out program was established in partnership with Rosa Parks Elementary School (co-located in the same facility as the Regence Club). In 2009, BGCP further expanded the program through the establishment of Literacy Centers at its remaining four Club facilities located across the Portland metro area; today, these programs remain operational at each of the following Club locations:

  •  Meyer Memorial Boys & Girls Club, Portland/Sellwood (Multnomah County), opened in 2006.
  • Regence Boys & Girls Club, North Portland/New Columbia (Multnomah County), opened in 2007.
  • Blazers Boys & Girls Club, NE Portland (Multnomah County), opened in 2009.
  • Wattles Boys & Girls Club, East Portland/Lents (Multnomah County), opened in 2009.
  • Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club, Hillsboro (Washington County), opened in 2009.
  • Jack, Will and Rob Boys & Girls Club, Camas, (Clark County, WA), opened in 2009.

The high school dropout rate in the Portland area has been studied at length, and it is clear that there are early predictive factors (as early as elementary grade levels) among youth who fail to stay in school: 1) Students of minority are five times more likely to drop out; 2) Only 40% of students living in poverty graduate; and 3) Youth from single parent homes are almost twice as likely to drop out. These contributing factors are the reality for the majority of youth attending the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, where nearly 60% of members are minorities, nearly 70% come from low socio-economic circumstances, and one-third of members come from single parent homes. Furthermore, depending upon the disparities found within communities of individual Club sites these statistics rise drastically; for example, in North Portland as many as 85% of Club members served are minorities, 90% of members are from low-come families, and nearly 60% are from single parent homes. 

If educators want to shrink the number of students who drop out of high school each year, they must greatly increase the number who can read proficiently by the time they're in fourth grade. Ralph Smith, executive vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says that for students who aren't proficient in reading by the time they enter the fourth grade, it's "pretty hard for them to catch up on anything."

Beyond these well documented factors lies another instrumental issue which impacts the academic success of more than 10 million children in this country. According to the National Institute of Health 1 out of 5 youth (20%) are struggling with unique learning traits which impact the development of their reading success. This reality, compounded with the socio-economic factors listed above, is something that is witnessed each and every day among members who attend the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland. The alarming rise in dropout rates is not a coincidence—this crucial issue cannot be ignored.

During the 2012-2013 program year, a total of 266 youth participated in the Targeted Literacy Intervention Programs. Most often, youth are referred into the program because they are not meeting their age appropriate benchmark goals, they have been identified with a unique learning trait, or they are displaying signs of becoming disengaged in the educational process. Youth were enrolled into the program with their parents/caregivers authorization.

Each of the six Literacy Centers were open between the hours of 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm (Monday through Friday). Literacy Instructors developed hour-long lesson plans for small groups of 8 to 12 children, with multiple groups rotating into the Centers throughout the program day. Small groups consisted of youth ranging from 1st through 5th grades and groups were organized to meet both the age and skill appropriateness of participants. For example; a child may be a strong reader, yet struggle with his/her writing skills, and therefore might take part in a grade level reading group, while he/she is assigned to a writing group more appropriate for their skill level. All instruction time is designed to engage the involvement of the child’s visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities, while focusing on the simultaneous teaching of both the phonetic rules and the generalizations of the English language.

Throughout the course of the year, youth participants took part in the Targeted Literacy Intervention programs for an average of 4 hours a week, or for one hour a day during their regular attendance at the Club during afterschool hours. To measure the achievement of youth participants throughout the year, youth took part in regular Oral Reading Fluency testing, using the nationally recognized testing measurement known as DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills). The outcomes of these assessments enable instructors to gauge the needs of youth and their individual development in reading skills.

Based upon scores obtained from the DIBELS assessments given throughout the program year, youth participants demonstrated the following outcomes:

  • 1st  graders participating in Boys & Girls Club programs demonstrated median gains of 90% since the start of the program year.
  • 2nd graders participating in Boys & Girls Club programs demonstrated median gains of 56% since the start of the program year.
  • 3rd graders participating in Boys & Girls Club programs demonstrated median gains of 43% since the start of the program year.
  • 4th graders participating in Boys & Girls Club programs demonstrated median gains of 33% since the start of the program year.
  • 5th graders participating in Boys & Girls Club programs demonstrated median gains of 14% since the start of the program year.

 Additionally, we also can observe that among the six Club sites that the following is true:

  •  Among the five Clubs serving 1st graders, two Clubs (Blazers and Regence) saw the overall median scores exceed year-end benchmark expectations. Additionally, one Club (Jack, Will and Rob) achieved 96% achievement of the 40 WPM goal. 
  • Among 2nd graders, two of the six Clubs (Blazers and Jack, Will and Rob) saw the overall median scores exceed year-end benchmark expectations. The remaining Clubs completed the year near the 80% achievement level or less.
  • Among 3rd graders, two of the six Clubs (Inukai and Jack, Will and Rob) saw the overall median scores exceed year-end benchmark expectations. Additionally, one Club (Wattles) achieved 90% achievement of the 110 WPM goal. 
  • Among 4th graders, none of the six Clubs saw the median scores at the year-end meet or exceed the expectation of 118 WPM; however two Clubs (Blazers and Wattles) achieved 93% and 94% respectively, of the year-end goal. 
  •  Among the three Clubs serving 5th graders, none of the Clubs saw the median scores at the year-end meet or exceed the expectation of 124 WPM; however one Club (Wattles) achieved 96 of the year-end goal.

 The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area’s ultimate focus is centered upon being a catalyst for societal change; an effort that we clearly understand is not accomplished alone, but in-hand with many local community partners. To this end, during the 2013-2014 program year, BGCP plans to expand the number of youth served through the Targeted Literacy Intervention programs, but additionally is committed to obtaining empirical evidence demonstrating the reading proficiency of Club members by the end of the 3rd grade year. BGCP will accomplish this by administering DIBELS assessments to a minimum of 100 youth per site location (600 youth total) at the start and end of the program year.

 The youth who will take part in these assessments will be a cohort (enrolled in grade levels 1st through 3rd grade), yet who are not enrolled in the Targeted Literacy Intervention programs. BGCP will use the outcomes of these assessments to further evaluate the effectiveness of our overall youth development programs on the educational success of Club members by the end of the 3rd grade; compared to their grade-level peers throughout the Portland metro area. This cohort of 600 youth will be evaluated during the fall of 2013 and again in the spring of 2014. The expectation of these assessments will be to demonstrate the impact of reading development upon youth who participate in a structured ongoing youth guidance and development program and the impact upon their reading skill development, compared to the general population.

For the past seven years, the academic outcomes which have resulted in the lives of youth who have participated in the Targeted Literacy Intervention programs have been demonstrated by measurable evidence; however, the impact on the lives of program participants has extended well beyond their educational achievements. Other areas of positive impact that are being witnessed in the lives of youth who take part in these programs are:

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved work habits and concentration skills
  • Improved social interaction with peers, family and mentors
  • Reduced involvement in risky behaviors
  • Improved school attendance

 The evidence related to outcomes of the Targeted Literacy Intervention Programs is clear and has demonstrated the potential to both support and promote healthy learning development among youth who are recognized as struggling readers. Moreover, there is warrant for continued public and private support and investment in these programs, which is closing the educational gap for low-income children whose families have extremely limited resources available to them.

To ensure the continued effectiveness of the Targeted Literacy Intervention Program, BGCP is committed to ensuring ongoing program development and improvements, through providing the following during the 2013-2014 program year:

  • Ongoing staff development and certification trainings
  • Monitoring and coaching of staff
  • Collection and analysis of data demonstrating participant achievements
  • Continued analysis of the strengths of the program and its ability to reach targeted goals
  • Continued development of partnerships that will enhance and improve program outcomes

Since 2006, BGCP's quest for literacy has constantly remained in the process of deveopling key partnerships and supportive relationships with nationally recognized partners committed to the effort ofproviding academic support to youth struggling with reading and writing development. We believe that this review of the Targeted Literacy Intervention programs being offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland provides strong empirical support for the continuation and ongoing development of theseprograms. We hope these outcomes will continue to stimulate the support of caring donors who have shown thei support through Global Giving over the years.

May 28, 2013

2012-2013 Mid-Year Report

I.          Project Summary 2012-2013

Thanks to the leadership of the caring donors, during the current 2012-2013 program year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland (BGCP) have been able to expand the tracking of outcome measurements to include youth participants
within a wider range of grade levels, adding 1st grade level participants. With the addition of first grade participants in 2012-2013, BGCP is tracking outcomes for a total of 216 elementary aged youth enrolled in 1st through 5th grades at schools spanning 3 counties across the greater Portland metro area.

BBGCP’s Targeted Literacy Intervention program measures the outcomes of youth through a number of measurement tools; one primary measurement tool is DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) used in schools across the county. DIBELS is utilized by BGCP to track the Oral Reading Fluency progress of program participants. Adding first grade participants does present a slight departure in comparison to other grade levels participating in the program. Though BGCP administered DIBELS assessments to the first grade
participants at the start of the program year (pre-test), a benchmark expectation for reading proficiency does not exist at the start of the 1st grade, yet this pre-test does provide us a benchmark to measure progress.

What this means is this, though we can establish a benchmark at the start of the program year, because 1st grade students have typically not yet been provided reading instruction (which begins at the first grade level), DIBELS assessments are not typically administered until 4 months into the school year. Therefore, though the following report provides data on first grade benchmarks at the start of the year, this information is only to demonstrate where this group of participants were at the start of the program, and should not be considered comparable an established national benchmark.

BGCP administers DIBELS assessments to participants three times a year, in the fall (October), winter (January/February) and the spring (June) to measure a child’s reading proficiency at appointed periods
during the program year and to also demonstrate the child’s improvement from start to end of their individual grade level.

The outcomes reported in the remainder of this report include the results of assessments which were performed in October 2012, at the start of the program year, and assessments which were administered to youth in February 2013, which provide mid-year outcomes.

II.          PROGRAM DESIGN

During the current 2012-2013 program year, there are a total of 216 youth from six (6) Club site locations who are being tracked for outcome measurements through their participation in Targeted Literacy Intervention
programs which are demonstrated in this mid-year report.

The program currently serves youth enrolled in 1st through 5th grades across six Club sites, which are located in the
following three counties: Multnomah County (OR), Washington County (OR) and Clark County (WA):

Club Sites:

  • Blazers Boys & Girls Club, NE Portland (Multnomah County)
  • Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club, Hillsboro (Washington County)
  • Jack, Will and Rob Boys & Girls Club, Camas (Clark County)
  • Meyer Boys & Girls Club, Portland/Sellwood (Multnomah County)
  • Regence Boys & Girls Club, North Portland (Multnomah County)
  • Wattles Boys & Girls Club, East Portland/Lents (Multnomah County

Literacy instructors develop hour-long lesson plans for small groups of 8 to 12 children, with multiple groups rotating into the Centers throughout the program day. Small groups are organized to meet both the age and skill appropriateness of participants, (a child may be a strong reader, yet struggle with his/her writing skills, and therefore might take part in grade level reading groups, while he/she is assigned to a writing group more appropriate to their skill level). All instruction time is designed to engage the involvement of the child’s Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic modalities, while focusing on the simultaneous teaching of both the phonetic rules and the generalizations of the English language.

The primary instructional method being utilized by the literacy instructors is the Slingerland Multisensory Approach®, which has been utilized in both public and private schools for more than 60 years. The Slingerland Multisensory Approach is not a curriculum, but a teaching method, which is adaptable to any form of academic material.

For beginning readers, instruction begins with the smallest unit of sight, sound, and touch—a single letter. Expanding upon that single unit, children were taught through an approach that strengthens intersensory associations, enabling their strongest channels of learning to reinforce the weaker. From single letters, participants are taught how to associate sounds with their visual counterparts, put letters together to spell words, add suffixes and prefixes, write phrases, and sentences and paragraphs. For children in more advanced groups, instead of working on a weekly spelling list for example, instructors provide them a dictation paragraph, teaching them concurrent practice with punctuation, capitalization, and language mechanics, as well as spelling.

Additionally, each of the Literacy Centers is equipped with up to 10 workstations or laptops with access to multiple on-line education tools. Each of these on-line programs is researched based and has been designed to enhance the academic success of elementary grade students and struggling readers, offering self-paced, interactive, and fun opportunities, which enhance the learning process. The Literacy Centers also offer a variety of academic programs proven to increase engagement in school, promote on-time grade progression and self-sufficiency among members.

Youth participants involved in the after-school programs attend their local Boys & Girls Club an average of 3 to 4 days each week, averaging 4 hours per visit at the Club. During each visit, these youth attend the Literacy Centers to participate in hour-long literacy group sessions, while the remainder of their time at the Club permits them to participate in a number of fun, creative programs, which are designed to keep them productive and engaged, while learning to develop the skills of good citizenship and responsibility. Each participant averages 3 to 4 hours each week involved in after-school targeted literacy programs.

III.          OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS ORGANIZATION WIDE

The following information details the combined median scores for all participants from each Club site and by each grade level at pre-testing (October 2012) and at mid-year-testing (February 2013). Additionally it should be noted that the following mid-year scores (though each demonstrate improved reading proficiency by each grade level), represents youth who have been enrolled into the program based upon the need for substitutional instruction,

The need of each of these participants varies from participant to participant as well as by grade level. For example, among all program participants, those enrolled in 4th and 5th grade in the current program demonstrate some of the most identifiable unique learning traits among the youth currently involved in the program, which is clearly demonstrated by the outcome of their oral reading fluency scores compared to their expected mid-year benchmarks demonstrated below. BGCP outcome measurements are not attempting to demonstrate these children are achieving their expected grade level benchmarks, as much as demonstrating their successes.

Based upon scores obtained from the mid-year DIBELS assessments, youth have demonstrated the following outcomes:

  • 1st grade participants have demonstrated gains of 101% since the start of the program
  • 2nd grade participants have demonstrated gains of 50% since the start of the program year, in comparison to 42% achieved during the same time period in 2011-2012.
  • 3rd grade participants have demonstrated gains of 28% since the start of the program year, in comparison to the same level gain of 28% achieved during the same time period in 2011-2012.
  • 4th grade participants have demonstrated gains of 28% since the start of the program year, in comparison to 22% achieved during the same time period in 2011-2012.
  • 5th grade participants have demonstrated gains of 26% since the start of the program year, in comparison to 22% achieved during the same time period in 2011-2012.

Based upon the mid-year outcomes demonstrated in this report, BGCP is confident that final outcomes being reported through the DIBELS data system for the current program year will demonstrate strong achievement gains in the reading development among the total youth who are being served through this program.



Feb 8, 2013

2012-2013 Program Year

Developing Writing Skills
Developing Writing Skills

The Literacy Intervention Programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area (BGCP) were first established in 2006 with the implementation of the Harris Literacy Center at the Meyer Boys & Girls Club. Today, there are a total of six (6) Literacy Centers located within Club facilities throughout the Portland metro area, and one (1) pull-out program being operated in partnership with Rosa Parks Elementary School (Portland Public Schools). The Literacy Center programs are available to all Club members ages 6 to 18, and serve an average of 250 youth annually who participate in a Targeted Literacy Intervention program, and an additional 1,000 youth who receive additional academic support. The Targeted Literacy Intervention programs provide instruction which emphasizes a multisensory approach to language arts, with the emphasis of keeping all youth engaged in learning and on track for proper grade progression and future graduation. 

At the start of each program year, each of the Literacy Centers at each Club provides an assessment to elementary-aged youth members to measure their reading and writing proficiency. Based upon the outcomes of these assessments youth are categorized into one of three areas: 1) on target for meeting grade level benchmarks, 2) at some risk of meeting grade level benchmarks, or 3) at risk of reading grade level benchmarks. Based upon these scores, and with the cooperation of parents/guardians, youth are enrolled into a yearlong Literacy program, which they are required to participate in three to four days a week for an hour a day.

For an elementary student who is struggling with reading and writing development, their struggle can be the catalyst for many devastating challenges.  They struggle with self-esteem and confidence, anger and frustration (in and out of the classroom). Research clearly demonstrates that the ability to read, and read well is essential for life success. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, we are committed to ensuring that every child in our care has the opportunities to succeed and fulfill their hopes and dreams.

The following testimony comes from a parent and highlights the impact of these programs upon a 3rd grade participant in the program.

Dear Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland,

My daughter Anna is currently enrolled in the Literacy Program at the Boys and Girls Club. This program has had a huge impact on my daughter and has helped her become more efficient in her reading and ability to maintain interest in reading.

Anna has ADHD, she had a hard time concentrating long enough to be able to read at the beginning of this year. It used to be really hard for her to even attempt to sound out words on her own, before she would get frustrated and become very emotional, lowering her self-esteem over not being able to sit and read like her other classmates.

Since Anna was enrolled into the literacy group she has been reading chapter books, and is able to sound out long difficult words on her own. She is able to concentrate better as she is in a smaller group of kids then in her classroom at school and feels more confident that she will get the help she needs, when she needs it.

Ms. Emily (the Literacy Instructor) has had such a great relationship  with my daughter that has really helped my whole family, I can't imagine where my daughter would be if it wasn't for Ms. Emily's excellent desire to educate and help those who are struggling. This program has not only allowed my daughter to feel great about herself
as a person but has helped her academically reach a higher level in her classroom as well.

The Literacy Program is one of the best programs that my daughter has been enrolled in and should be done every year to help children in need.

The small group setting, the ability to have an awesome teacher who supports them during frustrating times, rewards them for jobs well done and being able to meet frequently, really has helped my daughter overcome the insecurities and feelings of embarrassment that she is not at the same level as her peers.

I look forward to watching Anna become a strong reader and confident with herself by getting the support she needs.

Thank you for all you do for my little one.

For the past three years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland have tracked and reported on the outcome measurements of hundreds of youth who have participated in the program with tremendous successes. We are greatly  encouraged with the outcomes of the 2011-2012 measurements which demonstrated the following achievements among participants.

  • 2nd graders participating in Boys & Girls Club afterschool programs demonstrated gains of 72% in reading proficiency since the start of the program year.
  • 3rd graders participating in Boys & Girls Club afterschool programs demonstrated gains of 50% in reading proficiency since the start of the program year.
  • 4th graders participating in Boys & Girls Club afterschool programs demonstrated gains of 40% in reading proficiency since the start of the program year.
  • 5th graders participating in Boys & Girls Club afterschool programs demonstrated gains of 43% in reading proficiency since the start of the program year.

The support of these programs is essential to ensure that youth who are struggling in the area of reading and writing development have the tools to overcome their challenges and are able to achieve life success. Every dollar counts and every donor is a champion!

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Project Leader

Daniel Laruendeau

Executive Development Officer
Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Expansion of Literacy Programs