Thanks to the leadership and support of caring investors, during the current 2011-2012 program year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area (BGCP) have been able to expand the tracking of outcome measurements to include more youth participants within a wider range of grade levels, and have also implemented a more extensive measurement of youth achievements for the reporting of outcomes.
Tracking the achievements of youth participants through the DIBELS data system, which measures participants’ reading benchmark scores at the start and the end of each program year providing a comparison to their grade level benchmark goals, each child’s scores at these assessment periods are entered into the DIBELS database system to identify them in one of three categories pertaining to their appropriate grade level reading skills: At-Risk, Low-Risk, or At Benchmark.
At minimum, DIBELS assessments are administered twice a year (in the fall and the spring), and this has been the model which has been used by the Literacy Centers since 2009. However, in October 2011, each of the Literacy Centers was able to implement a new DIBELS assessment model, which now includes a total of three annual youth assessments (fall, winter and the spring). Furthermore, each of the Literacy Centers have also expanded the tracking of these assessments to include an additional grade level, 2nd through 4th (where previously, only 2nd and 3rd graders were being tracked). Additionally two locations have begun tracking 5th grade participants, with the hope that each fo the six site locations will be tracking 2nd through 5th grade by the start of the 2012-2013 program year.
During the current 2011-2012 program year, there are a total of 211 youth from six (6) Club site locations who are being tracked for outcome measurements through their participation in Targeted Literacy Intervention programs. These 211 youth are from the following grade levels: 95 second graders; 81 third graders; 30 fourth graders; and 5 fifth graders.
Based upon scores obtained from the mid-year (winter) DIBELS assessments, youth have demonstrated the following outcomes to date:
- 2nd grade participants have demonstrated gains of 42% since the start of the program year.
- 3rd grade participants have demonstrated gains of 28% since the start of the program year.
- 4th grade participants have demonstrated gains of 22% since the start of the program year.
- 5th grade participants have demonstrated gains of 22% since the start of the program year.
Additionally, we also can observe that among the six Club sites that the following is true:
- Among 2nd graders, the median scores at two of the Club sites have met or exceeded mid-year benchmark testing expectations for group participants; these two Clubs are the Blazers Club, and the Jack, Will and Rob Club.
- Among 3rd graders, the median scores at four of the Club sites have met or exceeded mid-year benchmark testing expectations for group participants; these four Clubs are the Blazers Club, Jack, Will and Rob Club, Meyer Club, and the Regence Club. Additionally, the Inukai Club is within range of benchmark for mid-year, scoring only 1.8 WPM (Words Per Minute) below benchmark.
- Among 4th graders, three of the Clubs were within definite range of achieving benchmark goals; these three Clubs are, the Blazers Club, Meyer Club, and the Wattles Club.
- Among 5th graders, from the two Clubs serving youth at this grade level, the Blazers Club currently is exceeding benchmark goals for this grade level.
Based upon the mid-year outcomes demonstrated to date, we are confident that final outcomes which will be reported in the summer of 2012 will demonstrate tremendous achievement gains in the reading development among the total youth who are being served through this program.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland’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. The goal of the Literacy programs is, “to provide educational skills that will build the self confidence, assurance and hope for the educational success of all kids;” as such, this program has been adopted into the organizations long-term strategic and business plan. Plans to sustain this project include the on-going development of a best practices model, raising awareness of the need among youth who are struggling academically, the ongoing development of key partnerships, and securing the support of caring community leaders.