Resource Library

Welcome to the Sprockets Resource Library

Since you clicked on this page, we’re guessing that you’re like us — fascinated by the positive impact that quality out-of-school time opportunities can make in young people’s lives.

There is a lot of compelling, quality research being conducted on this topic.  We wanted to share just a few of our favorite studies, reports and resources with you. We also encourage you to browse our original Sprockets Publications section.

Fast Facts

  • Young people spend more than 80% of their annual waking hours outside of school. This represents a tremendous opportunity to provide experiences that will enrich the lives of young people and prepare them for success.
  • A review of over 50 studies of afterschool programs suggests that quality afterschool programs improved school attendance, engagement in learning, test scores and grades. (The Afterschool Alliance, 2008.)
  • A decade of research, evaluations, and review of literature provides powerful evidence that afterschool programs make a difference in the lives of youth who attend.  Afterschool programs improve academic performance, social and developmental outcomes, contribute to healthy lifestyle options, and prevent many risky behaviors. The key factor in supporting positive outcomes include access to and sustained participations in quality programming with strong partnerships with schools, families and the community.  (Harvard Family Research Project, 2008.)
  • Every dollar invested in high quality afterschool programs saves tax payers an average of $3. (New York State Afterschool Network, 2008.)
  • High quality afterschool programs can have significant, positive effects on student outcomes, whereas low quality programs can fail to show positive effects or even have negative impacts. (Afterschool Investments Project, 2006.)
  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004, National Summer Learning Association).
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007, National Summer Learning Association).
  • Teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teens who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and they are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity. (YMCA of the USA, March 2001, Afterschool Matters)