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Knowledge From the Field

Adolescent Literacy Development in Out-of-School Time: A Practitioner's Guidebook

Published: September 2009

Publisher(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

Author(s): Moje, Elizabeth Birr; Nicole Tysvaer

Funder(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

View Report (72 pages; 1.15MB; PDF)
Time to Act

Area of Focus: Literacy/Reading Skills; Out-of-School Time


The guidebook examines the integration of adolescent literacy development initiatives into a wide variety of OST (Out of School Time) programs. Beyond the reading and writing of written texts, it  includes listening, speaking, and performing – aspects of communication that help people understand written texts.

Key Findings/Key Recommendations

= The most common method of OST literacy instruction is one-on-one and small group tutoring.

= Activities that support adolescent literacy development in out-of-school time incorporated four common programmatic elements to advance learning in their programs: meaningful content, youth development principles, school linkages and parental involvement.

= OST literacy programs should create fun and engaging curriculum that is project-based and responsive to student interests; reflect student cultural and community; provide practical applications and audiences for student work; and expand the learning space beyond the school Building

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Key Words: Low-performing schools, after school programs, elementary and secondary education, school reform; literacy; adolescent literacy; OST; out of school time

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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