The ASAP Five Star After School Partnership, a unique public-private partnership between ARCHS, State of Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (21st Century Community Learning Centers), St. Louis City Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, Wyman Center and St. Louis Public Schools, continues to show positive results among more than 400 students in five St. Louis area public middle schools.
An evaluation of the after school partnership during its first full year of operation (2008-2009) by the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL) shows an improvement in report card grades of participating students, as well as teacher reports of improved academic achievement and behavior. In one school year, 70 percent of failing students increased their grades by one letter or more. In terms of behavior, 61 percent of students that needed to improve showed slight to significant improvement in that area.
The young people in Five Star said being able to grow academically and as a community were their favorite aspects of the after school partnership.
"The stuff they have us do is challenging, but fun to do and it helps us work as a team and come together as a school," said Airrion, an eighth-grade student at Stevens Middle Community Education Center.
"We get to have individual time with our teachers that we don't get in class," said Laquisha, an eighth-grade students from Stevens Middle School.
At Long Middle CEC Academy, Daniel, an eighth-grade student said: "It builds teamwork and I like to have a team behind me. I also like to have somebody that is willing to help me."
Five Star launched in February 2008, enrolling more than 400 students at five area middle schools: Compton-Drew Investigative Learning Center, Gateway Middle School, Langston Middle School, Long Middle CEC Academy and Stevens Middle Community Education Center. In the 2008-2009 school year, over 400 teens enrolled in Five Star after school. Demographically, the partnership targets those students in high-poverty areas who attend low-performing schools. It is reaching the most needy and academically at-risk students in the St. Louis area.
"The purpose of our after school partnership is to enhance school success for enrolled students, and provide them with the key support and opportunities necessary for healthy development," said Dave Hilliard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wyman. "This unique collaborative is built upon the strengths of our partners, with a focus on outcomes for the youth we serve."
"Working in a community struggling to meet the educational needs of its young people, our innovative after school partnerships represent real solutions, real community collaborations and a real commitment to successfully build and strengthen the assets of St. Louis' youth," said Wendell E. Kimbrough, ARCHS' Chief Executive Officer.