I encourage you all to download and read this study from Public/Private Venture's
. It's a report from a three-year study of the role Boys & Girls Clubs play in the lives of the youth they serve. Making Every Day Count
examines how Club participation is related to youth's positive and healthy development in three outcome areas identified by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as central to its mission: good character and citizenship, academic success and healthy lifestyles.
The report draws on several sources of data—surveys of a low-income, ethnically diverse sample of approximately 320 youth (starting when they were seventh and eighth graders and following them into the ninth and tenth grades), Club attendance records over a 30-month period, and in-depth interviews with a sample of ninth graders—to investigate the relationship between participation and outcomes. The findings show that teens who had higher levels of participation in the Clubs experienced greater positive change on 15 of 31 outcomes examined, including increases in integrity (knowing right from wrong) and academic confidence, decreases in incidents of skipping school, and a lower likelihood of starting to carry a weapon or use marijuana or alcohol.
The key findings of this study apply to site based tutor/mentor programs such as Cabrini Connections, which offer a range of ways for kids to participate, provide a safe place in non school hours, and have staff who provide the same type of adult support that staff at the Boys and Girls Clubs offer. However, tutor/mentor programs go far beyond this because of the way the add extra adults who are not parents and family members, or paid staff, to the mix of adults who make a long-term connection and investment in the lives of kids.
How does this information relate to your own organization?
As you look at the outcomes, ask yourself "who will fund programs because they look like this?" . If we can build a list of donors, or grow new donors, we all have a better chance to provide this level of service to teens, and more.