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What Can Young People Teach Us About Out-of-School Time?

"Beyond the Classroom" podcast digs into findings from a student-led study on improving out-of-school-time programs
March 14, 2023 2 Min Read
Graphic for the Beyond the Classroom Podcast series showing keyboard, notebook, pen and headphones

​​“It's so important to think about the part that youth can play in shaping what an out-of-school-time or an afterschool program looks like.”

That’s what Shelby Drayton had to say about the importance of including young people in out-of-school-time (OST) planning in Episode One of our new podcast series, Beyond the Classroom. Drayton is a senior program manager for UP Partnership, a San Antonio-based nonprofit that convenes partners in Bexar County to provide healing, access, and voice to local youth.

The podcast series explores findings from a recent Wallace-commissioned, student-designed study which surfaced young people’s insights into how to improve out-of-school-time programs. Topics discussed range from how to make programs accessible and welcoming to supporting youth workers. Read on to learn more about each of the three episodes and the guests, or start listening here.

Episode 1: Making Out-of-School-Time Programs More Accessible

Student researchers and OST practitioners discuss some of the most common barriers to participation in OST programs and what can be done to address them.

Shelby Drayton, Senior Manager, UP Partnership
Connor Flick, Student, Gatton Academy High School, Kentucky

Spandana Pavuluri, Student, duPont Manual High School, Kentucky​

Episode 2: Creating Programs Where Everyone Belongs

Student and adult researchers discuss various strategies for building a sense of belonging and inclusion in OST spaces, beginning with centering the youth voice in the program’s design.

Spandana Pavuluri, Student, duPont Manual High School, Kentucky
Syeda Tabassum, Student, Macaulay Honors College, New York 
Daniela DiGiacomo, Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky School of Information Science 
Sam Mejias, Associate Professor of Social Justice and Community Engagement, Parsons School of Design - The New School

Connor Flick, Student, Gatton Academy High School, Kentucky​

Episode 3: Professionalization and Precarity of the Workforce

Researchers and practitioners discuss strategies for more effectively recruiting and retaining skilled youth workers.

Bianca Baldridge, Associate Professor of Education, Harvard University 
Vanessa Roberts, Executive Director, Project VOYCE 
Deepa Vasudevan, Researcher, Human Services: Youth, Family, & Community Development, American Institutes for Research
Sarai Hertz-Velázquez, Student, Wellesley College

Ben Kirshner, Professor and Program Chair of Learning Sciences and Human Development, University of Colorado Boulder

Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

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