We provide resources and professional development to 500+ programs that educate children outside of school.
Out-of-school time environments including early care, after schools, and summer programs are a vital pathway for intentional & organic social, emotional, and academic development. It's a key opportunity to best use available resources to make an efficient impact on programs serving high-need children.
BOSTnet’s mission is to systematically enhance the quality, and increase the capacity of the 11,000+ out-of-school time (OST) programs in Massachusetts. We work with the OST network to discover what makes programs great and leverage today’s technology to create data-driven outcomes and results for the field.
Child learning and development doesn't stop when school ends. Our investment shouldn't either.
We believe that the most efficient and effective way to make a difference in successful child outcomes is through our out-of-school time (OST) programs.
Unfortunately, these programs and those who work there receive limited resources, especially programs serving high-need children. Resources in the OST field in Massachusetts and across the country are typically focused on (A) professional development for educators working in OST, and (B) creating quality learning environments for children at these programs.
BOSTnet is proud to be the leader in OST in both professional development resources and quality improvement supports through our online & in-person learning, coaching, curricula and directors' round tables. We've served thousands of OST programs across the state over the 28 years we have been serving the field. Recently, our focus has shifted to leveraging today's technology to capture and share the best OST practices with the field, and build a system of data collection and analysis.
The average wage in OST in Massachusetts is $12.45 an hour with 25% making $9.80 an hour or less (BLS, 2014)
Staff turnover at after schools is 40% or more annually according to most workforce studies
61% of economically disadvantaged third graders in Mass. score 'Needs Improvement' or worse in English Language Arts (MCAS, 2015)
Summer Learning Collaborative
Blogs, resources, and updates
High need children fall behind an average of 2 months in their reading skills during the summer. We work to incorporate engaging summer literacy activities at 30+ summer camp programs each year. These programs do a great job finding fun, exciting ways to practice literacy over the summer without the children even realizing that they’re working on academic[…]
Independent Reading Checklist Independent reading or D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) time can be difficult in OST programs, with children not wanting to spend more time at “school,” children picking books that are too easy or difficult, or disengaged children, whether they’re pretending to read or struggle to stay focused. Time with text is incredibly[…]
Our summer literacy initiatives are underway and new summer camp site directors continue to ask us some form of ‘what is enough literacy in my summer programming’ or ‘what does a good literacy schedule look like’? They want to know how many literacy activities they need to include each week or how many hours of[…]
Beyond meeting regulatory and safety requirements while outside, what can you do with your outdoor spaces to make them intentional, fun, learning environments? The May 2016 webinar covered QRIS Outdoor Environments. We summarize and expand on the key points below, and you can download the slides, or listen to the replay for more information. Standards are[…]
Raquel from the YWCA in Lawrence shares the process she used to turn a single read aloud book into a full summer of activities.
Below are some great strategies, resources, and videos for making a read aloud great. Thanks to Linda Hall and Girls Incorporated of Lynn for providing this material! To be finished on approval of video.
Most of the programs in the Summer Learning Collaborative used reading displays to motivate and recognize child reading. We captured a few of these displays this summer to help programs share ideas. After seeing all the creative ideas and experiences we learned a few lessons: Visual displays are a great way to reward and remind staff and children about[…]
Beyond the Bell at the American Institutes for Research has released new Social and Emotional Learning resources for afterschool programs. Their brief Supporting Social and Emotional Development Through Quality Afterschool Programs looks at research into the critical ways afterschool programs build social emotional learning and how it contributes to lifelong success. The brief also offers recommendations for[…]
At BOSTnet, we’ve been busy building and maintaining collaborations that improve outcomes for children. Over the past 4 months, we’ve collaborated with 24 partner programs and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Merrimack Valley (UWMB) through the Summer Learning Collaborative (SLC), and with 350 partner programs (90 of which we directly support), as well as[…]
Defining what a quality out-of-school program looks like and what areas to make improvement is a difficult task given the unique circumstances of each program. One successful approach is to rely on an established research-based assessment tool to help guide you through the stages of a continuous improvement cycle, as outlined below. The steps are[…]