> Youth Development
Working together, we are building an exemplary out-of-school time system where all our children and youth will have safe, fun places to learn so they are successful in school and life.
Laugh. Learn. Achieve.
That winning combination is the way students identify what they can gain by participating in the Excel Beyond the Bell program, which keeps young people involved in constructive activities when school is out. Out-of-school time programs that use positive youth development practices promote social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth.
In January 2007, Montgomery County leaders learned that several key ingredients to academic, career and community success were missing in out-of-school time for some children and youth in the county.
The Collaboration Council received $100,000 in county funding to serve as the intermediary organization that would create the framework for this system. In March 2008, Excel Beyond the Bell was launched.
Today, Excel Beyond the Bell and the Collaboration Council are:
- Collaborating with the Montgomery County Recreation Department and MCPS to build a “micro” school-based, out-of-school-time (OST) system that has an array of OST programs, provides hot supper and bus transportation, and offers free professional development to all youth workers in the following middle schools: Argyle, Clemente, Loiederman, Forest Oak and Neelsville. The goal is to develop an intentional array of program options during after school hours to support positive youth development and academic achievement in low-income areas of Montgomery County where students may also be at risk of academic failure. It is our hope to bring this effective EBB model with proven success to even more school communities in the future.
- Receiving a 21st Century Community Learning Grant to provide after school programs to students at Strathmore Elementary School who need extra time and support to improve their math and science achievement test scores. Supper is provided and most students receive a bus ride home.
- Creating, with funding from the Polinger Foundation and Montgomery County Government, a more comprehensive approach to professional development for youth workers by “Building Our Out-of-School-Time Youth Workforce Development System.” Based on work being done both nationally and with the Maryland professional development system for child-care workers, we will convene a collaborative body that will develop and oversee our youth workforce development system to:
- Build on current professional and organizational development already offered thanks to the Cafritz Foundation who funds our Advancing Youth Development (AYD), a 30 hour certificate course in principles of youth development for those who work directly with 10 to 20 year old youth, and our Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI), a validated program improvement process, using a reliable measurement instrument developed by the David Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. This is done by assessing OST programs in a strengths-based manner, using the Youth Program Quality Assessment instrument; planning program improvement based on both a YPQA self and external assessment, and ultimately improving outcomes through professional development, mentoring, and other supports.
- Enhance program quality and reduce staff turnover
- Develop an education and career track with the hope of encouraging a long-term career path for our youth workers.
To sustain, expand and advance Excel Beyond the Bell, the Collaboration Council is connecting a diverse community of stakeholders and multi-sector partners, including:
- Parents, youth and families
- Out-of-school time program providers
- Community leaders
- Public agencies
- Faith-based organizations
- The business community
- Elected officials
The Collaboration Council serves as the intermediary for Excel Beyond the Bell, with a partnership group meeting regularly to collaboratively plan, act and monitor our work to fulfill the Excel Beyond the Bell vision.
The Excel Beyond the Bell program is one example of how the Collaboration Council fulfills its mission to make services better for Montgomery County residents. For more information about Excel Beyond the Bell, please visit our website at www.excelbeyondthebell.org
Check out the MCPS-TV Segment on Our New Excel Beyond the Bell Middle School Initiative
To learn more, please visit the Excel Beyond the Bell website.
|Success for Every Student|
|Young People Prepared for the Workplace|
|Young People Making Smart Choices|
|Children Safe in their Home, School and Community|
|Communities That Support Family Life|
United Way #9441