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Journal Entries

Journal Entry #1: Theme/Topic: When you saw staff doing things WELL, what
competencies from the Mott reading were they demonstrating? When they were NOT
doing so well, why did you think this? What is the relationship to the competencies outlined
in the Mott reading?
Huang and Dietel (2011) mention that to have a successful afterschool program: staff
needs to be qualified and meet the programs missions, staff and students should construct
positive relationships with each other, characterized by mutual respect, and most importantly
staff is seen as role models for students that encourage appropriate student behavior, good school
attendance, effective work habits, and positive attitudes towards learning. It was my
understanding that the site director, the two career teachers and the student staff all held certain
expectations from the students but also created good relationships with the students that enabled
them to create a positive atmosphere and effective work habits. The students were able to relate
more to the student staff since they played and lead activitie more than the career teachers did.
When I saw staff doing a good job I was able to relate it to the competencies mentioned
by Mott (2009), in particular the ability to relate and work well with diverse children, the ability
to facilitate participants learning of new knowledge and skill, and the ability to effectively carry
out program operations and policies to achieve program goals and meet needed requirements. I
thought that the staff all did a good job at relating with the students by knowing each student,
their background, and their special needs. Since there is a vast diversity in students cultures and
home backgrounds the staff encouraged respect and acceptance of each students culture and
family values. Overall in all the activities that the students took part in the staff made sure that
there was respect among the students and encouraged sharing and team-building activities that
created positive relationships between the students. The site director and the career teachers
worked well together in order to create activities that would benefit the students knowledge and
skills, and ensured that each activity had a purpose and related to the programs goals. All of the
staff was exceptionally good in ensuring the health and safety of participants, followed safety
and emergency procedures and maintained accurate program records. For example they made
sure that the students knew what to do if they got a cut or a burn, kept a list of foods that students
were allergic to, and always picked them up from the bus stop to make sure that all the students
made it to the center safely.
The staff practically followed all of the competencies mentioned by Mott, the only
competency that I didnt see too much of was the ability to respectfully engage the important
adults in the participants lives. I didnt see too much interaction between the center and the
students teacher and school, either because it doesnt happen or because I didnt directly see it
happen. The staff had constant communication with the parents whenever they picked up their
kids and even set up conferences where the career teachers informed the parents of their kids
progress or needs in the program. But what I didnt see was opportunities for families to
participate in the centers activities or be actively involved with activities that went on in their
schools.
Source:

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (2009). Core Competencies For Afterschool Educators.
http://www.afterschoolprofessional.info/images/Mott_CC_web.pdf

Journal Entry #2: Theme/Topic: If you were a youth participant in the program you are
doing your fieldwork at, what would keep YOU coming to the program?
At UCI Extended Day there are approximately 40-50 students in the program, even
though the children are there because their parents have placed them in the program I think that
the vast majority of the students truly enjoy the program and what it offers. There was very few
times in which I heard students say they were bored or didnt know what to do. One of those
times was on a day where they didnt have school and had been at the center the whole day, and
to top it off students were not allowed to go onto the grass area because they had just put
fertilizer so this limited their activities. The site offered so many activity options that it didnt
allow students to have absolutely nothing to do. If students wanted to be more active and play
sports activities they could go outside, if students wanted to read a book they could go into the
library, and if students wanted to be creative they could work on their art journal or do the art
activity that was selected for the day. The center would even have science projects that the
students could take part in, one time they made a rocket with baking soda and they had several
attempts and tried different things before the rocket was able to work correctly. Students were
also given opportunities to get out of the center and explore the community.
In Huang and Dietels Making Afterschool Programs Better (2011), they mention several
components which lead to successful afterschool programs. One of their components is to ensure
that the program aligns to the day school, provides time for students to study, learn and practice;
includes motivational activities, frequently uses technology, science and the arts to support youth
development, student learning, and engagement. UCI Extended Day offered all of these
opportunities in their program, they offered homework time where students who needed extra
assistance received it, they also offered academic activities, such as the rocket project,
enrichment activities, such as sewing, cooking, and painting, and lots of recreational activities
where students played in teams or individually. Huang and Dietels key evaluation findings
included that there should be an emphasis on making learning fun, a focus on higher order
thinking skills, direct skills instruction, and community involvement. I thought that Extended
Day did an excellent job at making learning fun, such as the rocket experiment where they were
learning that different chemicals would cause there to be a reaction and shoot the rocket up in the
air. The center also took part in the UCI community in different ways, they went on small
fieldtrips surrounding UCI and also did projects that were displayed on the UCI campus.
If I were a participant in the program I would definitely be interested in the program and
would continue to keep coming back. One of the main reasons that I would keep coming is
because the program offers so much independence, you are not forced to participate in any
activity that you do not want to take part in. Even when I would do my fieldwork at the site I
would become really interested in the enrichment activities that they had for the students, they
learned to sew, knit, and even cook which are activities that I still dont even know how to do to
this day. I also like that many of the students come from the same school and the same
classrooms so they are able to do their homework together and bounce ideas off of each other,
this is an opportunity that is not offered at home. If I were a student that enjoyed more outdoor

recreational activities I would also enjoy the activities offered, such as soccer or basketball.
Overall UCI Extended Day offers several academic, enrichment and recreational activities that
keep students active and learning, as a student in the program I would really enjoy participating
in the program to be able to take part in different activities that are not offered at school or at
home.
Source:
Huang, D. & Dietel, R. (2011). Making afterschool programs better. National Center for
Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST), UCLA.
http://www.cse.ucla.edu/products/policy/huang_MAPB_v5.pdf

Journal Entry #3: Theme/Topic: What evidence do you see in your fieldwork that the
program is integrating the LIAS principles?
The Learning in Afterschool & Summer (LIAS) assessment tool focuses on five
principles that encourage assessment of the program and the youth participants. The five learning
principles are active, collaborative, meaningful, supports mastery, and expands horizons. The
LIAS rubric focuses on making sure that the afterschool program facilitates good youth
development, strengthens organizational development and capacity-building, and catalyzes youth
involvement in community change. After completing my fieldwork at UCI Extended Day and
using the LIAS tool to assess an activity I realized that the afterschool program does focus on
most of the learning principles at least at a developing level. For the active, collaborative, and
supports mastery principles the program site measured up to a mature level depending on the
activity that was being done.
I considered the program to be mature in the active principle because a lot of the
activities that were done in the program involved the students taking part in hands-on activities
or allowed them to be physically active. For example the students were given the chance to make
their own hair bows by sewing pieces of cloth, the younger students were given a needle and
thread to complete the project and the older students were given permission to use a sewing
machine to make their bow. This activity allowed to students to complete a project while
allowing them to be creative, use their hands, and also allowed them to learn through multiple
senses. Sewing allows the students to create a bow the size they want, the cloth of their choice
and also allowed them to think critically by having to measure out the pieces of cloth, thread and
creating the dimensions needed to make a bow.
The program also gave the students several opportunities to be collaborative with other
students. Students participated in a lot of sport activities that required working in groups, where
the objective was to win and also have fun, the staff also helped out the students whenever there
was a problem and guided the students to work together to resolve the issue. I also considered the
program to be mature in the supports mastery principle because I saw it as going along with the
active principle where the students are allowed to not only learn but practice new skills. Students
also got the opportunity to build greater mastery in skills such as knitting, where they learned to
knit and were later able to create scarves, leg warmers, etc.

Areas where the program rated as developing were in the meaningful, supports mastery,
and expands horizons principles. Activities done at the center didnt really allow the students to
assess their own progress, however they were given the opportunity to choose the activity they
wanted to participate in which allowed them to have ownership of their learning. The reason that
the program rated as developing in the expands horizons principles is because I didnt see much
exploration on new things and places or in activities that promote awareness of the global
community, other cultures, or global issues. The only aspect of this principle that the program
kind of did was to bring aspects of the community into the program by allowing UCI students to
work there and complete their fieldwork, and the students were allowed to go out into the
community once in a while but it wasnt to participate in anything that would develop their
understanding of the surrounding community.
Source:
LIAS Self-Assessment Tool
http://www.region1success.org/LIAS%20Self-Assessment%20Tool.pdf