ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships
Research and Communications Associate
ASAP serves more than 6,000 Philadelphia youth in grades K-12, primarily public school students who come from low-income families with few resources to provide appropriate after school activities. ASAP’s Philly Fellow will gauge the success of ASAP’s 400+ clubs and the impact of ASAP’s programs and recommend strategies for improving club performance and enhancing academic outcomes for participating youth. By expanding data collection, research techniques, volunteer recruitment, community outreach and press contacts, the Fellow will be a unique agent of change – building capacity that will allow ASAP to adapt to the changing educational landscape and continue to thrive in the coming years.
Agency Mission Since 2002, ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships has rallied the Greater Philadelphia community in a campaign to recruit volunteers, teachers and organizations to lead enrichment clubs across the city, with an emphasis on areas with high rates of poverty, crime, and truancy. ASAP’s dual goals are 1) to increase the number of after school enrichment programs for school-aged youth in an effort to improve academic achievement and decrease the incidences of youth violence, and 2) to disseminate information on these programs to parents and caregivers – including an after school directory that appears annually in the Daily News.
Address 1520 Locust Street, Suite 1104; Philadelphia, PA 19102
Total number of Agency Staff Members 5 full-time, 3 part-time
Agency Budget $527,000
Please state in measurable and quantifiable terms the specific community need that the Philly Fellow will address
ASAP is the fastest growing provider of after school programming in the Philadelphia region, serving approximately 50,000 youth since 2002. Despite ASAP’s growth, an estimated 40,000 youth continue to spend 15-20 hours a week unsupervised during what police indicate is the most dangerous time of day for young people (3-6pm). A new Philly Fellow will offer the opportunity for ASAP to engage in a large scale data collection and evaluation project. ASAP’s Philly Fellow will gauge the success of ASAP’s 400+ clubs and the impact of ASAP’s programs on student participants using benchmarks recently posited for each initiative. Based on this information the Fellow will recommend strategies for enhancing club performance and, thereby, the correlated academic outcomes for participating youth (approximately 6,000 annually).
Describe how your agency addresses this need, and how the new capacity created by this fellow will help alleviate the problem
A 2010 study by Child Trends found that youth in after school programs “tend to engage in fewer risky behaviors, to have greater social competency, and to have better school performance than adolescents not in a program.” Through citywide initiatives, such as the Philadelphia Youth Chess Challenge and Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League, ASAP expands the traditional scope of out-of-school time activities to cultivate “enrichment communities” – diverse groups of youth that subscribe to a culture of achievement and respect for one’s peers. As a result, the majority of ASAP’s staff is dedicated to program recruitment, coordination and support, leaving relatively little time for evaluation and strategic planning. The 2011-12 Philly Fellow will enable ASAP to thoroughly evaluate ASAP’s work in the community with the goal of improving ASAP’s service delivery, thereby enhancing the benefits of after school programming for the ASAP’s youth participants.
Describe the level of community involvement in the fellow’s project
The Fellow position at ASAP features a high level of community involvement, interacting with a diverse set of ASAP’s constituents, including volunteers, teachers, administrators, community partners as well as parents and youth participants. The Fellow will lead orientation sessions and trainings for new and returning club leaders emphasizing research and best practices for working with young people. This will require the Fellow travel to various parts of the city to conduct research, one-on-one interviews and to document the challenges and successes of ASAP clubs. These tasks require that the Fellow feel confident in his or her presentation/communication skills to operate comfortably with youth and adults alike. Through this position the Fellow will grow much more familiar with “big Philadelphia,” those parts of the city beyond the Center City grid.
Please outline in list form the fellow's duties and responsibilities
• Conduct site-based research by traveling to clubs around the city, including interviews with students, club leaders and school administrators;
• Devise methods for collecting data from sites and club leaders about success of clubs;
• Work with School District’s Office of Accountability to identify schools and neighborhoods with the greatest need for after school resources;
• Work with ASAP staff to design research models and data-collection methods;
• Through access to the City’s Out-of-School Time (OST) database, collect demographic data (e.g. age, gender, ethnic make-up of clubs, etc.) to track youth participation and inform ASAP’s programs;
• Arrange and conduct orientation and training sessions for new and returning club leaders and volunteers emphasizing best practices for working with young people and gathering feedback to be used in decision-making;
• Process all necessary paperwork (clearance forms, memoranda of understanding, etc.) for volunteers and club leaders;
• Analyze data collected in the field and organize findings for grant proposals;
• Capture stories of successes and challenges from the field for newsletter or website publication;
• Assist with configuration of ASAP’s web-directory of after school programs, includes researching national models and influencing design and function of new directory.
• Update ASAP’s website (www.phillyasap.org) and Facebook page with timely information;
• Attend community and school-based fairs and assist at ASAP special events;
• Communicate and work with area media personnel to promote and highlight ASAP’s accomplishments and events in the press;
• Maintain press contacts, articles and press kit materials;
• Create flyers and outreach materials; and,
• Create strategies for recruitment of club leaders and sites.
Please outline in list form the skills/qualifications a fellow should have to succeed in the position
Have a strong interest in youth development and public education; Have an interest in designing and developing research methods as well as collecting and evaluating data to benefit after school enrichment and youth participants; Possess strong leadership skills -- the position will be supported by colleagues but comes with a good deal of autonomy; Possess excellent oral and written communication skills; Have good computer skills; Be comfortable making presentations on research findings to ASAP Board and potential funders; Be able to manage several tasks simultaneously; Be available for occasional week night and/or weekend events and meetings; Be organized, professional and punctual; Be willing to make site visits at schools, community and recreation centers, and faith-based organizations across the City of Philadelphia; Be able to prioritize work and problem solve; Enjoy working as part of a small, energetic team; Have a good sense of humor; and, Believe in the mission of ASAP.
Please describe your agency's plan to orient and train the fellow
During the summer prior to the beginning of the fellowship, the executive director – a former Philly Fellow (2006-2007) -- will be in touch with the fellow through emails and phone calls to provide background information on ASAP, the position and strategies for making the fellowship year as fulfilling as possible. Once the fellowship begins standard orientation includes a review of the ASAP employee manual and structured meetings with all members of the ASAP staff to learn about the organization as a whole and what the varying needs and responsibilities are associated with the respective positions. In areas where responsibilities overlap – such as media relations, new volunteer trainings and club surveys -- the 2011-12 Fellow will be asked to train the new fellow during the first two weeks of the fellowship. Based on strategic planning ASAP staff has begun to prepare several documents that will be integral to the 2012-13 Fellow’s orientation. This includes a Club Performance Index (CPI) – a point value system that identifies different benchmarks in 5 areas: (1) frequency of club meetings & duration of season; (2) participation in ASAP trainings; (3) participation in events & competitions (includes leagues); (4) club longevity/sustainability; and (5) club enrollment. The CPI will be an important tool for helping the fellow understand and gauge the impact of ASAP clubs. For tracking information on student participants the Fellow will receive training from ASAP staff and the Public Health Management Corporation on best practices and how to navigate the City’s Out-of-School Time database – PCAPS, Provider Contract Attendance and Performance System. Additionally, the Fellow will have ongoing opportunities for professional development through interaction with the executive director and monthly sessions with the Out-of-School Time Resource Center.
Name and title of the fellow's immediate supervisor
Justin Ennis; Executive Director
Please briefly describe plans for supervision of fellow
The Fellow will work directly with the executive director who will act as the chief supervisor during the fellowship year. Supervision will be structured as follows: (1) Weekly meetings to discuss Fellow’s progress on day-today activities, including strategies for data collection, success with community partners, service delivery, upcoming events, and additional opportunities for professional development. The Fellow will be asked to give updates to his or her colleagues at ASAP’s weekly staff meetings. (2) Monthly meetings to discuss Fellow’s progress toward Philly Fellows’ milestone goals (3) The Fellow will be asked to prepare quarterly reports on collected data, including recommendations for refining internal processes and improving after school club performance in low-performing schools and underserved communities. The executive director will discuss findings with the fellow to determine priorities for subsequent quarters and strategies for applying Fellows’ recommendations. When appropriate, the executive director will work with the Fellow to prepare these reports for presentation to ASAP’s Board. In addition, the Fellow will work closely with all of his or her colleagues. Due to the small size of the staff, all ASAP employees collaborate regularly in order to confront day-to-day obstacles and assess large organizational changes. The Fellow will also attend all staff meetings in order to contribute and better comprehend the various aspects of running a small non-profit organization.
Will fellow be working at the same address listed above? Yes
Will the fellow have their own…
Office? Fellow will share Desk? Fellow will have their own Computer? Fellow will have their own
Please approximate the percentage of time the fellow will work…
As a team member in a group setting 25
As a team leader in a group setting 25
Will the fellow be expected to travel as part of the position? Yes
If so, how often and where? The Fellow can expect to travel on average once a week. The Fellow will travel in order to promote ASAP at volunteer fairs, collect data and testimony from club sites (student participants, club leaders, school administrators, etc.), conduct volunteer orientations, and provide support at ASAP events around the city. When the Fellow visits club sites, he or she will administer surveys for research and grant writing purposes and record positive stories for the ASAP blog.
Will the fellow need the following to carry out the position…
A driver’s license? No
Their own car? No
1515 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102