Recently, Collective For Youth, the nonprofit organization that leads and advocates for quality before- and after-school programming in Omaha, released the results of several Community Learning Center student surveys for the most recent (2018-19) school year. We take these surveys very seriously. Students are the most important part of our CLCs, after all.
We were pleased to learn that in our three Omaha-based CLCs – at Lothrop Elementary School, Sherman Elementary School, and Lewis & Clark Middle School – students have a largely positive response to how Civic Nebraska’s programs help them grow. In fact, our students responded especially well in a number of key outcome areas, or “dimensions” in CFY’s words: Future Orientation, Self Confidence, Adult(s) Who Cares About Me, Positive Peer Relationships, and Growth Mindset.
Collective for Youth defines Future Orientation as “motivation to plan for a future state and feelings about the likelihood of realizing future outcomes.” They evaluated this experience by asking students to rate themselves on statements such as “I think I will have a good life when I get older” and “I think if I do well in school now it will help me when I am older.” Overall, 72 percent of our Omaha students rated Future Orientation positively. It’s important for our students to feel that they can achieve anything they set their minds to, and that they’re motivated to find educational pathways to that success.
Self Confidence, or “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment,” was another dimension in which our CLC students shined. Nearly 73 percent indicated positively. Students were asked to evaluate statements such as “I think I am as smart as other kids and I have a lot to be proud of.” We believe kids should feel confident in themselves and their ability to work with others. That optimism and confidence is an important function in our democratic society.
CFY considers Adult(s) Who Cares About Me as “someone in the after-school program that has a genuine focus on them.” This category’s statements included: “There is an adult in my after-school program who helps me reach my goals” and “There is an adult in my after-school program who I can talk to about my problems.” Unsurprisingly, students provided Civic Nebraska one of our highest scores on the survey – 77.2 percent.
Our students also ranked Positive Peer Relationships highly, at nearly 77 percent. We work hard to create spaces that are open and welcoming to all students, and for our CLCs to provide free time and club time for kids to interact with and work with one another.
We also work to help students connect with each other and their community, and provide a foundation for future civic engagement. So again, it’s not a surprise that our students’ highest ranking — 78.2 percent — came in the dimension called Growth Mindset, or the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed. It is at the core of our mission for our clubs to run well and be enjoyable for our students as they learn and grow into young civic leaders.
The most recent student survey results give us a useful glimpse into what we’re doing well. But, as always, we want to continue to get better. Thanks to Collective For Youth for being a great partner in enriching our children’s educational experiences. And thanks most of all to our awesome CLC students.
Learn more about our Community Learning Centers here.