NAZA served 562 middle school students, whose average daily participation rate was 76%, exceeding our 70% target. This is critical since research has established that benefits are linked to participation levels. High participation levels result from a targeted focus on continuously strengthening program quality. NAZA is implementing a Quality Improvement Plan developed in 2009.
Each year the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality evaluates NAZA’s program assessment and improvement process. The 2011-12 report found that:
- The quality of instruction improved substantially, for the NAZA network overall as well as for both afterzones independently.
- This focus on quality improvement appears to have lasting positive effects at sites despite staff turnover.
- Program staff effectively produced improvement in areas they targeted for change.
- Youth participants reported very positive program experiences, where they feel supported and empowered, where positive values and a commitment to learning is promoted, and where clear expectations are established.