Project Introduction

Source: Ted Eytan

Project overview

Implementing culturally responsive after school programming is critical to supporting positive development in marginalized youth. However, there is little available information on practical approaches to design culturally responsive after school activities in ethnically diverse Black and Brown communities. Using a mixed-methods research design, we constructed a literature review on cultural responsiveness in after school programming, designed, disseminated and analyzed a digital survey to Boys & Girls Club of Hartford (BGCH) parents to evaluate and gather feedback on the current cultural curriculum, and constructed a digital library of culturally responsive after school activities. Our review of the literature finds that caring relationships, belonging, student voice, critical consciousness and parent engagement are all key components of robust culturally responsive after school programs. Results from our survey indicate that while surveyed BGCH parents report generally positive attitudes towards the cultural curriculum, Hispanic History Month had the highest satisfaction rates and cultural accuracy had the lowest mean satisfaction score across all activities. This research has implications for the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford and other after school organizations that serve youth of marginalized cultural identities.

A conceptualization of our research overview, with a literature review and BGCH parent survey generating recommendations that the activity library is based off of.

Research Questions

  1. What are the common characteristics of effective culturally responsive after-school activities in diverse communities?
  2. What are specific examples of culturally responsive afterschool activities for children ages 6-18 in the areas of Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, Indigenous People’s Day, and Hispanic Heritage Month?
  3. According to the parents of BGCH participants, how effective is the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford existing cultural curriculum? How can it be improved?

Community Partner

This research project is a collaboration between the Liberal Arts Action Lab and the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford (BGCH). The BGCH is a local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of America and has seven locations across the city of Hartford that provide out-of-school support for youth ages six to eighteen (Our Impact). To learn more about our community partner, click here

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