December 11, 2018
Dedicated 21st CCLC practitioners like you have three things on their wish list for the coming year:
✔ Activities that target student needs.
✔ Activities that advance program goals.
✔ Activities that students love.
Fortunately, a magic wand called “data” can help you make these wishes come true. You can use data to assess where you are versus where you want to be and make targeted changes. It doesn’t have to be painful or time consuming. Here’s a fun way to do it as the calendar year winds down:
Make a red wand:
- Gather your program team around the fireplace and provide hot cocoa.
- Pull out the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound) goals you set earlier for your program and for specific activities.
- Review the goals and, together, rate your success in reaching them.
- For each goal you didn’t reach, ask the team, “What’s one thing can we do differently in the coming year to reach this goal?” If you did reach a goal, decide whether to set a new one.
- Write your red-hot ideas on red paper, and wrap the paper around a stick. You can use this “data wand” in future planning meetings.
Make a green wand:
- Survey students and families on what they liked about the fall session and what they want in the future.
- Review the responses with your team, and put results in categories like “student choice,” “outdoor activities” and “social skills.”
- Write your green-for-growth ideas on green paper, and wrap the paper around a stick. Use this “data wand” along with the red one as you plan your spring activity schedule.
You can pull out your data wands in the coming months to remind the team of their findings and conclusions. This “data magic” can help them focus their talents and efforts on making a positive difference for students. Best wishes in making your 21st CCLC wish list reality in the coming year!
P.S. Consider setting a date in January for Y4Y’s Training to Go, Identifying and Addressing Program Strengths and Weaknesses. This customizable training can take your team deeper into program improvement.