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City of Providence to Release Findings of Market Research Survey on Out-of-School Time Programs. 3-Month Program Surveyed Attitudes and Expectations

    APPENDIX A:

    CREATING A

    COMMUNICATIONS PLAN

    PROTOTYPE MATERIALS

    Fictitious Sample Media Advisory

    City of Providence to Release Findings of Market

    Research Survey on Out-of-School Time Programs

    3-Month Program Surveyed Attitudes and Expectations

    Towards OST Programs

    Monday, Oct 31, 2005 On Tuesday, November 1, the City of Providence will release the results of a 3-month survey research project on Out-of-School Time (OST) programs. The survey, conducted by Acme Market Research, surveyed 100 parents, teachers, community leaders and politicians regarding their attitudes and expectations toward OST programs.

    The results of the survey will be used to shape future OST programs. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage additional student participation in OST programs.

    Students and parents have indicated strong interest in OST programs. However, many OST programs have a significant number of open slots or drop-outs, indicating that the supply of OST services may not be fully aligned with local demand.

    The survey results will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at a press conference at City Hall. Mayor John Smith will offer an overview of the results and representatives from Acme Market Research will be on hand to provide detailed survey results.

    What: Press conference announcing survey results on OST Programs

    When: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 3:00 p.m.

    Where: City Hall, Room 1001

    Who: Mayor John Smith, City Council Members, Superintendent of

    Schools

    Contact: Jane Doe 617-555-1212 or jane@janedoe.com

About Acme Market Research

    For over 20 years, Acme Market Research has been providing highly customized quantitative and qualitative marketing research, surveys, focus groups and political polling services to hundreds of clients nationally in the healthcare, financial services, nonprofit, technology, education, and manufacturing industries, as well as in many other industries. Acme Market Research has conducted research on OST needs for a number of communities in the United States. You can learn more about Acme Market Research, Inc. by visiting

    www.acmemarketresearch.com.

Appendix A -A1- Creating A Communications Plan

Appendix A -A2- Creating A Communications Plan

    Fictitious Sample Op-Ed

    Today, the City of Providence is embarking on a market research survey that will measure the level of involvement in out-of-school time programs and the barriers that students and parents face as they consider becoming involved in these programs.

    Why are structured out-of-school time programs important to students in Providence? The Center for Research on Women at Wellesley College has studied out-of-school time programs and has found a significant amount of data that proves students benefit from structured activities after school.

    Today, in more than 67% of married-couple families with children aged 6 to 17, both parents are working outside the home. In single parent families, more than 78% of custodial parents work outside the home. As a consequence, an estimated 4 million children regularly spend time after school without adult supervision.

    Forty-four percent of families do not have any regular after-school care for their children. When children go home, they are spending their time watching television, playing on the computer, socializing with friends and doing homework. Both parents and teens are looking for programs that provide activities in arts, learning about careers, sports and spending time with mentors. Yet fifty-four percent of teens say there is not much for them to do after school.

    Here in Providence, we have offered a wide variety of out-of-school programming for many years, yet what we are currently seeing is a low level of participation in the programs. If students are looking for these programs, and parents are looking for these programs, what are the barriers that are preventing participation in these programs?

    Barriers to participation can range from cultural and social issues to economic issues. Safety concerns and lack of knowledge about the programs are reasons frequently cited for lack of participation.

    The City of Providence is committed to creating and offering a wide range of programs that will encourage children and their parents to participate in OST programming. Rather than speculate on why people aren’t participating, we have retained a market research leader to survey the populations being targeted for OST programming to determine the level of participation and the barriers to engaging in these programs. We will then use the results to create OST programs that meet the needs of our community.

    OST programs have proven to be beneficial for children and adolescents, leading to high test scores, high GPAs and lower likelihood of engaging in high risk activities. OST programs can provide students with the social and academic skills they need as they move forward and grow. We need to design programs that meet these needs and help shape the future of our children. This research is the first step in making that happen.

Appendix A -A3- Creating A Communications Plan

    Fictitious Sample Press Release

For Immediate Release

    Contact: Jane Smith

    401-555-1212

    Jane.smith@providence.ci.ri

    City of Providence Market Research Survey Finds Low Level of Participation in Out of School Time Programs

    3-Month Program Surveyed Attitudes and Expectations

    Towards OST Programs

    Monday, Oct 31, Providence, RI -- A three-month research project conducted on behalf of the City of Providence has found a low level of participation in out-of-school time (OST) programs by current middle-school students. The results of the survey will be used by the City of Providence to shape future OST programs in an effort to encourage high levels of participation.

    On average, middle-school students in Providence are currently spending four out of five weekdays at home after school, typically watching television, playing video games, playing on their computers and doing homework. Only about one-tenth of current middle school students are involved in formal OST activities, most often through a program at their school.

    Studies have shown that formal OST programs and adult supervision offers benefits for students, including higher social competence, higher GPAs, higher test scores, and lower likelihood of participation in high-risk activities, such as drugs and sexual activity.

“The survey results released today reflected current assumptions about out-of-school time

    programs in Providence. There is significant room to increase the level of participation in these programs,” said John Smith, director of OST programs for the city. “We will use today’s results to evaluate and change our current offerings to ensure the maximum

    number of students can benefit by being part of these programs.”

Some of the findings of the research show:

    ; Parents as well as middle-school students themselves are highly involved in

    decisions about after-school activities.

    ; Students often tend to be the driving force behind informal, social activities while

    parents are likely to be the driving force behind structured OST activities.

    ; Both parents and students want the following from OST programs: the activity

    must be safe and fun; it must be led by an adult who is enthusiastic about the

    activities; it should allow students to meet new people and teach them to get along Appendix A -A4- Creating A Communications Plan

    with others; it should teach new skills; and it is important that students’ friends

    attend the program.

    ; Students who have a high level of involvement in structured OST activities are

    much more highly satisfied with how their after-school time is spent than students who are not involved in structured OST activities.

    Conducted by Acme Market Research, the two-phase research project consisted of focus groups and a quantitative survey of Providence middle-school students and parents. The research was designed to provide key stakeholders (including youth, parents, providers, school personnel and city officials) with a better understanding of how Providence middle-school students are spending their out-of-school time, their satisfaction with OST activities, and where their needs are not being met. The project also researched the barriers that prevent participation in OST activities. An executive summary and full copy of the survey are available at www.providenceost.gov

    The City of Providence was selected by The Wallace Foundation as the first site for Learning in Communities, a nationwide initiative to improve Children’s learning and

    achievement through meaningful participation in high-quality out-of-school time learning opportunities.

About Acme Market Research

    For over 20 years, Acme Market Research has been providing highly customized quantitative and qualitative marketing research, surveys, focus groups and political polling services to hundreds of clients nationally in the healthcare, financial services, nonprofit, technology, education, and manufacturing industries, as well as in many other industries. Acme Market Research has conducted research on OST needs for a number of communities in the United States. You can learn more about Acme Market Research, Inc. by visiting

    www.acmemarketresearch.com.

    ###

Appendix A -A5- Creating A Communications Plan

    Fictitious Sample PSAs

20 sec:

    ; From sports activities to academic programs, children can benefit from being part

    of structured activities after school ends. You can help. To find out more

    about the types of programs available in your community, or to volunteer

    to help, call 1-800-OST-PLAY

30 sec:

    ; Higher GPAs, Higher Test Scores, less chance of accidents, less drug use and less

    chance of teenage pregnancy did you know that all of these have been linked to

    participation in out-of-school activities? From sports activities to academic

    programs, children can benefit from being part of structured activities after school

    ends. You can help. Find out more about the types of programs available

    in your community. Call 1-800-OST-PLAY

60 sec:

    ; Higher GPAs, higher test scores, less chance of accidents did you know that all

    of these have been linked to participation in out of school activities? From sports

    activities to academic programs, children benefit from being part of structured

    activities. Even children see it. 85% of students say that kids who

    participate in organized activities during the after-school hours are better

    off than those who do not. You can help. Find out more about the types

    of programs available in your community. Call 1-800-OST-PLAY

Appendix A -A6- Creating A Communications Plan

    Sample OST Programs Fact Sheet

    *Data from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time

    Center for Research on Women at Wellesley College

    Today’s Families:

    ; Nationally, in 67.8% of married-couple families with children ages 6 to 17, both parents

    work outside the home.

    ; In single-parent families, 77.8% of female-headed families and 83.7% of male-headed

    families, the custodial parent works outside the home.

    ; As a consequence, research on school-age children (those between the ages of 5 and 12)

    show that an estimated 4 million regularly spend time without adult supervision.

     Children and youth spend time after school in a variety of ways: ; Forty-four percent of families do not have any regular after-school care for their children. ; 57% of middle and high school students participate in some organized activity every day. ; 85% of students say that kids who participate in organized activities during the after

    school hours are better off than those who do not.

    ; Fifty-four percent of teens say that there is not much for them to do after school. ; Surveyed youth reported they would be interested in attending programs that provided

    activities in arts, spending time with mentors, and learning about careers and sports. ; Thirty percent of parents who do not have their children currently enrolled in an after-

    school program report that they would if one were available.

    When asked what they desire from after school programming:

    ; 54% of parents feel that children need a break from academics during the after-school

    hours.

    ; 38% of parents feel that children need after school programs that are focused on

    academic skills.

    Children and youth benefit from participation in after school programming: ; Lack of adult supervision for both children and adolescents have been linked to increased

    likelihood of accidents, lower social competence, lower GPAs, lower test scores, and

    greater likelihood of participation in delinquent or other high risk activities. ; Teens unsupervised during after-school hours are 37% more likely to become teen

    parents.

    Appendix A -A7- Creating A Communications Plan

    ; In New York City, after school programs started by Boys and Girls Clubs saw significant

    drops in drug use, presence of crack cocaine, and police reports of drug activity.

The growing need for 21st century skills:

    ; There remains a profound gap between the knowledge and skills most students learn in

    school and the knowledge and skills they need in typical 21st century work environment. ; Students need to learn academic content through real-world examples, applications, and

    experiences both inside and outside of school.

    ; After-school programs can serve as an entry point for many children and youth to

    develop 21st century skills and expand their exposure to and increase their ability to

    navigate new forms of technology.

Appendix A -A8- Creating A Communications Plan

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