Mayor Mike Creighton


Middle School - After School Program

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

The City of Bellevue provides free after-school programs at three middle public school sites, Odle, Highland and Tillicum Public Middle Schools. The program operates Monday through Friday, from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.. Activities include leadership training, swimming, traditional sports, arts & crafts, field trips, special events, cultural arts, life skills training and drop-in activities. The program is provided at no charge for students attending the respective school site and is available to parents as an alternative to latchkey situations.

2. When was the program created and why?

Club Bellevue was created in 1991, in response to a study completed by K. M. Dwyer in 1990. In this study, latchkey children were found to be at significantly greater risk of truancy from school, stress, poor grades, risk-taking (violence) and substance abuse. Another childrenís study by Bell & Burr found in their research "indicators that children who have the opportunity for social connections in the after-school hours are more adjusted and happier than those who do not." Based on both studies and others with similar findings, the City of Bellevue developed an after school pilot program at Tillicum Middle School. The pilot program provided middle school age children a safe place to socialize with friends. Parents were offered a safe and alternative child care service, rather than allowing their middle school children to be at home unsupervised. The program is offered with no charge to students or parent(s) to encourage low income families and those with limited resources to use supervised after-school care for their middle school aged children.

3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?

Three measurements are utilized to determine the effectiveness of the Club Bellevue curriculum. The first is the percentage of youth from the schoolís student population attending the Club Bellevue program versus the percentage of youth attending other after school programs based at the school site. Second measurement is pre and post program surveys completed by students and parent(s) to measure the effectiveness and interest in the Club Bellevue program. The third and final measurement is based on the Search Instituteís Developmental Assets which indicates which developmental assets (e.g., self esteem, refusal skills, community involvement) of young people need greater attention. In this last measurement, developmental assets that are listed with low indicators are given a higher priority in the program curriculum. Questionnaires at the end of the school year focus changes in the asset indicators among youth attending Club Bellevue sites. Research at Search Institute finds the more developmental assets a youth possess the more resiliency the youth has against negative behavior, such as violence and/or substance abuse.

4. How is the program financed?

Club Bellevue is primarily financed by the City of Bellevue (Parks & Community Services Department) in partnership with the Bellevue School District. The annual average cost for each site is $72K. The City of Bellevue provides staff, (one coordinator and 3-4 staff), supplies, recreation equipment and special events. Bellevue School District provides space and limited athletic equipment and fields. Private and public grants are secured to bring additional services and opportunities to the program.

5. How is the community involved in the program?

Club Bellevue works with PTSA (Parent, Teacher, Student Association) and various civic groups and nonprofit youth organizations to support the program curriculum.

6. What are the major lessons learned from this program?

  • City and School Districts need to work in partnership to provide safe positive environments for middle school age youths.
  • After-school programs need to be economically affordable and accessible for the student and parent(s) of middle school age youths.
  • After-school programs raise the levels of choices for middle school age youths as a serious alternative to negative peer pressure activities.

7. Contact person:

Lee Springgate, Director

City of Bellevue Parks & Community Services Programs

P.O. Box 90012

Bellevue, Washington 98009-0012 (425) 452-6881

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