Evaluation of the La Casa de Don Pedro After-School Program

Michael Simmons, michael.simmons@rutgers.edu 

The Cornwall Center is conducting an evaluation to assess the impact of La Casa de Don Pedro’s after-school program at Newark’s McKinley Elementary School. La Casa serves 75 children in grades 4, 5, and 6, and their families. The program is designed to provide students with the skills needed to improve academic performance and social-emotional development, enhance civic understanding and engagement, promote health and wellness, and encourage artistic expression. 

This evaluation project assesses La Casa’s after-school program using mixed methodology that includes a qualitative as well as quantitative analysis. The Cornwall Center has developed and is currently administering interview and survey instruments. The evaluation is meant to determine if La Casa’s after-school program is operating in accordance with the recommended fidelity to the State of New Jersey Mandated Educational Goals and Objectives, and to provide real-time information about the relative strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities to improve student learning. The evaluation procedure examines, among other things, program delivery and quality of implementation, program personnel, and the development of school-community partnerships. Additionally, the evaluation ensures that the program staff has access to timely data on preliminary results in order for the data to be incorporated in program design and improvement.