Over the course of seven years, the Packard Foundation invested in after-school and summer programs and the systems that support those programs to deliver quality learning experiences across California through a time-bound strategy. Evaluation has been an important element in helping us to adjust our goal and approach along the way, and to understand the impact of the strategy at the end of investment. Informing Change, our evaluation partner over the life of the strategy, conducted a comprehensive evaluation of our work on expanded learning. The evaluation documents how the Foundation’s support has contributed to improving the quality of expanded learning programs, improving the technical assistance available statewide, and growing a base of supporters of great summer learning programs.
This report highlights the impact that a shorter-term catalytic investment can have on bringing change and strengthening a field. The comprehensive evaluation is particularly relevant for expanded learning field leaders in California to understand the impact and future opportunities, and for funders who are shaping strategic investments in a field.