A comparative case study of an African American church-based educational after-school program partnership and an independent educational after-school program

Date of Completion

January 2002


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Black Studies|Education, Administration




As enrollments in urban schools across the United States are becoming characterized by African American students who are educationally at-risk due to their low achievement, there is a need to address the specific educational problems of these students. Peter (1991) found that many African American congregations in urban settings have established after-school church-based programs as a means of increasing academic performance in African American children. Additionally, some public schools and churches in the African American communities throughout the United States are beginning to examine ways in which they can work together to address the plight of this student population (Drennan, 1996). The research findings of Cordeiro and Lakes (1996), and Drennan (1996) point out that formal partnerships between schools and churches offer much potential to address the social and academic needs of children, because the church is one of the most respected and influential organization for African American students and their families. Yet, research indicates that few examples exist of long term partnerships of this type (Cordeiro, 1996). This research, a case study, will examine how a school district (District X) and an African American church-based educational after-school program (Centrum Church) have worked together as partners to address the academic achievement levels and aspirations of African American student program participants, and how this partnership may differ from an independently operated (i.e., Educational Enhancement Center) after-school program also aimed at addressing the academic achievement of African American student program participants. Data collection will include observations, surveys, document analysis of students' records and achievement tests, focus group interviews, in-depth interviews of parents, program and school personnel. Data analysis will be ongoing during data collection. Data will be sorted according to themes and patterns. Findings of this study will be presented. ^