Our Story + Why Out-of-School Time?

Why Out-of-School Time?

Youth spend roughly 80% of their waking hours outside of school, and what happens after the school bell rings every day is as equally important as what happens after high school graduation.

Research shows that youth participating in out-of-school time programs benefit in numerous ways. Youth involved with OST programs are shown to:

  • Increase their school day attendance
  • Increase their classroom participation
  • Express higher aspirations about pursuing higher education
  • Improve their standardized test scores, particularly in reading and math
  • Improve their classroom grades
  • Graduate high school at higher rates
  • Retain more knowledge over the summer break  

Our Story

Recognizing the value of out-of-school time (OST) services in relation to youth development and academic success, several community stakeholders initiated conversations about families’ access to out-of-school time (OST) programs in Harris County. As a response to the community conversations, in summer of 2016, Houston Endowment commissioned a landscape study of OST programs in Harris County. This study showed that there are several neighborhoods in Houston, or OST deserts, where there is a critical shortage of OST programming despite a high need and demand.

In order to unite Houston OST leaders to collectively address the issue of OST deserts in Greater Houston, Houston Endowment launched Out 2 Learn in January 2018. Out 2 Learn is a collaborative initiative dedicated to increasing access to and improving the quality of out-of-school time (OST) opportunities in Greater Houston. The efforts of Out 2 Learn are led by Houston Endowment alongside the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Education, Harris County Department of Education’s CASE for Kids, and United Way of Greater Houston. Learn more about Out 2 Learn’s key strategies on the Mission, Vision, and Strategy page.