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STARS Program Evaluation

The STARS Program Evaluation Study is an ongoing internal assessment of grant accountability as reported to the state of Illinois. In this study, my primary role is to investigate progress made in the Waukegan School District STARS (Successfully Targeting and Reaching Students) 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Program as authorized under Title IV, Part B of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The program is expected to meet or exceed seven state objectives as defined by the federal government. The federally-fund grant has three primary purposes:

(1)    Provide opportunities for academic enrichment, including providing tutorial services to help students (particularly students in high-poverty areas and those attending low-performing schools) meet State and local student performance standards in core academic subjects such as reading and mathematics;

(2)    Offer students a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities, such as youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, art, music, recreation programs, technology education programs, and character education programs that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program of participating students; and

(3)    Offer families served by community learning centers opportunities for literacy and related educational development.

STARS is a “Life Coaching” program designed to help students create a Life Plan for Success. STARS offers grade 2-12 students in Waukegan Public School District afterschool learning opportunities. Program activities include life skills, career- and college-readiness, academic assistance, as well as enrichment offerings such as art, fitness, digital media, and music.

The purpose of the STARS Program is to inspire students to graduate from high school with a Life Plan for Success. Life coaching classes offer students the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of themselves as learners, explore the dynamics of relationships, acquire insights into setting and achieving short- and long-term goals, and create/activate a personal plan of action.