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Evaluation of Espacio para Crecer ("Room to Grow") After-School Program for At-Risk Youth
Last registered on September 15, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Evaluation of Espacio para Crecer ("Room to Grow") After-School Program for At-Risk Youth
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000640
Initial registration date
July 28, 2015
Last updated
September 15, 2017 11:00 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Mathematica Policy Research
PI Affiliation
Mathematica Policy Research
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2014-04-01
End date
2017-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study seeks to measure the impact and cost effectiveness of Espacios para Crecer (EpC), or Room to Grow, a strategy for improving school attachment and early grade reading in a region that is poor, rural, isolated, economically unstable, and populated by ethnic and linguistic minorities. In these areas, the school day is often short, attendance is sporadic, and enrollment by school-age children is not universal. The EpC is a half-day after-school program with monthly "school for parents" meetings. The EpC program targets at-risk children of primary school age that have not passed 3rd grade at the time of eligibility and provides them with enrichment activities that include academic instruction, self-esteem-building, physical play, and other mechanisms to strengthen children's connection to formal school.

The study will follow children for two years, including both a program group and a randomized control group, conducting household surveys and individual assessments of literacy skills.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bagby, Emilie, Steven Glazerman and Nancy Murray. 2017. "Evaluation of Espacio para Crecer ("Room to Grow") After-School Program for At-Risk Youth." AEA RCT Registry. September 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.640-2.0.
Former Citation
Bagby, Emilie, Steven Glazerman and Nancy Murray. 2017. "Evaluation of Espacio para Crecer ("Room to Grow") After-School Program for At-Risk Youth." AEA RCT Registry. September 15. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/640/history/21448.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Primary schooling in many poor parts of Latin America is only offered for half a day. To supplement the regular school day, the EpC is a daily half-day "after-school" program with monthly "school for parents" meetings. The intervention under study is being funded by USAID-Nicaragua as part of its Community Action for Reading and Security (CARS) program. The EpC program targets at-risk children and provides them with enrichment activities that include academic instruction, but also self-esteem building, physical play, and other mechanisms to strengthen children's connection to school. The EpCs serve children in early primary grades (1 to 3) or who are out-of-school children aged 6 to 12. Risk factors used to identify eligible children who are in school include poor attendance, low grades, or living in a household where the language of instruction is not spoken. Students in the age or grade range with any of these risk factors are considered eligible.
Intervention Start Date
2014-05-01
Intervention End Date
2016-12-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main outcome of interest is literacy. We will measure this using an individually-administered early grade reading assessment, with components that measure oral reading fluency and reading comprehension, as well as other skills, as time allows.

Other academic outcomes include school attachment (enrollment and attendance) and other measures of success, such as school grades and promotion. We will measure related factors like reading frequency and access to print materials in the home and at school.

Non-academic outcomes include avoidance of risky and undesirable behaviors, such as misbehavior in school, child labor, and, if long-term followup allows, participation in risky behaviors like smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use, gambling, crime, and gang activities.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Children in large educational communities (more than 30 children) are assigned to either a treatment group that is invited to participate in the EpC, or a control group that is not.

Smaller educational communities are listed, stratified by municipality, and assigned as a whole to either treatment group, where an EpC is established and all children may participate, or a control group where an EpC is not established.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Stratification and randomization are done by researchers at the Mathematica Policy Research Center for International Policy Research and Evaluation (CIPRE) in Washington, DC.
Randomization Unit
Group level randomization is used for small communities (<30 eligible children) and individual randomization is done for larger communities.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We expect to recruit approximately 250 educational communities, each of which contains one school.
There will be 50 large communities and 200 small communities.
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,000 children
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Smaller school sample: 100 treatment and 100 control educational communities
Large school sample: 50 educational communities, with about 20 treatment and 20 control children per community
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We are finalizing this calculation because we still don't know how the sample will divide in terms of larger and smaller educational communities and we have very little information on likely intra-class correlation coefficients. At this point, we anticipate being able to detect impacts of approximately MDI = 6.2 points on a grade 2 Spanish comprehension test with standard deviation of 38.8, or MDE = 0.16. If the mean score on this test is 60, then this would be an MDI of just over 10%.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers