Process evaluation is achieved through data collection and evaluation, which is begun with the interview process. We use the CTBS (Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills) testing system in order to establish exactly what level of reading and comprehension the student has. Additionally, an in-depth interview also reveals any other problems the student may be having in his studies. At the conclusion of the course the student is retested and the results compared with the initial test.
All of the data we collect is entered into a student/tutor database, which is updated each time the student is in the facility. With this database we can easily track the progress of each individual, we know how many times and for how long they work on their program each week. Testing results are also entered so we can see at a glance the progress made.
The results of the H.E.L.P. program are that each student completing the program increases his reading and comprehension to grade level or above (by actual test results), but most importantly is a competent, confident, independent learner. As a student goes through this program his self-esteem returns, his level of responsibility increases and he is able to make decisions for himself. The student then either continues in school and does not drop out, or if already dropped out returns to school, goes for other training or becomes employed in an area leading to a career.
As an example of the results, a recent sampling of students who had taken before and after tests was done:
In the age group 5 to 12 years of age, there was an increase of 1.8 grade levels in reading, 3.7 grade levels in spelling and 2 grade levels in math after 80 hours on the program.
In the age group 13 to 18 years of age, there was an increase of 4.6 grade levels in reading, 3.1 grade levels in spelling and 1.4 grade levels in math after 80 hours on the program.
In the adult group, there was an increase of 6 grade levels in reading, 3.2 grade levels in spelling and 5.2 grade levels in math after 96 hours on the program.
Additionally, in the years that H.E.L.P. has been serving Hollywood, the youth crime rate has decreased by over 50%. H.E.L.P.’s contribution to this was recognized by an award from the Los Angeles Police Department. We are also pleased to report that many students, once completed on the program, are then trained as tutor/mentors as well and give back to the community.