Evaluation of the Health Rocks! Program: The Association of Youth Engagement with Program Outcomes
This evaluation research examined the relationship between program process and program outcome, specifically, youth engagement in the national 4-H Council Health Rocks! program and their program outcomes. Based on program evaluation surveys completed after the program by participants, youths’ engagement in the program was associated with their gains in knowledge and skills about substance use, and personal assets related to avoiding risks. When youth participants find a program interesting, are actively engaged in the program, and find the program staff friendly, they benefit more from the program. Findings underscore the importance of engaging curriculum and friendly staff to the success of extension or afterschool youth programs. The evaluation method may offer an example of balancing rigor of evaluation design and feasibility of implementing an evaluation.
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