Funding Opportunity

University of Delaware

Delaware Historical Society
Evaluation and Site Testing Assistant Position – CDF Freedom School in DE

DEADLINE: May 2, 2018


The ideal candidate for this position is interested in the academic and personal development of pre-college students in under-resourced communities. The successful candidate will support collection of data to document reading achievement and attitudes about school. The successful candidate will also support examination of a new program model that engages high school students in history research and prepares them for roles as peer interpreters in the museum setting.

Interested candidates must be available for training on Saturday May 19 . Program dates are June 25-August 3. This is a 90 hour position, with pay at $20 per hour.

To apply, write a letter of interest (1.5 pages), detailing why you are interested in the position and how the work will support you in achieving your academic and professional goals. Make certain to provide your email and telephone contact information.

Send the letter of interest, along with the name and contact information for a UD professor, who is willing to serve as a reference for you, to Dr. Melva Ware,

Please respond no later than May 2, 2018.

The CDF Freedom Schools program is a literacy-rich summer and after-school program developed to serve children in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is rare, cost-prohibitive or non-existent. The CDF Freedom Schools program features a model Integrated Reading Curriculum (IRC) for reading enrichment, youth leadership development, cultural enrichment, parent empowerment, civic engagement, and social action. In partnership with schools, churches, community-based organizations, and colleges and universities, through the CDF Freedom Schools, the Children’s Defense Fund boosts children’s motivation to read and generates positive attitudes towards learning, while connecting the needs of children and families to the resources of the community. A key goal of the CDF Freedom Schools program is leadership development: identifying, training, nurturing, linking, mobilizing and empowering a new generation of effective, young servant leaders on behalf of children. CDF Freedom Schools programs are staffed primarily by college-aged young adults who are committed to active lives of leadership and service to and on behalf of children.

The Wilmington DE Freedom School Enrolls approximately 100 children and teens in grades 1-11. In summer 2018, Level 4 Freedom School students (ages 12—15) will have opportunities to participate in an oral history research and museum education project being piloted with the Delaware Historical Society’s Mitchell Center for African American Heritage.

The Evaluation and Site Testing Assistant works with the Site Testing Manager (STM) to conduct the assessment of children, parents, and Servant Leader Interns at a CDF Freedom Schools program site. Duties of the Assistant include administering individual reading assessments, collecting surveys, and supporting the STM in submission of all required data and forms to the Children’s Defense Fund to ensure objectivity and credibility of the Freedom School national initiative. All test and survey instruments are developed by education specialists and provided by the national office of the Children’s Defense Fund.


  • Participate in all required trainings
  • Assist the Site Testing Manager (STM) in administering individual pre- and post-program reading tests during the first and last weeks of the program.
    (20-30 students are randomly selected for the pre- and post- reading assessment, using the Basic Reading Inventory –BRI).
  • Distribute and collect surveys from children during the first and last weeks of the program.
  • Distribute and collect surveys from parents and Servant Leader Interns during the last week of the program
  • Help to maintain communication between the Site Testing Manager (STM), Site Coordinator and Project Director.


  • NOT be affiliated with or employed by the CDF Freedom Schools program.
  • Affiliated with a local sponsor institution: College/University, school district, or other educational/ research institution.
  • Graduate/post-graduate student majoring in education, psychology, or sociology with a particular interest in working with underrepresented children of color and their families.
  • Models positive behavior and attitude, and appropriate professional demeanor.
  • Possesses excellent written and verbal presentation skills.
  • Demonstrates strong appreciation for and understanding of African American cultural history, and respect for contemporary African American interests and learning environments.
  • Exhibits attention to detail and data collection processes.

Time Commitment:
Orientation: Saturday, May 19
DE Freedom School Dates: Monday June 25-Friday August 3
Specific Graduate Student Assignment Dates: June 26-June 30 (20 hours) — Pre-testing, July 30-August 4 (20 hours) — Post-testing

Expanded Research Opportunity: Implementation Evaluation of the History Scholars Model Program
Support compilation of data, including participant interviews to respond to key evaluation questions, specifically noted below in Stage 3 of conducting the Implementation Study: July 10-July 20 (45 hours)

Background on Evaluation Methodology: As defined by Arnold Love in Wholey, Hatry, and Newcomer, Editors (Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation Third Edition, 2010), an Implementation Evaluation is a valued method for capturing the operation of a program once it moves from the drawing board into action–it is a way to make sense of what happened, how, and why. Of the five noted approaches to conducting Implementation Evaluation, two are most useful in documenting the progress made in launching and refining programs, such as the Freedom School History Scholars:
1) Process study examines how well the services delivered match the services that were planned. In other words, did the program participants attend as planned, do the activities planned, create the products as planned?
2) Descriptive study provides necessary details about programs so that implementation can be compared across sites or replicated elsewhere, which will serve DHS needs to be able to make the model program available state-wide and through multiple delivery options.
2018 Evaluation Methodology: The Implementation Evaluation completed during the 2017 launch of the program captured the operation of the program and related stakeholder views and recommendations for increasing the program’s efficacy. (See Arnold Love in Wholey, Hatry, and Newcomer, Editors Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation Third Edition, 2010). The current study should document program changes and stakeholder responses based on recommendations from the year 1 evaluation. Additionally, the 2018 data collection will inform develop of plans for implementation of an after-school program.

2018 Evaluation Priorities Maintain the Focus on Process and Description:
1) The Process examination indicates how well the services delivered match the services that were planned, including how new services reflect conclusions and recommendations from the year 1 study. In other words, what changes were designed and implemented and what milestones (agreed to by both the DE Historical Society and the Freedom School) will reflect the likelihood that program activities will achieve planned outcomes?
Adopt Love’s (2004) four-stage implementation evaluation model to evaluate year 2 implementation process of the History Scholars program.

Stage I: Assess needs met by program implementation

  • Who is the program attempting to target?
  • What youth needs is the program addressing?
  • What community needs is the program addressing?
  • What gap in Delaware museum programming is the program fulfilling?

Stage 2: Planning the program design

  • How is the planning process different from the year 1 planning process?
  • Are the partnering entities collaborating efficiently?
  • How is the program addressing parent engagement?
  • How is information regarding the program implementation being diffused to all personnel?
  • Program design model:
    • What modifications are implemented from year 1 recommendations?
    • What adjustments were made to the curriculum?
    • Who are the personnel involved in program implementation?
    • What are the roles of all personnel?
    • What are the expectations of youth participation?

Stage 3: Program delivery

  • Experiences of personnel
    • Is the program curriculum implemented according to plan?
    • What in-progress modifications have personnel made to the program implementation?
    • What differences do personnel identify from year 1 implementation from the current year 2 experience?
    • Is the program producing the planned outputs in youth performance?
    • What feedback do guests have based on their interactions with youth in curriculum activities?
  • Lived experiences of youth participants
    • Are youth participants interested in the information they learn about in the program?
    • Are youth participants engaged in program activities?
    • How are youth participants benefiting from program participation?
    • What do youth participants dislike about the program?

Stage 4: Recommendations for replication

  • What recommendations do personnel have for future program replication based on the year 2 program implementation?
  • How are the short-term outcomes achieved?
  • What are strengths of the program?
  • What are weaknesses of the program?
  • How do the parents perceive their child’s participation in the program?

2)The Descriptive study in year two should draw extensively from the DE Historical Society’s (DHS) organizational objectives that reflect planned strategic change relating those objectives, as possible, to the DE Freedom School’s programmatic goals. Graduate students are also encouraged to identify their own research agendas and provide organizing questions that support the alignment of data collection to inform their research with data collection that provides feedback to DHS and the Freedom School.

The DE Historical Society and the DE Freedom School are interested in descriptive research concerning the following:

  • What are the lived experiences of urban youth of color participating in culture-specific museum programming?
  • How do museum education programs influence literacy and critical thinking skills of Black urban youth?
  • How do museum education programs enhance the formal educational experiences of urban youth of color?
  • How does the participation of youth of color in museum education programs impact family expectations for their children’s educational and career goals?

Graduate students have expressed an interest in descriptive research that includes but is not limited to examining responses to the following questions:

Funding Announcement >

For more information contact: Melva Ware

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