Theory of Change

Zone 126’s research is designed to track the needs and progress of program participants as they move through the Cradle to Career pipeline. Through rigorous data collection, we will be answering the following questions:

• What are the specific needs of Zone 126 children and their families?
• What effects do our Collective Impact Implementation Partners’ interventions have on Zone 126’s predictors and indicators of student success in the short, mid and long-term?
• Since Zone 126’s Collective Impact framework is predicated on participation in an array of strategic school supports from Cradle to Career, what intervention combinations and dosages yield the greatest effects on student achievement?
• How do participants in Zone 126 programs fare compared to students in other schools?
• Do a holistic set of programs help close the achievement gap and improve graduation rates in our Zone schools?

In order to support the development and sustainability of the Cradle to Career pipeline and answer the questions listed above, Zone 126 has established an evidence-based results framework, or Theory of Change. This Theory of Change functions as a roadmap, outlining how each isolated intervention works together to yield large scale social change, through broad sector coordination. For Zone 126, the large-scale social change we are trying to attain is to have each child in our Zone schools graduate high school and attain postsecondary education. However, in order to reach this goal, there are several predictors and indicators of success, from Cradle to Career, that are required to facilitate change, leading to a complex web of activity. Every predictor and indicator of success in the Theory of Change is tied to one or more intervention and linked to one or more quantifiable measures.

Please click the links below to see the predictors and indicators of success for each Zone 126 initiative, and the organization, as a whole:

Thrive by fiveStudents AchieveYoung adults succeedFamily-Engagement
Intervention Short-Term Predictors & Indicators of Success Long-Term Predictors & Indicators of Success Impact
 • Programs that increase access to medical care• Early intervention program
• More high quality pre-school programs
= • More children with a medical home
• More children screened for developmental delays, behavioral issues and environmental risk factor
• Increased enrollment a quality pre-school programs
= • Higher immunization rates
• Fewer children with preventable chronic health conditions at school entry
• Fewer children with avoidable developmental delays at school entry
• Greater social, emotional and language development
= All children in Astoria and Long Island City’s Zone schools are ready for Kindergarten
If interventions that increase medical care, early intervention programs and pre-school enrollment were implemented, then Zone 126 theorizes that fewer children will utilize the emergency room as their primary source of medical care; more children will be screened for developmental delays, behavioral issues and environmental risk factors; and more children will be enrolled in a quality pre-school program. In the long-term, this will result in higher immunization rates; fewer children with preventable chronic health conditions and developmental delays at school entry; and greater social, emotional and language development. The impact tied to these building blocks is that all children will be ready for Kindergarten.
Intervention   Short-Term Predictors & Indicators of Success   Long-Term Predictors & Indicators of Success   Impact
• Programs that improve socio-emotional competencies
• Health and wellness programs
• Academic, enrichment, after-school and summer programs
• Youth leadership and mentoring program
• Early warning system implemented
=  • Children will develop more internal and external assets
• More students will participate in physical activity on a daily basis
• Students will consume more servings of fruits and vegetables daily
• More at-risk students will be counseled
• More children will attend school consistently
= • More students physically, socially and emotionally healthy
• More students learning in a safe and stable environment
• More students supported inside and outside of school
= • All students in Astoria and Long Island City’s Zone schools succeed academically
• All students in Astoria and Long Island City’s Zone schools graduate from high school

If interventions around socio-emotional competency development; health and wellness; academic enrichment; youth leadership; and mentoring were implemented, Zone 126 hypothesizes that children will develop more internal assets, including academic self-efficacy, grit, emotional competence and self-regulation. In addition, students will develop more external assets, including increased attendance, adult support, school and peer connectedness and participation in out of school activities. Depending on program structure and objectives, these school support interventions may increase daily physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables and counseling opportunities for at-risk students. In the long-term, this will result in physical, social and emotional growth; safer and more stable environments; and increased support for children both inside and outside of the school. The impact tied to these building blocks is that all children will succeed academically and graduate from high school.

Intervention   Short-Term Predictors & Indicators of Success   Long-Term Predictors & Indicators of Success   Impact
 • College & career preparation programs =  • Increased number of students meeting the common core learning standards
• Increased rigor in coursework pursued in high school
• Increased college and career access information
=  • More students meeting postsecondary institution admission standards
• Fewer students needing remediation upon entry in postsecondary institution
• Increased Postsecondary enrollment
• Increased 21st century skills
= All students in Astoria and Long Island City’s Zone schools attain post-secondary education

If interventions related to college and career preparedness were implemented, Zone 126 theorizes that this will also have an effect on the development of external assets. In addition, these interventions will increase the number of students meeting common core standards, improve the rigor of coursework pursued in High School and improve access to college and career information. In the long-term, this will result in more students meeting postsecondary institution standards, more students enrolling in postsecondary institutions; fewer students needing remediation upon entry of postsecondary institution and increased 21st century skills. The impact tied to these building blocks is that all children will attain postsecondary education.

Intervention   Short-Term Predictors & Indicators of Success   Impact
• Programs that provide
parents/guardians’with an opportunity
for growth as primary nurturers, educators,
and advocates for their children
= • Better relationship between parent and school
• Better relationship between parent and teacher
• Increased involvement in child’s
education

• Increased parent’s self-efficacy
= •  All children in Astoria and Long Island
City’s Zone schools are ready for Kindergarten

• All students in Astoria and Long Island
City’s Zone schools succeed academically

• All students in Astoria and Long Island
City’s Zone schools graduate from high school

• All students in Astoria and Long Island
City’s Zone schools attain post-secondary education

Interventions providing parents/guardians with an opportunity for growth as primary nurturers, educators and advocates for their children will improve relationships between teachers and parents; increase involvement in their child’s education and increase their feelings of self-efficacy. These outcomes connect to all of the impacts in our Theory of Change framework.

Zone 126 released its first Progress Report in September 2014.