Improving the Quality of Youth Programs

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Improve the quality of out-of-school time or after-school programs at the point of service—the place where the youth and staff come together. Through a series of trainings and assessment tools from the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, Houston (TX) Public Library made changes to create engaging programs where youth want to be instead of have to be. Houston Public Library addresses how the library's first-year participation in the Youth Program Quality Intervention Program has shown distinct improvements in the program using assessments. The Weikart Center provides an overview of the quality practices measured by the Youth PQA and how the assessment supports making meaningful program changes through participation in a continuous quality improvement process known as the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI).

Originally presented May 2, 2019.


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:

  • Identify the three (3) elements of the continuous quality improvement process;
  • Apply how program quality is measured using the Youth Program Quality Assessment; and
  • Identify how to leverage program strengths.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar will be most useful to youth services and programming staff in public libraries. It will most benefit library staff with limited to no previous knowledge of the continuous quality improvement process.


Mary WagonerHouston Public Library’s youth services advocate Mary Wagoner, MLIS, has a combined 26 years of youth services and project management experience. Mary has served as project lead for the Hurricane Ike Children’s Zone and as project director for two Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grants, the Fountain of Youth grant, and Pop Up Library grant. Mary has made presentations for the American Library Association, Association of Library Services for Children, Public Library Association, and Texas Library Association on various topics, including Disaster Response, Pop Up Library, Floating Collection, Public School and Public Library Partnerships, and Online Tutoring.

As a youth development and outdoor education professional, Stephanie Love’s career reflects over a decade of education, training, and management of high-quality programming and out-of-school opportunities for youth. By utilizing the latest research in youth development best practices, she has a demonstrated record of success helping youth set and reach goals through challenging, meaningful opportunities in a variety of educational settings. Steph is the co-founder and director of Positive Energy Outdoors, an outdoor education program in Duluth, MN, which serves more than 3,000 youth each year. She also works as a consultant for the University of Minnesota's Youth Work Institute as well as serves as a field consultant with the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. Steph received a master of science degree in experiential education from Minnesota State University, Mankato, in July 2002, and was awarded a bachelor of arts degree with honors in English literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1999.

Rebecca DenhamRebecca Denham has a master of science in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining Houston Public Library in 2014, Rebecca worked as a young adult librarian at Harris County (TX) Public Library. She has served on Young Adult Round Table (Texas Library Association) and Young Adult Library Services Association (American Library Association) committees, most recently as chair of the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee. She currently serves as the teen services coordinator at Houston Public Library where she plans and implements teen programs citywide.



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Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


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