In September Project Coach youth coaches took the DAP; they are now taking the DAP again in November and will take it for a third time in May. The coaches answer questions, which include “Stand up for what I believe in” and “Do my homework” by choosing one of the four boxes under: “not at all, rarely”, “somewhat, sometimes”, “very, often”, and “extremely, almost always”.
The coaches’ answers in September serve as a baseline, which is then compared to the coaches’ answers to the same assessment taken in November and May as well as the answers of coaches in other programs. The importance of thinking about and giving honest answers to the questions posed was emphasized before the coaches started the assessment. The answers to the DAP serve as a snap shot of where the coaches were before starting the program and where they are after participating in the program for nearly three months, hopefully showing an enduring progress in terms of the coaches' personal development. The questions however are very open to interpretation and the changed answers can be attributed to a variety of factors within the coaches’ lives.
On the same Monday afternoon the youth coaches also took the Youth Experience Survey (YES). The YES is more of a reflection of the program as a whole and what the youth coaches experiences have been so far as part of Project Coach. The coaches are asked to not only take into account the coaching of elementary school students, which is a piece of the program, but to assess the program as a whole including the SAT preparation and the sessions on Mondays with the Project Coach directors and fellows. Both assessments are an attempt to gauge the progress and evolution both within the youth coaches themselves and within the program. The surveys attempt to quantify and measure the impact of the program.
After completing the DAP and the YES, during the second half of the session, the Red Shirts, Blue Shirts and Project Coach directors all played three intense rounds of dodgeball in the gym. Two youth coaches took on organizational leadership roles making sure the rules of the game were followed with hollers like “stay behind the free throw line!”