Overview of Adventure Central

Adventure Central is a trusted, community-based, positive youth development partnership serving at-risk children and their parents in the West Dayton community for over 19 years. This nationally recognized program has been at the forefront of positive youth development providing children and families opportunities to change their lives through building positive well-being, higher academic performance, and less involvement in risky behaviors.

At Adventure Central, we are unified by our belief that encouraging new experiences, especially in nature, can build life skills and confidence which make children happier, healthier, and more productive members of their community. Adventure Central is uniquely qualified to turn these beliefs into action and results through the passion, expertise, and resources of its core partners: Five Rivers MetroParks, Ohio State University Extension, and 4-H. Using nature, our high quality and diverse staff nurtures participants in life-changing activities that strengthen values, build lasting life skills, and empower youth to explore life’s possibilities.

Youth are engaged throughout the year in a variety of delivery methods to include after-school, day camp, and residential camping experiences all emphasizing sustained long term relationships. Special programmatic emphasis is also placed on supporting and developing teens through high quality work, service learning and leadership experiences.

Dayton Summer and After School Collaborative
Adventure Central is one of 10 programs at 17 sites in Dayton and Trotwood who are working together with funders and key institutions to improve program quality at our out-of-school time programs.

Focus areas include:
• Student attendance
• Academic behavior and growth
• Family engagement
• Social emotional learning
• Healthy lifestyles

Using common evaluation tools, data on more than 1,100 children annually (2017-19) indicates youth and program staff are seeing positive engagement in learning and connections with program staff, two bedrocks for program quality.


Key findings indicate:
• About 3 in 4 students said the program helped them get their homework done and make new friends.
• More than half indicated it helped them do better and try harder in school.
• More than half felt the program helped them read more often, do better in science and math and improved their writing.

These after school programs provided almost 250,000 hours of programming per year.


For more on this effort, check out this link.

Article courtesy of Nate Arnett, Director/Extension Educator, Adventure Central, The Ohio State University, Dayton, OH

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