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Washington Park Youth Program for Vulnerable Chicago Youth

Introduction: Established by volunteers in 1995, the Washington Park Youth Program (WPYP; is Chicago Youth Programs’ (CYP) largest community program which serves high-need neighborhoods adjacent to Washington Park. 

WPYP operates in donated space at the Chicago Park District’s Washington Park Fieldhouse and Park. This Community Center and park houses a tutoring room, library, pre-school area, gym, computer lab, garden, and outdoor playground. 

The programs offered by the WPYP include literacy, tutoring, mentoring, and recreation. Youth who regularly participate in WPYP programs enjoy a wide array of recreational activities such as basketball, golf, camps, bowling, skating, movies, and museum trips, and more. 

Mission and Goals of WPYP: 

The overall aim of the WPYP is to offer experiences that facilitate positive youth development for youth who live in several Chicago neighborhoods. 

Specifically, WPYP claims they achieve the following outcomes, 1) high participant retention rates from when they first enroll through high school (program goal), 2) improved academic success (participant goal), and 3) prevention of risky behaviors such as substance use, sexual activity, violence, and delinquency (participant goal).

Overall Instructions: 

Please choose at least 2 areas of evaluation (from 4 of the 5 Ps-we’ll address Administration/Policies in a separate class activity) that we learned in class and write an evaluation plan outline. When writing a detailed evaluation plan outline for your two chosen areas (listed below), make sure to also explain criteria and evidence (i.e., under what criteria will you judge the performance of the desired outcomes and how will you gather evidence?), the timing (e.g., assessment, formative, summative) and model(s) of evaluation you intend to use. Please carefully read the instructions and guidelines provided below for each area of evaluation and feel free to ask questions as needed


I. “Youth Recreation Leader” is a mid-level position for WPYP. Please plan an evaluation of a WPYP youth recreation leader.  

II. Job description: A youth recreation leader is in charge of planning, organizing, and conducting recreational activities/programs. Youth Recreation Leaders have the authority to develop new activities and make changes to the current programs. Recreation leaders will also be in charge of hiring and training the volunteers and part-timers who will assist the recreation leader to run activities/programs.   


I. Please choose at least 2 criteria (e.g., legal mandates, risk management, equipment, daily usage) and discuss in detail why those criteria are important and how you will gather evidence. Also, explain how you can incorporate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in your evaluation

II. Select a specific place (e.g., sports field, outdoor pool, park fieldhouse, natural area) within the Washington Park when conducting an evaluation. 

III. Click to view detailed information about different areas and facilities used by WPYP.

Program Quality 

I. Please select 2 programs from the existing programs offered by WPYP (i.e., literacy, tutoring, mentoring, and recreation) and explain how you would assess program quality for each of the two programs you choose. Please click the following link to view more information about each program.

II. Also, please explain how the 4 different benefits (i.e., individual, communal, economic, and environmental) we learned in class are relevant to the 2 selected programs and the criteria you chose.  


I. Your focus for this exercise is boys and girls (7th – 9th grade) who are participating in the mentoring program. In this program, teens meet with their mentors once each week to discuss topics of interest and develop a positive role model relationship with a pre-professional or professional adult. 

II. Keeping in mind the overall goals of WPYP, please choose at least 2 criteria that you would like to use to assess how well the mentoring program is achieving the stated participant goals on page 1. Please explain why those outcomes are important, and how you will gather evidence. 

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