The Flagship Program At A Glance
School year 2011- 2012 Results (most recent year stats are available)
*7,023 students participated in 539 different activities
*906 Volunteers donated 13,731 hours
*Flagship's funding is from a combination of private and public dollars from local, state and federal sources
*All programs are provided free of charge to participants
*Cost to Flagship per participant is $100 per year
"At Flagship I have had so much fun going to different places and meeting new people who are my friends now" - Flagship Participant.
The Flagship Program is a community-school partnership whose mission is to enhance the social, academic, cultural and physical achievement of Missoula’s young people by creating opportunities, during non-school hours, that help them succeed in school and grow to become healthy and productive adults.
History of The Flagship Program:
In 1995, The Missoula Prevention Coalition began reviewing local and statewide data on young people. They were looking for ways to assist youth with their positive development and avoid high-risk behaviors that sometimes occur and block successful completion of school and/or progression to adulthood. They realized that schools alone could not meet all the social and development needs of young people.
The Research Behind The Flagship Program:
Research shows that the highest incidence of risk behavior occurs between 3- 6pm. Research also shows that signifigant adult relationships are critical to a child's postive development. Best practices, including mentoring and skill development (social, cultural, and academic) were adopted as core components to The Flagship Program.
Flagship is based on collaboration among nearly fifty existing community "partner" agencies and organizations that bring their programs to the schools. To see the complete list of Flagship's commuinty partners, please click here.
How Flagship Works:
At each Flagship school, Youth Development Coordinators work with principles to arrange, schedule, recruit for and oversee the after-school and summer programs. These coordinators also work with site teams made up of parents, teachers, principles, and students to determine what activities meet the needs of that particular school community.
Examples of activities include tutoring, mentoring, skill development classes, sports, art classes, cooking/nutrition/gardening classes, conflict resolution groups, youth theater, job shadowing, community volunteer service, and service learning projects. They also arrange for food and transportation for students to and from activities.
All Flagship services and activities are provided free of cost to students.
Having services at school sites, not only allows populations of students (i.e. low-income or at-risk) to participate, who may otherwise not have these services available, but also eliminates the barrier of transportation to community facilities.
Flagship is currently operates in Big Sky High School, Hellgate High School, Willard Alternative High School, all three middle schools and three elementary schools (Lowell, Franklin, Hawthorne).
Evaluation of the work Flagship does:
Last year, 7,023 students (2,450 unduplicated) participated in 539 different Flagship activities. During that same period, 906 volunteers donated 13,731 hours of their time as part of Flagship.
A professional research corporation recently completed a three-year study of after-school programs in six cities across the U.S., including Missoula. Their research revealed that students who participated in the programs improved their school attitudes and behaviors, with 2/3 of participants reporting that the programs helped them do better in school. Parents substantiated these responses. Participants also reported learning new skills and improved self-confidence. They engaged in fewer at-risk behaviors and strengthened their social networks by reportedly interacting better wtih adults and getting along better with their peers. Four Flagship schools are currently particpating in a two year national study of promising after-school programs, financied by the Mott Foundation. Flagship also tracks results of the Montana Prevetion Needs Assessment Survey for Missoula County. This survey is given to 8th, 10th, and 12th graders every two years in all MCPS schools. In tracking data since 2000, we have seen an increase in attachment to school and community, decrease in overall alcohol use, and a rise in the age of onset of first drug use among our youth- all largely attributed to The Flagship Program.
The Cost of The Flagship Program:
The cost of Flagship, per school site, is approximatley $50,000 per year. This includes salary for a school- based Youth Development Coordinator, as well as a site budget for transportation, supplies and food and some administrative costs associated with the program. These costs have been covered through a combination of private and public dollars from local, state, and federal sources. All Flagship Programs are offered free of cost to participants. But the cost for The Flagship Program for a student to participate in the program is just over $100 annually.
Flagship is a program of Western Montana Addiction Services (Turning Point), which is a legal subsidary of the Western Montana Mental Health Center (501c3).