uBoost to Host Panel on Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Teens in Afterschool Programs

HONOLULU–(BUSINESS WIRE)–uBoost, providers of an award-winning online student performance recognition and rewards platform, will host a panel discussion at the upcoming SES and Dropout Prevention Stakeholders Conference on October 29th at the Marriott at Metro Center in Washington, D.C. The panel of thought-leaders will discuss how organizations are coping with the challenges of attracting and retaining older students in their afterschool programs.

In a 2009 study, Vanderbilt researchers reported that SES programs had a significant, positive effect on test score gains in both mathematics and reading for those students who attended most of their tutoring sessions. However, despite a dramatic increase in the number of students eligible for tutoring since the 2002–03 school year, according to the Government Accountability Office, less than one in five eligible students actually enrolled in SES during the 2004–05 school year, few of whom ever attended a single tutoring session.

As enrollment as a total percentage of SES eligible students remains well short of expectations, many stakeholders believe that students lack appropriate incentives to attend—a topic that will be researched in an upcoming study conducted by uBoost and Vanderbilt’s National Center on Performance Incentives.

Thursday’s panel on attracting and retaining teens in afterschool programs will explore the issues of student engagement in afterschool programs as well as performance incentives to support positive behavior, incremental progress and attendance. The discussion will feature a group of service providers, prominent researchers and thought leaders on the topics of performance incentives and educational innovation. Panelists include:

  • Ryan Balch, from Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives, the nation’s leading research authority on the topic of performance incentives in schools.
  • John Bower, CEO of uBoost.
  • Jackie Cushman, president of the Learning Makes a Difference Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to investing in creative solutions to address some of the fundamental challenges in education.

“Teenage students present a unique challenge for afterschool providers in terms of attracting, retaining and motivating students to put forth their best effort,” said John Bower, CEO of uBoost. “We believe that flexible, customized incentive programs that can pique the interest of a wide range of students are an excellent way to motivate students in this hard-to-reach segment of the school population.”

uBoost’s performance recognition and rewards platform enables educators to award points for positive behaviors and incremental progress, which are redeemed by students for relevant rewards. A growing number educational organizations, including oaSES, GEMM Learning and It’s All About Kids are using uBoost to foster deeper student engagement.

Founded in 2007, the Company is quickly being recognized for its impact in education. In May 2009, uBoost was recognized at the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) Codie Awards as “Newcomer of the Year.” In August 2009, the Company was named a finalist in the prestigious EdNET Awards for “Rookie of the Year” honors, underscoring the industry’s excitement for uBoost’s approach to student recognition and rewards.

The SES and Dropout Prevention Stakeholders Conference is presented by the Education Industry Association (EIA), a professional association representing more than 600 rapidly growing companies providing education services and educational content for all education sectors, from early childhood through post-secondary education.

About uBoost

uBoost is an online performance recognition and rewards platform that enables educators to award students with points for positive behaviors, which can then be redeemed for rewards. uBoost works across all age groups, curricula, and achievement levels and offers educators an innovative way to recognize engagement and incremental improvement. Recognition in the form of points, performance-based honor badges, and a coveted spot on achiever leader-boards encourages students to put forth maximum effort. Students are able to choose from a catalog containing thousands of rewards choices (from $.01 to $200.00), thereby ensuring that there is something that interests and motivates them. Students can redeem for merchandise and gift cards; support their favorite charitable cause; customize their own safe, virtual environment; or participate in contests to win premium rewards such as iPods and Amazon.com gift cards. To maintain engagement, uBoost continues to offer new rewards and contests to keep up with students’ changing interests and to ensure relevance throughout the school year. uBoost partners with publishers, district administrators, online schools, tutoring companies, and private education companies to design and implement student recognition and rewards programs. For more information about uBoost, call 808-377-4810 or visit:







Haselton Group for uBoost
Collin Earnst, 617-933-9011


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