The Fifth Dimension (5thD) is a system of technology-rich after-school programs offered to youth of diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings. Each 5thD program involves a partnership between a community organization and a local college or university, incorporates the latest theories about child development, and gives college students the opportunity to apply their textbook understanding of child development to real learning environments. At the center of the 5thD approach is a collaborative fantasy world within which participants are confronted with a wide variety of tasks that mix play and education. This entry discusses the benefits for children and college students of participation in a 5thD program and the challenges that must be met institutionally to ensure that the program can be maintained at ...

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