Afterschool

Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs (sometimes called OST or Out-of-School Time programs) serve children and youth of all ages. These programs encompass a broad range of focus areas including academic support, mentoring, positive youth development, arts, sports and recreation, apprenticeships, workforce development programs, and programs for opportunity youth (i.e., youth not in schools or the workforce) and homeless youth.

The activities children and youth engage in outside of school hours are critical to their overall development, highlighting the need for quality afterschool programs in all communities. The demand for afterschool programs is strong, with nearly 10.2 million children and youth who participate in afterschool programs annually,1 across 10 million in summer camps and 6 million in 4-H programs, alone.2

Federal agencies, state-level resources, community organizations, and local and national philanthropies can provide support and resources to build, sustain, and ensure access to high-quality afterschool programs that can help promote positive outcomes for youth. Explore the articles and links on this topic to learn more about afterschool programs. Resources are also provided to help navigate challenges in planning and implementing afterschool programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources

Preparing K-12 School Administrators for a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020
This webpage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides practical guidance intended to aid school administrators as they consider how to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, teachers, other school staff, their families, and communities in fall 2020.

Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps
This webpage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides practical guidance and resources for camp staff to use while planning and implementing camps safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Afterschool & Summer in the Time of COVID-19
This webpage from the Afterschool Alliance provides information on how afterschool programs nationwide are responding to the impact of COVID-19 and offers a Statewide Afterschool Networks Resources map for each state.

Afterschool Alliance
This website from the Afterschool Alliance provides information, resources, and timely resources on planning for, implementing, and funding afterschool programs.

Afterschool Alliance Research
This webpage from the Afterschool Alliance provides reports, issue briefs, fact sheets and other resources that show how afterschool programs are keeping children and youth safe, inspiring learning, and helping working families across the country.

Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 (PDF, 4 pages)
This factsheet from the Afterschool Alliance presents findings from the first of a series of surveys meant to “take the pulse” of afterschool programs in the U.S.

National Afterschool Association
The National Afterschool Association website provides afterschool professionals a wide range of tools and resources designed to promote professional development and strengthen afterschool programs.

References

1 Afterschool Alliance, 2014
2 Yohalem, Pittman, & Edwards, 2010

Youth-produced Media in Community Change Efforts

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief examines best practices for using youth-produced media as part of a community change effort.

Using Camp to Bolster Youth-driven Community Change

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief describes how a summer camp experience can be used as a strategy to support a community change initiative.

Toward Making Good on All Youth

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief examines ways to engage underrepresented youth populations in community youth development. A set of key principles is developed based on lessons from field research. 

Quality Rating Systems and the Impact on Quality in Early Care and Education Settings

A quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs. This site provides a sample of resources with research about the impact of QRIS on early and school-age care.

Municipal Leadership for Afterschool: Citywide Approaches Spreading across the Country

This report identifies cities that have worked to coordinate afterschool opportunities for children and youth.  These cities have made a shift in their approach to afterschool programming, moving from management and funding of isolated programs toward in-depth coordination among city, school and nonprofit providers.

Engaging Parents in a Community Youth Development Initiative

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief describes lessons learned about how to best engage parents in a community youth development initiative. It emphasizes the benefits of engaging parents who are not typically well connected to schools or other community institutions, including those who do not speak English. 

Engaging Youth in Community Change

This report provides lessons learned from comparing how seven communities engaged youth in community change efforts in the greater Sacramento region. It provides an introduction to the goals of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth development program, documents program outcomes for individual youth and adults, organizations, and communities, and draws lessons for coalition development, youth engagement practice, and foundation practices to support community youth development.

Benefits and Challenges in Building a Community Youth Development Coalition

Drawing on a broader evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief describes lessons learned about how to build a community coalition that engages youth and adults together in working toward community change.

A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs (3rd Edition)

This resource guide describes readily available and inexpensive resources that support afterschool programs. Topics include management, communication, programming, community building and collaboration, and developing connections between K12 educational and afterschool programs.