Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.
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 youth experiencing homelessness.
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.
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.
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.
Other Resources on this Topic
Tools & Guides
Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people
Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.
Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.
Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.
Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).
Effective afterschool programs can improve classroom behavior, school attendance, and academic aspirations and reduce the likelihood that a student will drop out.