Resource Database

Photo of students outdoors reviewing a map together
The Illinois Quality Afterschool team has created this resource database to help you and your staff provide high-quality 21st CCLC programming. Browse or search the database to find the latest information on afterschool research, best practices, tools, conference proceedings, policy briefs, professional development tools, and activities.

Click on a topic or use the search box below to look for a listing:

There are 227 resources. Displaying 10 resources per page.

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Read Write Think
Read Write Think, an organization dedicated to providing access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction through free materials, has resources specifically for parents and afterschool practitioners. The website has lessons and activities for different grades, games and tools, podcasts, and a series of tips and how-tos. These resources are appropriate for afterschool instructors, or they can also be used as family engagement resources to give parents more information on taking part in their student’s education.

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Topics
Academic Enrichment
Real Men Read
This video from PBS Learning Media highlights a literacy program designed to foster a love of reading among male students through community engagement. Reading Specialist Marilu Bicknell in Glassboro, NJ, was concerned by statistics showing that young boys are more interested in sports than books, so she created the Real Men Read Literacy Project at the Thomas E. Bowe Elementary School. The program consists of regular breakfasts with men in the community (including alumni, the town's mayor, athletes, and school janitors) and an afterschool book club for boys to explore various book genres with their peers. The website includes a video about the program and discussion questions.

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Topics
Family and Community Engagement
Reflections from a First-generation College Student
This video from the American Youth Policy Forum features the stories of several first-generation college students and graduates, and explores their challenges, sources of support, and recommendations for policymakers. A related article provides additional information on the types of support that helps first-generation college students make it to and through college and includes links to related resources. Afterschool programs can use these resources independently or collaborate with schools to determine how to best support the students in their programs.

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Topics
College and Career Readiness
Runaway Prevention Curriculum
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year, says the National Runaway Safeline. One of the ways the organization is addressing this problem is through Let’s Talk, an evidence-based, interactive runaway prevention curriculum. The curriculum is designed to help youth develop life skills, increase knowledge about runaway resources and prevention, learn about alternatives to running away, and access and seek help from trusted community members. Educators can use the curriculum in its entirety or as individual 45-minute modules.

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Topics
Social-Emotional Learning
Scaling Up, Staying True: A Wallace Conference Report on Spreading Innovations in Expanded Learning
This publication from the Wallace Foundation explores how national nonprofits can provide expanded learning opportunities to as many children as possible while maintaining program quality and financial stability. The publication is based on input from Wallace grantees, researchers, experts in nonprofit strategy, communications professionals, and foundation staff.

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Topics
Program Management
School Garden Checklist
Planting a garden can be a new way to capture students’ interest, offer a fun physical activity, and introduce an important educational tool centered on how healthy food is produced. Let’s Move offers this School Garden Checklist, a step-by-step guide about how to safely grow fruits and vegetables with your students.

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Topics
Afterschool Enrichment
Science NetLinks Afterschool Resources
Science NetLinks, a project of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has several free afterschool science lessons on its website. Hands-on lessons include creating a geyser, constructing models to learn about balance, using marbles and coins to understand the concept of chance, and other fun activities. Each lesson includes a facilitator page, as well as online and printable pages for kids.

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Topics
Academic Enrichment
Search Institute: Don’t Forget the Families
Amid growing national interest in strengthening children’s “soft” or social-emotional skills as essential for learning, work, and life, a new study from Search Institute highlights the power of family relationships as a critical, but often neglected, factor in the development of character strengths in children. The study argues that too many family engagement efforts are about getting families to support what an institution does, like a school or youth program, and “overlook the one thing about which parents care deeply and that can powerfully benefit their children’s development: relationships in the home.” The findings challenge schools, organizations, and coalitions to rethink and reinvest in family engagement as a crucial strategy for working together for children’s success.

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Topics
Family and Community Engagement
September is Attendance Awareness Month
Good attendance is key to student success, and afterschool programs can play a critical role in partnering with schools to support and reinforce good attendance habits. To help educators promote good attendance year round, Attendance Works is hosting its annual September is Attendance Awareness Month. The Attendance Works website has planning tools and promotional materials available for schools and other organizations to use.

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Topics
Program Management
Serving English Language Learners Afterschool
The journal of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association has published “Serving English Language Learners Afterschool,” an evidence-backed commentary article on English learners (ELs) and afterschool. The authors explain the unique opportunities of afterschool programs to benefit EL youth and review strategies that programs use to help ELs succeed. Among the conclusions: All afterschool programs, even those challenged by limited resources and access to bilingual staff, can implement research-proven strategies to support the achievement of EL youth.

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Topics
Diverse Learners

There are 227 resources. Displaying 10 items per page.

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Five Ways to Build Strong Relationships with Families

In a fast-paced culture, where families are busy and sometimes overwhelmed with job and school responsibilities, family engagement is still important. National AfterSchool Association’s professional development series, Talk Tuesday, offers new materials to guide an afterschool staff training session on family engagement. This resource focuses on five quick techniques that help afterschool practitioners build strong relationships with families.
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You for Youth College and Career Readiness Resources

Provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st CCLC web portal, this You for Youth online professional learning course explores ways to incorporate college and career readiness into 21st CCLC afterschool and summer programs. Learn how to use existing activities to build and reinforce skills, work with stakeholders to strengthen your program, tap into various funding sources, and help families become more informed.
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