The team at Illinois Quality Afterschool has compiled this list of resources to help you and your staff provide high-quality 21st CCLC programming. The Resource Bulletin brings you the latest information on afterschool research, best practices, tools, conference proceedings, policy briefs, professional development tools, and activities. We hope you will share this list of resources with your staff.
Family and Community Engagement
Engaging Families in Afterschool is a webinar created especially for Illinois 21st CCLCs. The webinar will help afterschool programs strengthen and build a systemic approach to family engagement and highlight school- and district-level efforts. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will host and co-facilitate with SEDL's Illinois Quality Afterschool team. Before the webinar, participants can review ISBE’s Family Engagement Framework Guide and provide feedback. The webinar takes place May 21 at 10 a.m. Register on the Illinois Quality Afterschool website.
Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships is a publication of SEDL in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education. The publication presents a new framework for designing family engagement initiatives that build capacity among educators and families to partner with one another around student success. Based in existing research and best practices, this report is designed to act as a scaffold for the development of family engagement strategies, policies, and programs.
Published by the Harvard Family Research Project, “Five Ways to Address Families’ Digital Learning Needs” outlines how museums and libraries are ramping up their offerings for parents and families in support of vital 21st-century learning skills. The article discusses providing trusted places for families to gather for cross-generational learning; providing access, resources, and expertise for technology; and cultivating community learning partnerships. Although the lessons are from museums and libraries, these ideas are useful for all out-of-school programs seeking to increase parent engagement through technology.
The Afterschool Training Toolkit for Math contains a suite of professional development materials to help your 21st CCLC provide engaging math enrichment activities. Resources include information on best practices and the research base supporting them, video clips of the practices in action to use for professional development, and lesson plans so that your team can practice implementing these strategies.
“STEM Related After-School Program Activities and Associated Outcomes on Student Learning” provides findings that may be useful to afterschool leaders seeking support for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs in their afterschool programs. Published in the journal Educational Sciences: Theory & Practices, the article discusses findings from a qualitative case study of how afterschool STEM programs affect collaborative learning and students’ interest in STEM fields and 21st-century skills.
Created by ExpandED Schools by TASC, this resource guide profiles promising strategies that advance informal STEM learning. It provides an overview of core elements of the national Frontiers in Urban Science Exploration strategy, profiles of city and county-wide STEM initiatives, afterschool curriculum resources for STEM activities, and more.
The Federal Registry for Educational Excellence site helps educators find digital teaching and learning resources created and maintained by the federal government and public and private organizations. Educators can browse materials by subject or by standards, including Common Core State Standards.
According to California-based Summer Matters, an increasingly powerful body of research points to the impact of non-cognitive factors—or social-emotional learning—on students’ ability to benefit from the education they receive. This report explores how summer learning programs can help students develop non-cognitive skills that will help them succeed in a school environment. The publication describes program structures and also draws from program evaluations, survey data, and in-person observations that all provide evidence of the differences these experiences can make for children and youth.
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.
High-quality afterschool programs reach only a small percentage of children and teens today. In this video from the Wallace Foundation, national experts discuss what cities can do to close this gap and boost quality and participation in dynamic out-of-school-time programs.
Positive relationships with school-day personnel, families, community members, and between and among program staff and students help afterschool programs thrive. The latest issue of SEDL Insights explores how afterschool practitioners can build strong relationships that benefit all stakeholders.
Published by the National Summer Learning Association, this report examines the organization’s teaching fellowship program, which paired teachers with local summer learning programs. The report includes inspirational reflections from the teaching fellows, online resources, and curriculum.
This latest publication from the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project provides resources for city agencies, school districts, intermediaries, and other organizations interested in implementing or strengthening city-wide expanded learning opportunities; as well as state agencies and Statewide Afterschool Networks designing multi-city initiatives. The toolkit groups resources in the following categories: Building Strong Systems, Engaging Today’s Students, and Expanded Learning Models.
The Central Valley Afterschool Foundation has published its inaugural issue of the Journal of Expanded-Learning Opportunities. Although the organization is based in the Central Valley of California, this new peer-reviewed journal discusses expanded-learning research and programs throughout the nation. The Spring 2014 issue explores researcher and practitioner dialogue, intentional communities, and family engagement.
College and Career Readiness
Produced by the Illinois Pathways Initiative, Illinois Career Clusters, Pathways, and Programs of Study Guide aims to help educators and other stakeholders improve college- and career-oriented pathway programs that guide students to adult education and employment. The publication includes background information on the Illinois Pathways Initiative and the National Career Cluster Initiative, information about growing opportunities in STEM careers in Illinois and the United States, and extensive resources.
First in the Family is a website that provides practical advice and lessons learned by high school seniors and high school graduates who have made it to college. The website includes videos and planning checklists for students who are preparing to apply to and attend college, as well as resources for advisors and parents. The website is project of What Can Kids Do, a nonprofit committee that supports college access and success for low-income students.
Published in Computers & Education, this article provides research findings for afterschool practitioners who are interested in providing game-design activities in their programs. The authors evaluated the impact of an initiative called the Game-Design Learning program on students’ problem-solving skills. In this quasi-experimental study, the authors found that, compared to students in a control group who did not attend the program, the children who attended the Game-Design Learning program showed a significant increase in their problem-solving skills.