The Illinois Quality Afterschool team at SEDL 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
This toolkit from the Harvard Family Research Project helps practitioners write their own cases—or situation summaries—about family engagement experiences. The theory is that writing the cases will help you—and others—learn more about family engagement. The toolkit includes steps that practitioners can follow to write a case, with related exercises, a collection of family engagement cases that can be used for inspiration and guidance, and a facilitator’s guide to help you use the toolkit in a professional development setting.
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.
The You for Youth website has new videos for afterschool programs that want to implement or improve STEM programming. Topics include aligning with the school day, strengthening partnerships, program implementation, and high-quality STEM practices and tips from the field. The videos profile different afterschool programs and include insights from afterschool practitioners.
Afterschool civic engagement programs offer learning experiences that benefit students, the afterschool program, and society as a whole. This article from the National AfterSchool Association outlines steps your team can take to implement a civic engagement program in your afterschool program.
The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network has focused on how youth programs, including afterschool, help at-risk students stay engaged in their education and prepare for future opportunities. The organization has resources, links to model programs, and related webcasts for afterschool practitioners.
This spring the Afterschool Alliance has hosted several new webinars to help practitioners improve afterschool instruction and programming. Recent topics include social media, keeping students active and healthy, building literacy, and using traditional and social media to support fitness and healthy eating. Free registration is required to access the webinar recordings.
Hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s You for Youth (Y4Y) website, this webinar presents strategies and best practices for setting up parent advisory boards. It also outlines tools and resources that afterschool programs can use for advisory board development.
The website eLearning Infographics has a variety of free infographics on topics ranging from the value of extracurricular activities and ways to improve study habits to making homework fun and cyberbullying. Educators can also submit infographics to share on the site.
Common sense and research suggest that students are more likely to attend school when they feel connected to caring adults or fellow students who notice whether they show up and can help them overcome challenges to attendance. The Power of Positive Connections, a resource from Attendance Works, outlines a strategy that educators can use to identify the students and families most at risk and helps them build positive relationships that promote regular attendance.
This research brief from Active Living Research summarizes the growing body of evidence showing that physical activity and fitness can benefit both health and academic performance for children. The brief reviews published scientific articles that examine how physical activity and fitness may help school-aged children maximize their academic performance. It also provides an overview of the effects of physical activity on the developing brain. Afterschool programs who want to demonstrate the importance of including physical activity in their programs will want to consult this brief.
As part of its 15-Minute Webinar Series on engaging youth in language and literacy, the National AfterSchool Association has shared several activities related to the topic. Titles include Building Community and English Language Skills in OST, Engaging OST Youth in Language and Literacy through Art, Score! Engaging OST Youth in Language and Literacy through Sports, and Cooking Up English Language Learning in OST.
The National AfterSchool Association and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation have partnered to provide the “Enrichment Zone,” a free curriculum for afterschool programs focused on promoting energy balance. The Enrichment Zone resources explain to students the concepts of “Energy In” (food and nutrition-related activities) and “Energy Out” (physical activities). It focuses particularly on the “Energy Out” aspect to help afterschool programs guarantee students get the daily 60 minutes of physical activity recommended by the National Afterschool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards.
The National AfterSchool Association has compiled several cyber ethics resources to help afterschool practitioners support students—and their families—as they explore the internet. Topics include plagiarism and intellectual property, piracy, and cyber etiquette.