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.
Not only do out-of-school suspensions cause students to miss valuable class time, they also disproportionately affect students of color. A recent blog post from American Youth Policy Forum highlights research on this trend and explores an emerging solution. Restorative justice, a new approach to school discipline, stresses relationships, community, and communication, and is starting to show promising results across the country.
Positive behavior begins and ends with relationships—not with the rules. This staff development resource from National AfterSchool Association includes a brief article with tips for positive behavior, a discussion guide, and application activities. The author reminds us that the relationship-building process takes time, and offers tips afterschool practitioners can use alongside their behavior systems to deepen the relationships between staff and youth.
Many of us know of the critical importance of developing social and emotional skills, but it is often difficult to connect the frameworks and research to the everyday practices that help foster skill building in afterschool. This Afterschool Alliance webinar recording focuses on bridging the gap between research and practical application of social and emotional learning practices that support skill building.
Preparing Youth to Thrive is a new field guide that presents the results of a study of eight exemplary out-of-school programs committed to social and emotional learning. The project was a partnership among these top programs, the Susan Crown Exchange, a national foundation, and the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, a research center. The field guide details key staff practices that any program can use, identifies six vital skill areas in social-emotional growth, and shares narratives from staff and youth about how these programs are making a difference.
The title of this Beyond the Bell brief from American Institutes for Research poses the question: Ready for Work? It focuses first on research showing social-emotional learning competencies are important employability skills, and then shares how social-emotional learning programs can support development of these skills—and how afterschool and expanded learning settings are an ideal place for this to happen.
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.
The latest edition of NIOST’s Afterschool Matters is now available. Topics include gang prevention and mentoring programs, and using action research to create a culture of engaged, participatory youth. Other offerings focus on the redesign of a school-based STEM curriculum into an innovative STEM summer camp, and STEM “insert programs” that bring in adults with content expertise.
STEM activities, including arts and crafts, abound on this popular and dedicated STEM Pinterest board. A bonus if you visit soon—it’s loaded with Star Wars STEM projects!
College and Career Readiness
During the transitional summer between high school and college, a surprising number of high school students fail to complete the college enrollment process and begin their postsecondary education in the fall. Called the “summer melt,” this phenomenon is especially true among low-income students. This Research in Brief profile from the National Summer Learning Association shares the results of a study on the challenges of the summer melt and provides recommendations educators and policymakers can implement to prevent it.
What does the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) mean for afterschool and summer learning program providers? Hosted by the Afterschool Alliance, this overview webinar outlines what the new law says regarding funding and policy for afterschool and summer learning programs. These include the 21st CCLC initiative, STEM afterschool provisions, full service community schools, or other programs. This introductory webinar was the first in a series of five. Future sessions will go into depth on a variety of programs and topics in ESSA relevant to afterschool programs and providers.
Over the last decade, there has been a shift in the way many cities are approaching out-of-school time, moving from independent, isolated programming and funding to coordinated, citywide systems. This American Youth Policy Forum webinar recording provides an overview of the cornerstone elements of an afterschool system and showcases the system-building work in three communities and their approaches to developing citywide afterschool systems. The webinar also explores opportunities for sustainability and several emerging issues.
In afterschool, great leaders often rise from within the ranks—in part because of inspirational leadership at all levels. Creating an engaged and empowered atmosphere among team members can lead to improved retention, attendance, accuracy, productivity, safety, profitability, and a variety of other measureable indicators of success. This blog post from the National AfterSchool Association outlines steps leaders can take to create this kind of atmosphere, enabling staff members to reach their leadership potential.
Scaling up evidence-based programs is not easy, and it is something that program developers and distributors approach in many different ways. This brief from ChildTrends reviews the best practices for the scale up of effective programs from across the literature, identifying recommendations for funders, communities, and program providers. It also describes the experiences of several effective programs that are at varying levels of scale across the country and internationally.
Many schools see student attendance start to decline in spring months. In response to this challenge, ExpandED Schools created Avoiding the Attendance Slump: Strategies to Maximize Learning Time in June. This resource guide offers specific strategies to increase learning time and attendance rates, boost engagement, minimize summer learning loss, and accelerate performance in the next grade.
Extending quality improvement efforts from the school year into the summer is the goal of the Summer Learning Program Quality Intervention (PQI). The continuous improvement intervention was developed as part of an ongoing collaboration between the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality and National Summer Learning Association. Its approach includes adapting school-year tools to provide high-impact support to summer programs. Hosted by the two collaborating organizations, this webinar recording explains the context of the project, the findings from the 2013–14 pilot, and next steps.