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
The Coalition for Community Schools has published a 9-week blog series on how community school initiatives are supporting and strengthening innovations in expanded learning opportunities. Each post addresses how districts and their community partners are finding effective ways to implement different expanded learning opportunities. Topics include summer learning, using data to make decisions about community partnerships, and innovative STEM learning opportunities with higher education institutions.
This report from the Wallace Foundation covers Better Together: Building Local Systems to Improve Afterschool, a national conference held in February 2013. Teams from 57 cities gathered to discuss how to improve afterschool programs and use data for informed decision making. The report covers topics such as sustainability, dropout prevention, data use, and high-quality programming for secondary students.
The Afterschool Training Toolkit for Homework from SEDL provides resources that enable practitioners to provide effective homework help in their afterschool programs. The toolkit includes an overview of four promising practices in afterschool homework help that specialists identified through a review of research and site visits to promising afterschool programs across the United States. Video clips illustrate some of the practices in action, and the toolkit also contains resources, such as a homework log and a memo template, to help afterschool practitioners monitor and communicate about student progress.
Designed to be used with SEDL’s Afterschool Training Toolkit for Homework, this instructor’s guide aids afterschool instructors in mastering promising practices in homework help. The guide includes instructional strategies, organizational tools, and opportunities for instructors to reflect on teaching experiences and improve their practices. Afterschool directors can use the instructor’s guide as a professional development tool with groups, or instructors can use the resource independently.
This brief from The Forum for Youth Investment helps out-of-school time providers develop a better understanding of Common Core State Standards and their implementation in out-of-school time programs. It includes examples of how some programs are responding to the standards and gives recommendations on how programs might approach aligning activities with the standards. It also provides an overview of challenges and opportunities for the out-of-school time field and suggestions for implementing the standards.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Y4Y portal has added several new civic learning and engagement resources for afterschool practitioners. There are new strategies and information, as well as customizable tools, checklists, worksheets, project examples, and project planners to help practitioners develop civics projects for students. Finally, the website has new trainings-to-go and training starters to help afterschool leaders develop engaging professional development sessions for staff.
This issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance closely examines the current economic state of African American and Latino communities and the far-reaching impact of poverty on academic achievement. It highlights the important role afterschool and summer programs play in supporting youth and families in these communities. The brief also outlines the challenges these programs confront in keeping pace with demand for their services and ensuring their doors stay open to continue providing resources that are highly valued in African American and Latino communities.
This article reports preliminary findings from an evaluation of Stand Up Help Out (SUHO), an afterschool camp for high school students in the Bronzeville area of Chicago. The authors sought feedback from the youths participating in the program and asked them about what they valued in the program and the types of relationships they formed. According to the report, the youths participating in the SUHO program consistently pointed out that caring and being cared for were most meaningful to them.
This set of data sheets from the Wallace Foundation helps afterschool leaders and stakeholders use data more effectively. The first data sheet provides an overview on the use of data in afterschool. The remaining five offer information on using data for advocacy work, assessment and program improvement, accountability, identifying and addressing gaps in programming, and data-sharing strategies. The resource is designed for city agencies, afterschool program providers, intermediary organizations, and others.
Developed by ExpandED Schools by TASC, this video and accompanying one-page overview explains how a Brooklyn school added 3 more learning hours to the school day for 500 students each year. The video explores the costs and the funding sources that the school sought. In addition, the one pager provides an overview of challenges and recommendations for schools seeking to extend learning time.
Published in 2009, this practice guide from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences provides five recommendations to help district and school administrators, out-of-school program providers, and educators design out-of-school time programs that will increase learning for students. It describes the research supporting each recommendation, how to carry them out, and how to address roadblocks that might arise in implementing them.
College and Career Readiness
This article examines urban students' experiences in Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), an afterschool college readiness program. GEAR UP is a federally funded program designed to prepare low-income students to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The article is based on interviews with 10 program participants. Themes that emerged among interviews include navigating the college system, expansion of career options, counseling relationship, personal insight, and future orientation. There is also a discussion of implications for school counselor preparation and practice.
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