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
Produced by StriveTogether and ExpandEDSchool by TASC, this paper describes the ways that youth-serving community-based organizations can help prepare young people for success in school and life. It provides a framework for building a cradle-to-career infrastructure to support community partners and recommends ways for communities to build increasingly effective relationships among community-based organizations and other partners.
“Building Social Support with Families: Practical Ideas and Tips,” a resource from the National AfterSchool Association, outlines ways that afterschool programs can engage families in promoting healthy out-of-school time environments for children. Suggestions include making sure snacks and meals are not only healthy but also culturally sensitive and inclusive and inviting family members to volunteer to coach sports or lead other physical education activities.
The PBS LearningMedia website has a series of professional learning resources on Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The resources include model instructional best practices, information about assessments, and an in-depth explanation of the standards. Resources for both content areas were produced by the Tennessee public television stations.
This report from the Afterschool Alliance summarizes evaluation data from a selection of strong afterschool STEM programs, providing a snapshot of the types of substantive impacts afterschool programs are having on youth. The report also presents some of the research findings about the importance of afterschool and other out-of-school experiences for STEM learning. (Downloads as PDF.)
Role models play a vital role in getting youth excited about careers in STEM. Created by Techbridge, the Role Models Matter Online Training Toolkit is a resource to help STEM professionals develop skills to engage girls and underrepresented youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Although the toolkit is designed for STEM professionals, afterschool practitioners can also use it when working with community members. The toolkit includes readings, videos, questions, and more.
Recent research by Dr. Deborah Lowe Vandell and her colleagues at the University of California-Irvine School of Education shows how consistent participation in afterschool activities during elementary school is linked to a narrowing achievement gap in mathematics. The Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project website has a summary of the research findings and other resources for afterschool practitioners. The website includes a information about Dr. Vandell’s research, factors linked to positive benefits of afterschool, overview graphics, and resources to help stakeholders learn more about the research and findings.
Produced by the Afterschool Alliance and the MetLife Foundation, this issue brief explores how afterschool programs can support students with disabilities and other special needs. The brief notes that afterschool staff who receive special training are more confident and comfortable in serving students with disabilities, and it stresses the importance of ongoing professional development, partnerships, and positive reinforcements for afterschool staff. The publication also includes profiles of afterschool programs that serve a high percentage of special needs students.
Social and Emotional Learning: A Resource Guide and New Approach to Measurement in ExpandED Schools, from ExpandeEDSchools by TASC, provides a list of tools afterschool practitioners can use to provide strong programming that supports social-emotional learning competencies. This curated resource pulls from across the landscape of policy, research, and practice, with a description of each tool.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Team in the Division of College and Career Readiness at ISBE and the Illinois Quality Afterschool Team invite you to participate in our webinar, High School Afterschool: Challenges and Opportunities. This webinar will highlight innovative strategies used by high school afterschool programs to successfully navigate common challenges such as student recruitment, retention, maintaining quality staff, and developing meaningful partnerships. The webinar takes place on August 20 at 10 a.m. CDT. Register on the Illinois Quality Afterschool website.
Most afterschool programs share space and resources with a school district or community organization. This resource from the National AfterSchool Association discusses how afterschool practitioners can improve collaboration and communication with the organizations with whom they share resources. The article provides strategies for communication and emphasizes the benefits of working with community partners, even in challenging situations.
“Looking at the Data: Afterschool Programs Using Data to Better Serve Students,” an issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance and the MetLife Foundation discusses how afterschool programs can use data to serve students in their programs. The brief describes how afterschool programs benefit from data collection and evaluation. It also outlines the steps necessary for program evaluation and provides examples from the afterschool field.
Part three in a series by California-based Summer Matters, this report explores how education leaders can use summer programs to provide professional learning opportunities. The study found that teachers working in summer programs used the time to work on project-based lessons and youth facilitation skills. Non-credentialed program staff got more experience with program planning. The study also reports on staff perceptions regarding the effect these summer experiences will have on their professional practices during the regular school year. (Downloads as PDF.)
This report from the Wallace Foundation takes a look at the priorities of grantmakers that support afterschool or other expanded learning efforts. It also examines the perspectives of key field leaders, including heads of youth-serving nonprofits and researchers. A survey finds that “improved academic achievement” and “increased student engagement” are the most common outcomes funders hope to see from their afterschool/expanded learning giving.