Illinois Quality Afterschool Resource Bulletin - Fall 2016

Summer 2016

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.

Call for Papers

2017 Beyond School Hours Conference

June 30 is the deadline to submit presenter applications for the Beyond School Hours National Education Conference. Convening in Atlanta, Georgia, February 22–25, 2017, the meeting attracts a national audience of practitioners, directors, and policy makers committed to helping young people flourish across the learning day. Foundations Inc. hosts the event and seeks proposals for conference strands that include family and community engagement, summer learning, and literacy.

Program Management

Illinois Statewide Afterschool Quality Standards

ACT Now is excited to announce the launch of its Illinois Statewide Quality Standards. ACT Now has undertaken an initiative to develop Quality Standards in order to improve afterschool programming. These Quality Standards capture practices that have been demonstrated, through research, to lead to quality programs and positive outcomes for children. The Quality Standards provide afterschool programs with a common language for describing quality, as well as a “high bar” for individual programs to hold themselves accountable. Starting this month, ACT Now will hold trainings on the Standards around the state. A training is scheduled in Champaign/Urbana on June 14, 2016. More locations for trainings will be announced later this summer. To learn more about ACT Now or the Quality Standards, contact Susan Stanton, Network Lead, at or 312-516-5564, or visit ACT Now’s website.

Helping Others Step Into Their Leadership

This professional development article from the National AfterSchool Association begins by recognizing that there is no single recipe for building effective leadership. The author, Amanda Meeson, who is vice president of programming with The Leadership Program, reached out to her own team for examples of how she helps build their leadership. She then shares the team’s take on what is working in their community. The exercise serves as a model of how vulnerability and transparency can be an important element of effective leadership.

The New Generation of Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education

A new report from Columbia University Teachers College describes developments in the current generation of cross-sector collaborations for education and presents findings from a scan of initiatives across the United States. Commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, the report explores in part the prominent new model of collaboration known as “collective impact” while acknowledging that many thriving partnerships of school systems, governments, and community organizations predate the recent surge of interest in collaboration. The nationwide scan of initiatives found that almost 40 percent of collaborative efforts to improve education are located in the Midwest.

Diverse Learners

Latinos and Literacy: Hispanic Students’ Progress in Reading

A recent report published by Child Trends highlights growth in U.S. Latino students’ reading scores over the last decade. Researchers looked at national and state results as well as selected urban school districts. Among the key findings, Chicago was identified as a top performer over the decade, even though in the last four years state-level progress across the nation has slowed for the fourth- and eighth-grade populations studied. The report will help afterschool literacy program leaders stay informed about current school-day reading trends and efforts.

Supporting Students Who Have Incarcerated Parents

Having a parent in prison can have an impact on a child’s mental health, social behavior, and educational opportunities. is a website representing 19 federal agencies that support youth-serving programs. The site includes links to information, tools, guides, and resources to assist educators, parents, and programs in supporting children who have an incarcerated parent. Topics include helping kids deal with trauma and exposure to violence, and child welfare services for children and families of prisoners.

Social-Emotional Learning

Are You Ready to Assess Social and Emotional Development?

This webinar recording is Part 2 of a two-part series on how afterschool programs can support social and emotional learning. The presentation digs into the assessment landscape to help programs recognize whether and how to implement assessments of social and emotional development. Hosted by the Afterschool Alliance, the webinar recording is available on their website along with downloadable resources and related links. Part 1 of the series is also available online.

DIY Social and Emotional Learning Kit

This DIY kit offers practical ways to implement social and emotional learning into everyday life. Ready, Set, Soar! presents strategies, tips, and techniques in a fun, easy-to-use format applicable in any setting and for all ages—children and adults. Registration is required on the WINGS website to download the free DIY kit.

Afterschool Enrichment

Afterschool Matters Spring 2016

An article of interest in the new issue of Afterschool Matters is a retrospective study that has implications for any high school out-of-school-time program. The article describes how afterschool program elements helped high school students transition from school to college or career. Other articles in this issue cover topics such as helping young students overcome math anxiety, encouraging physical activity, and measuring authentic youth engagement using the Youth-Adult Partnership Rubric.

The Intersection of Afterschool and Competency-Based Learning

Afterschool and competency-based learning are increasingly emerging as student-centered, supportive learning models to prepare students for college and career. This American Youth Policy Forum white paper explores the intersection and relationship between the two fields, recommends policy considerations for implementing successful programs, provides real-world examples, and shines a spotlight on emerging trends for the future.

Lessons from an Evaluation Study of ExpandED Schools Model

This report by Policy Studies Associates (PSA) highlights some ways that schools and community organizations might come together to provide children with critical enrichment activities that enhance knowledge and expand horizons beyond the school day’s core academics. In evaluating the ExpandedED Schools national demonstration model, PSA examined the conditions that support or hinder implementation of an expanded learning day. The study concludes with recommendations and discussion questions to help schools and community organizations explore the possibility of entering a partnership.

Academic Enrichment

Learn to Speak “STEM-ish”

Want to help afterschool STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) blast off in your community? This two-part webinar series is grounded in the FrameWorks Institute’s recently completed study of effective messaging about afterschool and STEM. Learn how research-based communications strategies boost public support for afterschool STEM programs and how to avoid common communications traps that can weaken messages’ effectiveness. View the recordings for part 1 and part 2 of the webinar and find tools and resources on the Afterschool Alliance website.

Eight Things to Remember When Integrating STEM

The National AfterSchool Association’s most recent staff development resource features an article by Anna Padget Crocker of the Franklin Institute Science Museum. The eight tips are designed to help staff view STEM as an essential component of afterschool programs without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. The resource includes a discussion guide and application activities for staff development.

Taking a Year-Round Approach to Literacy

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with Dollar General Literacy Foundation, presents this issue brief examining the vital role afterschool programs play in building students’ literacy skills, with an emphasis on the need for year-round support. The brief provides detailed descriptions of award-winning and exemplary afterschool and summer learning programs offering fun and engaging ways to get students excited about literacy. This resource offers inspiring examples for literacy programming and projects, as well as research-grounded information to use in garnering program support.

Family Engagement

Examining 21st CCLC Practices and Outcomes Subscription Required

This article in Children & Schools, the journal of the National Association of Social Workers, examines which aspects of afterschool program quality contribute most to positive outcomes. Studying 21st CCLC programs in one Midwestern state, the authors found that family engagement strategies most strongly correlated to program outcomes. These research findings may prove a valuable source of evidence for programs seeking support to develop and implement quality measures and family engagement initiatives.

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Copyright ©2016 by SEDL, an affiliate of American Institutes for Research. This publication was developed by SEDL in 2016 and was funded by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) with support by the U.S. Government. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the ISBE or any other source. This publication is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce and disseminate it in whole or in part is granted as long as appropriate acknowledgment is given.

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