Illinois Quality Afterschool Resource Bulletin

Summer 2018

The Illinois Quality Afterschool team at American Institutes for Research 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.

Program Management

Summer Learning Recruitment Guide

If your 21st CCLC is offering summer programming, be sure to check out this summer learning recruitment guide from the Wallace Foundation. The guide includes strategies for messaging and recruitment, and a list of essential, recommended, and optional recruitment tactics.

Planning Tips to Make the Most of Your Full-Day Program

Making the transition from afterschool to summer programming often means switching from 2–3 hours to a full day of activities. This blog post from the National AfterSchool Association offers ways expanded learning professionals can prepare for a full day of programming, including developing schedules that work for staff and students and planning and delivering learning activities.

Afterschool Matters

The Spring 2018 issue of Afterschool Matters, the magazine of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, includes articles useful to Illinois 21st CCLC grantees. Topics include fostering friendships and peer groups in afterschool programs, promoting youth voice, and the work of an afterschool ecology club.

Program Evaluation Doesn’t Have to be Scary: Increase Buy-In with Message Framing

In this archived webinar from the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, experts from the American Institutes for Research share evidence-based communications strategies to help organizations gain buy-in from stakeholders for their program evaluation. Presenters also describe barriers to communication and mobilization around program evaluation, as well as ways to overcome these barriers.

Diverse Learners

Ask, Listen, Learn: Incorporating Alcohol Education Into Your Program

Even when parents discuss alcohol consumption with their children, they may not explain why underage drinking is harmful. To help educators and parents address this information gap, has developed Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix, an alcohol education program that provides a suite of education resources on the harmful effects of underage drinking. The National AfterSchool Association recently hosted a webinar to introduce the program. Information and resources can be found on the Ask, Listen, Learn website.

Expectant and Parenting Young Families

Expectant and parenting teens have unique needs and challenges., a federal website with interactive tools and resources to support youth in a variety of areas, has several resources specifically designed to help adults support teen parents. These include information on the importance of working with pregnant and parenting teens, links to federal programs that provide support and resources, tip sheets, and strategies for working with both teen mothers and fathers.

Preventing and Responding to Discriminatory Behavior: Schools and Campuses

The National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments has several resources for educators who want to ensure that students do not experience discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or national origin. These include policy and guidance, resources for special populations, and bullying and violence prevention resources for different age groups.

The Opioid Crisis and K–12 Schools: Impact and Response

The U.S. Department of Educationis joining other federal agencies in combating the opioid crisis that is killing Americans at unprecedented rates and having a devastating impact on families and communities. This archived webinar outlines how the opioid crisis affects students and families. It also offers strategies and practices that educators can use to address the opioid crisis in schools.

Afterschool Programs a Blessing for Students with ADHD

A recent study of records of more than 4,000 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) indicates that these students benefit from participation in afterschool programs. While the study was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, researchers found that students who participated in afterschool programs missed fewer days of school, and their parents reported less severe ADHD symptoms.

Social and Emotional Learning

Service Learning Strengthens Social and Emotional Learning

Service learning can strengthen social and emotional learning (SEL) skills among students. That is the primary finding shared in “Longitudinal Change in Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior Toward Strangers, Friends, and Family,” a recent article in the Journal of Research on Adolescence. The type of service learning activity matters, however. Service learning activities that align with educational activities have more meaning for students. Similarly, working with individuals who are less fortunate helps students develop empathy and self-esteem. A summary of the study and findings can be found on the Education Dive website.

An Ideal Opportunity: The Role of Afterschool in Social and Emotional Learning

Expanded learning programs are an ideal setting to help students develop social and emotional competencies. These programs can also help principals and teachers, many of whom report facing barriers to implementation in the school setting. This research brief from the Afterschool Alliance provides an overview of SEL and the role of afterschool in supporting SEL for students. It also profiles four afterschool programs and their strategies for implementing strong SEL programs.

Academic Enrichment

Illinois Bicentennial Education

This year, Illinois celebrates its bicentennial. As a partner in the state’s celebration, ISBE has provided educational resources to help Illinois students learn about the history of their state. Resources include activities, ideas, and lesson plans, as well as a timeline of Illinois history. ISBE will update its bicentennial site as more resources and activities are available, so be sure to visit the site throughout the year.

The Teachers’ Newsletter from Illinois Classrooms in Action

Do you want to keep up with the latest strategies, lessons, and resources for Illinois standards and academic content? The Summer 2018 issues of the Illinois Classrooms in Action newsletters feature the favorite stories that were shared throughout the school year. There are newsletters for four different grade bands, ensuring that educators have access to age-appropriate lessons and resources.

Family Engagement

Partnering with Newcomer Families

Communicating with families of a variety of backgrounds, including those coming to the United States from another country, is an important skill for educators. This research story from the Harvard Graduate School of Education provides strategies for working across language and cultural differences between educators and newcomer families.

College and Career Readiness

Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool

Because they provide a wide range of experiences and learning opportunities, expanded learning programs can help bridge the gap between students’ skills and employers’ needs. This issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance outlines the foundational skills and competencies that the workforce needs today and is expected to need in the future. The brief also provides strategies and examples of how afterschool programs can help students develop these skills.

Afterschool and Workforce: Opportunities for System-Level Alignment

The workforce sector, which includes all state and local actors directly involved in workforce development, and afterschool and youth development fields all recognize the need to help youth develop critical skills and competencies to participate in the workforce. Instead of collaborating, however, these different sectors work in isolation. A new white paper by the American Youth Policy Forum explores how afterschool and workforce systems can align to help better meet the needs of youth and the workforce.


Afterschool Tech Toolkit (with Support from Google)

With support from Google, the National AfterSchool Association has developed the Afterschool Tech Toolkit to help afterschool professionals and educators provide students with meaningful ways to engage with technology after school. Modules include getting started with technology, developing a shared vision for digital learning, equity issues, embedding technology into curriculum, and strategies to train and support staff in the use of technology.

Turn to Tech for Professional Learning This Summer

Summertime often means a chance for afterschool professionals to catch up on professional learning. This blog post from the Department of Education’s You for Youth (Y4Y) afterschool web portal offers fun and innovative ways that afterschool professionals can use technology for professional learning. There are suggestions and strategies: podcasts like those included in the Y4Y’s Click & Go professional learning series, social media, new apps, and virtual expeditions.

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Copyright ©2018 by American Institutes for Research. This publication was developed by AIR in 2018 and was funded by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) with support by the U.S. Department of Education. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the AIR 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.