Illinois Quality Afterschool Resource Bulletin

Summer 2020

The Illinois Quality Afterschool team at the American Institutes for Research has compiled this list of resources to help you and your staff provide high-quality 21st CCLC programming. This 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

Recognizing the Role of Afterschool and Summer Programs and Systems in Reopening and Rebuilding

This issue brief from the American Institutes for Research explores how afterschool and summer programs are well positioned to be strong partners in supporting children and families as schools reopen for the summer and 2020–21 school year. The brief focuses on the expanded learning field's ability to provide safe, relationship-rich environments where we can respond to trauma, be trusted partners for families and communities, and provide connections to resources schools and families need. The brief also provides links to frameworks for a whole-child approach as schools reopen and strategies for what expanded learning programs and schools can do to prepare.

Afterschool Matters — Summer 2020

The latest issue of Afterschool Matters, a journal published by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, has several articles that can inform the work of afterschool professionals. Topics include bringing afterschool programming to affordable housing communities, providing supports for students with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and using the arts to provide forms of self-expression for boys and young men of color.

Educating Ethically

Educators have faced a multitude of critical decisions about how to implement emergency learning equitably. A new white paper from Harvard University’s Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics examines some of the ethical decisions that education leaders made as schools transitioned to remote instruction. The paper finds that rather than posing a new set of ethical dilemmas, the pandemic intensifies inequities in the American education system.

Avoiding Zoom Fatigue

Remote meetings have become a way of life for both work and socializing. They help us stay in touch but can also be draining. This article from the Harvard Business Review outlines ways that professionals can avoid Zoom fatigue. Strategies include planning breaks, minimizing distractions, and falling back on email and phone calls if needed.

Filling Your Cup: Comprehensive Self-Care Strategies Curriculum

The well-being of educators is essential to healthy and resilient students. Healthier Generation, through the support of Kaiser Permanente, has developed a four-part on-demand training series with tools and resources to help educators focus on their well-being. Topics include defining and identifying burnout, as well as balancing and combatting it; becoming aware of stress and responses; balance through boundaries; and connecting to your needs.

Diverse Learners

Tools to Build On

The recent national dialogue and policy landscape has exposed children of all ages to complex discussions about immigration, religion, diversity, safety, and community. In a climate of uncertainty, students can end up feeling frustrated, hurt, alienated, or confused if these often-taboo subjects are not confronted thoughtfully by adults. The Afterschool Alliance and a broad range of partners have developed “Tools to Build On,” a webinar series of expert testimony, discussions, resources, and firsthand accounts on how to bring out and build up supportive climates during out-of-school time.

From Prevention to Diversion: The Role of Afterschool in the Juvenile Justice System

In the United States, involvement with the juvenile justice system can have a long-lasting negative impact on a person’s life. Afterschool and summer learning programs can mitigate risk and support the development of protective factors that help keep young people out of the juvenile justice system. These programs can also serve as an alternative to detention. This archived webinar from the Afterschool Alliance spotlights afterschool programs that leveraged programming opportunities and partnerships, coordinated efforts to keep young people safe and supported, and helped build protective factors and positive social relationships that led to bright futures.

Embedding a Racial Equity Perspective in the Positive Youth Development Approach

Positive youth development (PYD) emphasizes building on youths’ strengths and providing supports and opportunities to help them achieve goals and transition to adulthood healthily. This brief from Child Trends explores how PYD programs can embed a racial equity perspective so that they can more effectively engage, support, and meet the needs of youth of color.

Afterschool and Vaping Prevention

Over the last few years, e-cigarette use—commonly known as vaping—among youth has skyrocketed. Afterschool and summer learning programs have long been identified as valuable spaces to build protective factors and decrease risk factors among youth. This blog post from the Afterschool Alliance outlines ways that afterschool programs can develop protective factors that discourage youth from vaping and engaging in other unhealthy habits.

Rural Communities Resource Hub

The Rural Community Resource Hub provides resources for the unique needs of rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information is organized into resources for families and students, including issues around limited access to technology; schools, educators, and districts; community spotlights; and health information and resources. The hub was created by rural subject matter experts from Bates College and the Harvard Education Redesign Lab with input from rural school administrators.

Social and Emotional Learning

From Response to Reopening: State Efforts to Elevate Social and Emotional Learning During the Pandemic

Since transitioning to remote learning, schools have drastically changed how staff, students, families, and communities engage with one another. From Response to Reopening: State Efforts to Elevate Social and Emotional Learning During the Pandemic, a new brief from CASEL, provides recommendations for states to continue their support of social and emotional learning (SEL) as schools prepare for the fall.

Webinar Series: SEL as a Lever for Equity

In response to events that have highlighted ongoing systemic racism and violence against the Black community, CASEL has offered a webinar series to prioritize equity and explicitly discuss racial injustice and equity through the lens of SEL. Topics include cultivating and communicating commitment, adult SEL to support antiracist practices, elevating student voice and vision, authentic partnerships with families and communities, and policy and data practices that dismantle inequities.

Afterschool Enrichment

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Distance Learning

School closures have exposed deep inequities in education. An article on KQED’s Mind/Shift shares principles of culturally responsive instruction that educators can use during remote instruction. Strategies include deepening background knowledge, cultivating cognitive routines, and building word wealth.

Academic Enrichment

Using Creative Projects to Help Students Engage With History

When students creatively engage with historical materials, they can find the study of history more meaningful. This article from Edutopia provides examples of inquiry-based learning history projects such as podcasts and photography. The article shares strategies and lessons learned from the activities.

Family Engagement

Keeping it Real in Family Partnership

Keeping It Real in Family Partnership is a video storytelling project that aims to inspire conversations about how out-of-school time (OST) practitioners and families from diverse cultural backgrounds partner to support children. The stories highlight promising practices and explore the experiences of families and OST professionals. Each video story is supported by a series of guiding questions that families and OST professionals can reflect on as they develop stronger partnerships. The series also has a facilitators’ guide with resources to use with OST staff.

Engaging and Supporting Families During Distance Learning

As schools offer remote instruction or a hybrid of in-person and remote instruction, educators must find new ways to engage students and their families. This article from the Global Family Research Project shares lessons learned from online learning and outlines strategies that educators can use to engage families.

Tip Sheets on Everyday Parenting Topics

These tip sheets from the Child Welfare Information Gateway are designed for service providers to share with parents and caregivers in the context of a particular concern or question. The tip sheets provide a starting point for a discussion between parent and provider that is grounded in protective factors. The information is easy to read and focuses on concrete steps that parents can take to strengthen their families.


Let’s Talk About Afterschool: Telling Your Story

It is always important for afterschool programs to make the case for afterschool and highlight ways our programs support students, their families, schools, and the community. This archived webinar from Afterschool Alliance brings together perspectives from several afterschool programs to discuss how they have raised awareness and generated support for their programs in challenging times.

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Copyright ©2020 by American Institutes for Research. This publication was developed by AIR in 2020 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.