Illinois Quality Afterschool Resource Bulletin - Winter 2014

Winter 2015

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

Finding Time Together: Families, Schools, and Communities Supporting Anywhere, Anytime Learning

Produced by the Harvard Family Research Project, this publication explores the time that children and families spend together in “anywhere, anytime learning.” These pursuits can range from unstructured activities at home or in the community to organized, school-related events. The authors explore the time that children and families spend together in learning pursuits, the constraints on families’ time, and the ways that institutions—including afterschool programs—are supporting families’ time together.

Academic Enrichment

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Core?

Published in the Fall 2014 issue of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time’s magazine Afterschool Matters, this article explores how expanded learning programs are responding to and supporting the Common Core State Standards. The article discusses how afterschool practitioners can meet academic standards designed for school while still focusing on important out-of-school time goals like positive youth development.

STEM/STEAM Activities

Looking for some new STEM activities? ExtendED Notes has a Pinterest board with dozens of activities to build students’ skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Resources range from short experiments to in-depth units that can last several days or weeks.

Adolescent Literacy

Published by the Carnegie Corporation, Adolescent Literacy Development in Out-of-School Time: A Practitioner’s Guidebook helps educators integrate adolescent literacy development initiatives into out-of-school programs. The publication identifies different ways that out-of-school programs support adolescent literacy: explicit literacy and academic instructional activities, literary enhancement, supporting general academic enrichment, and social development activities that may require the use of literacy-related skills. There is also information on promising practices in supporting adolescent literacy and ideas and strategies for planning, implementing, and expanding an out-of-school time program’s adolescent literacy offerings.

Learning About the U.S. Presidency

Public broadcasting television station KLRU has created and curated online resources to help students learn more about U.S. presidents and the presidency. Resources include “60 second presidents,” short video clips about U.S. presidents, presidential portraits, biographies, speeches and addresses, information about the powers of the presidency, campaigns, and elections, and information about first ladies throughout history.

Diverse Learners

The Eighth-to-Ninth Grade Transition

This blog post from the Afterschool Alliance is the first in a series that explores the challenges students face in transitioning to high school and how afterschool programs can help. The author notes that a disproportionate number of students who fail the ninth grade subsequently drop out but also finds that afterschool and summer learning programs can provide important academic, social, and emotional supports that make the shift easier and help students succeed in high school.

Dropout Prevention

A Proven Solution for Dropout Prevention: Expanded Learning Opportunities,” one of the chapters in the compendium Expanding Minds and Opportunities: The Power for Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, addresses ways that afterschool practitioners can help support dropout prevention efforts. The author looks at recommended dropout prevention strategies and predictive factors of dropping out of school matched against the impact of quality afterschool and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Program Management

Expanded Learning Time: A Summary of Findings from Case Studies in Four States

Two federal initiatives—the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program and waivers of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—call on school districts to expand learning time in low-performing schools. This summary report from the Center on Education Policy outlines findings from case studies of 17 low-performing schools in 11 districts in Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, and Virginia. It also focuses on state and local responses to these federal learning time requirements. The case studies included site visits and interviews with 49 state, district, and school officials.

Quality Conversations

The National Afterschool Association (NAA) has created a podcast series called “Quality Conversations.” In the series, NAA executive director Gina Warner is speaking to researchers, experts, practitioners, and funders about afterschool quality—what it is, how to achieve it, and why it’s imperative. The first two episodes address partnering with community colleges and using school and community needs assessments to design high-impact afterschool programs.

Financial Management

Organizations with strong financial management are better able to fulfill their missions and deliver high-quality services. The Wallace Foundation has developed a suite of online resources to help nonprofit organizations strengthen financial management. The resources are divided into four key areas: planning, monitoring, operations, and governance.

Tips for Finding the Right Partner

Partnerships between schools, expanded learning programs, and community-based organizations can play a key role in supporting school improvement and student learning. This resource guide from ExpandED Schools by TASC offers a guide to the strategic questions school teams might ask themselves and their potential partners to have the best outcomes for young people. The guide includes questions and a scoring rubric.

Afterschool Enrichment

Connected Learning

Afterschool programs are considered pioneers in applying a connected learning approach—creating a learning environment for students that builds on their interests; introduces them to new passions; provides mentors and a supportive peer network; and links this engagement to academics, careers, and civic participation. Afterschool Programs: Inspiring Students with a Connected Learning Approach, a report from the Afterschool Alliance, discusses the role of afterschool programs in connected learning. It also provides examples of afterschool programs that are offering connected learning opportunities that join together their students’ interests, peer networks, and academics, as well as key takeaways from programs.

Empowering Afterschool Providers to Create Healthier Communities

This webinar recording from Dialogue4Health explores how out-of-school time staff can help young people eat healthy and stay active. The recording presents childhood obesity statistics, the National Afterschool Association’s Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, examples of how afterschool programs are implementing the standards, and professional development resources.


Coding Apps for Kids

To help students take advantage of opportunities in STEM fields, many organizations are advocating that all students learn to code. AlphaBEST Education, an extended-day summer and tutoring program, has compiled a list of eight great coding apps for children.

Illinois Quality Afterschool home page

Copyright ©2015 by SEDL. This publication was developed by SEDL in 2015 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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