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.
Developing and maintaining a data system is one way afterschool programs can ensure they provide high-quality programming. This research brief shares findings from a study commissioned by the Wallace Foundation on the interplay between technology, processes, and people. Findings from the initial two years of research focus on how programs in nine cities developed their capacity to use data to strengthen their afterschool programs.
When staff bring diverse backgrounds and experiences to a program, how can afterschool leaders ensure they all have a basic understanding of how to engage youth in learning, such as in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities? Positive youth development (PYD) is a pro-social approach to child development that supports youth in fostering positive relationships. This article from the National Afterschool Association explains how staff can benefit from a shared knowledge of PYD and its impact on engaging students in STEM activities. The article also links to additional resources on PYD and STEM professional development.
Hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s You for Youth 21st CCLC web portal, this webinar recording highlights tools and strategies that afterschool program leaders can use to support and coach grantees to design and implement programs with intentionality and fidelity.
Studies have proven that children’s academic and cognitive performance improves when students are active. This blog post from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation describes the October 5 “Walk to School Day,” and provides four tips to help schools make every day a walk to school day. Learn how schools across the country are making health a priority by integrating walking into everyday activities.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers three easy steps to help afterschool program staff create a campus running club for youth. The steps are based on a running club the alliance launched with Edison Elementary, a school in San Diego that joined the Healthy Schools Program in 2014. With 99% of the student population eligible for free and reduced lunch, organizers point out the club is not expensive or time-consuming for staff or parent volunteers.
Presented by American Youth Policy Forum, this brief shares key takeaways from a recent forum in which leaders and researchers in the field of SEL (social-emotional learning) practice, youth engagement, and school climate discussed ESSA’s non-academic indicators of student achievement and their inclusion in state accountability systems. An overview of the forum is also available on the American Youth Policy Forum website.
Anticipating a student’s response to new and different situations is critical to creating a safe learning environment. ExtendED Notes presents three easy ways for any program to establish a safe learning environment. Ensuring that children feel safe and secure allows students to focus on their learning and curiosity in the moment.
For 20 years the PBS award-winning series Arthur has been a favorite of children across the United States. The producers of Arthur recently launched Arthur Interactive Media (AIM) Buddy Project, a new initiative aimed at helping young children build their social, emotional, and character skills and attitudes through the use of new digital tools. Learn more about the initiative from this webinar recording hosted by the Afterschool Alliance (free registration required).
Published by Boston Afterschool & Beyond, this practice brief includes recommendations from the organization’s pilot using digital badges to promote SEL skills among students. During this pilot program, staff focused on five key skill areas: communication, engagement in learning, perseverance, problem solving, and teamwork—all skills that are necessary for success in school, college, and future careers.
This webinar recording hosted by the Afterschool Alliance features experts from the Center for Childhood Creativity exploring seven critical components of creativity. These seven components are essential for children in order to think creatively, work creatively with others, and create innovative solutions to problems.
This resource from the Campus Compact focuses on how Global Service Learning is designed to stimulate targeted, reflective thinking on intercultural communication, competency, self-understanding, and comprehension of one’s position in society. The resource provides a reflection tool for program providers to engage with youth on issues such as intercultural border crossing, power, and privilege.
PBS Learning Media provides easy-to-implement tips and tricks shared by youth who presented at Ford’s Theatre to help children improve their public speaking skills. Students can watch the four-minute video and practice skills in any program setting.
Presented by the Afterschool Alliance, this webinar recording dives into the topic of measuring the impact of afterschool STEM experiences. Webinar presenters also discuss the role such programs have in the larger STEM education ecosystem and the important contribution they are making in students’ learning and development outcomes (free registration required).
Relationships with families and schools are key components to a successful afterschool program. This brief presented by the National Afterschool Association focuses specifically on how to engage families and school staff to increase their understanding of your STEM program highlights and happenings. Resources include conversation starters, newsletter content, and social media strategies.
College and Career Readiness
This webinar recording from You for Youth presents tools, resources, and implementation strategies of the portal’s new course on college and career readiness. The strategies are designed to help afterschool practitioners and the students they serve move college and career readiness into practice, including setting goals and keeping projects focused on student needs.
When considering ways to involve families in program planning, it’s important to think about how you and your staff are reaching out to families. Families can provide valuable insight toward program improvement, but barriers to engagement, such as work schedules and caring for other children, must be taken into account. “Involving Children and Families in Program Planning,” an article published by the National Afterschool Association, has some tips for overcoming obstacles and increasing family involvement in program planning.