Illinois Quality Afterschool Resource Bulletin

Winter 2017

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.

Upcoming Events

Illinois Quality Afterschool Webinar—2017 Nuts and Bolts of 21st CCLC Program Operation, Part 1

Join us December 14 for a webinar specifically designed for new project directors and site managers seeking more guidance in managing and operating a 21st CCLC program. Topics will include the roles of Illinois Quality Afterschool partners, an overview of reporting requirements, a look at the Illinois Quality Afterschool website and resources, and an introduction to the six tracks to sustainability: program management, collecting and using data, programming, integrating K–12 and afterschool, communication, and collaboration.

Program Management

Using a Comprehensive Assessment of Summer Programs

The National Summer Learning Association has developed a set of tools to help summer learning program leaders conduct a quick comprehensive assessment of their programs. The tools include resources for a self-assessment, observation assessment, and a quality improvement plan template.

Making Summer Last: Integrating Summer Programming into Core District Priorities and Operations

This report from the Wallace Foundation examines how three districts implemented lasting summer programs. Strategies included building awareness of programs and aligning them with district goals; including key stakeholders in planning; and using staff expertise and district systems to support the program.

Illinois Kids Count 2017

The Voices for Illinois Children’s Illinois Kids Count reports examine the quality of life of children and families in Illinois. With a focus on education, the 2017 report includes indicators of education from birth through postsecondary and also provides an overview of how different counties fare. This is a helpful report if you want to illustrate the need for 21st CCLC programs in your community.

Three Tips for Program Marketing

Nearly all afterschool programs face the challenge of reaching new and existing stakeholders with clear and engaging messaging about their program. This blog post from the U.S. Department of Education’s Y4Y website offers strategies afterschool practitioners can use to refresh their messaging and reach target audiences. Links to tools and resources are also included.

Diverse Learners

Difficult Dialogues: Engaging Youth in Tough Conversations

The afterschool setting provides an environment where afterschool practitioners can engage students in challenging conversations about topics that affect them and their communities. This archived webinar from the Afterschool Alliance provides the perspectives of experts and practitioners, strategies for having challenging but important conversations with youth, and tools that practitioners can use to facilitate discussions in their own afterschool programs.

Afterschool and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

This American Youth Policy Forum article explores how out-of-school time programs can be positioned as a mechanism for disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Examples include the safe, supportive environment that afterschool programs provide; social and emotional learning; culturally relevant teaching; diverse learning experiences; and wraparound services.

Social and Emotional Learning

The Future of Children: Social and Emotional Learning

This special issue of the journal The Future of Children examines the development of social and emotional learning in school and afterschool settings. The publication finds that these skills are essential for children and that teachers and out-of-school time staff need professional development to help children acquire them.

Social and Emotional Learning Can Begin on the Bus Ride

This article from Edutopia describes a program in which school transportation personnel received training on how to form positive relationships with students during their rides to and from school. The staff also learned how to teach students ways to cope with stressful situations at home or during the school day. The article provides strategies and takeaways that other educators and afterschool professionals can share with transportation staff.

Afterschool Enrichment

Afterschool Matters

A recent issue of Afterschool Matters, a publication of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, has several articles relevant to Illinois 21st CCLC grantees. Topics include STEM making and learning, factors that influence employees’ commitment to out-of-school time work, and how teens perceive agency in youth development programs.

Library and Afterschool Partnerships

The Afterschool Alliance surveyed 365 afterschool providers on their perceptions of public libraries, what kinds of partnerships they have, as well as ideas for future growth. The report includes key findings, challenges to partnerships, opportunities for STEM, and recommendations for growing partnerships.

Review of Evidence: Arts Integration Research Through the Lens of the Every Student Succeeds Act

This AIR report that was published by the Wallace Foundation reviews research on arts integration, activities that leverage the arts to improve student outcomes. The report also identifies arts integration activities that qualify for federal education funding. These findings may be useful for schools or expanded learning programs that are seeking new opportunities to offer arts integration through the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Academic Enrichment

NASA Space Place

NASA Space Place is a science website that provides upper-elementary-aged students with opportunities to learn about space and Earth science through interactive games, hands-on activities, articles, and short videos. Students may also move between English and Spanish text on the website with just one click.

College and Career Readiness

Employer-Driven Innovations in Career and Technical Education

This Forum Brief from the American Youth Policy Forum provides an archive of a recent event on career and technical education (CTE). Presentation materials include leading research on CTE and analysis of the evolving workforce needs, which have influenced the development of innovative CTE strategies. There are also links to CTE programs and summaries.

Career and College Exploration in Afterschool Programs in STEM

This publication from the American Youth Policy Forum discusses how afterschool programs can help prepare youth for college and careers in STEM fields. The publication includes evidence and real-world examples that afterschool programs can use to inform partnerships and programming in this area.


Evidence on the Impact of Afterschool

The Afterschool Alliance has released two new fact sheets with evaluation findings showing how afterschool programs can have positive impacts on students. One fact sheet, What does the research say about 21st Century Community Learning Centers?, includes findings specifically from evaluations of 21st CCLC programs. The second fact sheet, What does the research say about afterschool?, includes evaluation findings from a broader selection of afterschool programs.

The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs

A new RAND publication reviews the outcomes and benefits of out-of-school time programs. The report presents evidence suggesting that out-of-school-time programs can generate three kinds of benefits: academic gains, enriching experiences, and safety and homework help. Benefits depend on the type of programming offered and how long it is offered. The report also includes recommendations on ways afterschool programs can achieve their desired outcomes.

Winning the Support of Municipal Officials

Mayors and city council members can be powerful advocates for afterschool programs, especially if they understand the connections between afterschool programs and positive youth outcomes. This article from the National AfterSchool Association outlines strategies for getting municipal officials on your side to sustain and support afterschool programs.

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Copyright ©2017 by American Institutes for Research. This publication was developed by AIR in 2017 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.