Illinois Quality Afterschool (IQA) Quarterly

Spring 2019

girl taking a picture

Photo courtesy Alternative Schools Network
21st CCLC program

In This Issue

  • Afterschool Focus: Career and Technical Education
  • Program Profile: Alternative Schools Network Helps Students Prepare for Careers After High School
  • News from the Field: TFD 215 Robotics Team

Afterschool Focus

Supporting Career and Technical Education in Afterschool

Through activities and partnerships, 21st CCLC programs can help students explore interests and build skills that will help them succeed in the workforce.

Program Profile

Alternative Schools Network Helps Students Prepare for Careers After High School

Instituto Abayarde, part of the Alternative Schools Network 21st CCLC program, aims to provide highly relevant programming that will prepare students for postsecondary life. Activities include supporting students in completing graduation portfolios, resume and interview practice, and opportunities to participate in apprenticeships and internships with partner organizations.

News from the Field

TFD 215's Rebel Robotics Team Learns Engineering, Programming, Strategy, and More

Last year, the Thornton Fractional High School District (TFD) 215 21st CCLC program launched a robotics team at its South High School site. In addition to building and programming a winning robot, the team defeated some of the more experienced teams in their league and won rookie of the year their first year. This year they placed second in their league.

Recommended Resources

Bringing Controversial Books Into the Classroom

Thousands of books address contemporary issues that young adults face, and many provide a way for students to engage in difficult conversations about these issues. These books are not without challenges, however, as many are controversial or challenged as reading material. This blog post from Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Usable Knowledge blog describes ways that educators can use controversial books to create a safe space for students. Suggestions include thoroughly researching a book before introducing it, making a case for the book's inclusion, and communicating with stakeholders about your plans and how students will benefit from reading the book.

Collaborative Mentoring Webinar Series

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) hosts an ongoing webinar series on collaborative mentoring. Recent topics include strategies for ongoing mentor training and ways to maximize volunteer engagement. The webinars are held on the third Thursday of every month, and past events are archived online.

Supporting Positive Youth Development in Afterschool

A new white paper from Child Trends, the Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC), and LA’s BEST examines the role of afterschool programs in positive youth development. The paper explores a common approach to three important youth outcomes: substance misuse and abuse, problem behaviors, and academic performance.

Information for Grantees

Important Dates and Events

Grants and Other Opportunities

The Power of Youth Challenge is an opportunity for youth ages 13–18 to bring positive change to their community through local service. Sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, America’s Promise Alliance, and Peace First, the challenge provides participating teams with coaching and minigrants of up to $250 to achieve their project goals. Project teams must include at least three youth, and applications are due on March 31. Learn more on the Peace First website.

Join Us Online

Do you have a question for your afterschool colleagues? Would you like to know what’s going on in other Illinois 21st CCLC programs? Join the Illinois Quality Afterschool Facebook Group.


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Copyright ©2019 by American Institute for Research. This publication was developed by AIR in 2019 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.