Illinois Quality Afterschool (IQA) Quarterly

Spring 2021

boys at indoor soccer arena

Photo courtesy America SCORES Chicago

In This Issue

  • Afterschool Focus: Exercise Does More than Get the Wiggles Out
  • Program Profile: America SCORES Chicago 21st CCLC Fosters Learning through Activity
  • Fox Valley Park District and West Aurora School District 129 Rethink Family Engagement

Afterschool Focus

Exercise Does More than Get the Wiggles Out

The benefits of exercise go beyond physical fitness. Youth who are physically active are more likely to experience improved behavior and social and emotional development, as well as improved academic outcomes. In this issue of Illinois Quality Afterschool Quarterly, we explore ways to integrate physical activity in 21st CCLC programming.  

Program Profile

America SCORES Chicago 21st CCLC Fosters Learning through Activity

America SCORES Chicago 21st CCLC program embodies its name by incorporating soccer and other types of physical activity into all aspects of programming. The program aims to create poet-athletes who are inspired to lead healthy lives and develop the skills they need to succeed in school and life.

News from the Field

Fox Valley Park District and West Aurora School District 129 Rethink Family Engagement

When in-person programming abruptly stopped in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox Valley Park District and West Aurora School District 129, two 21st CCLC programs in Aurora, Illinois, adapted their family engagement strategies to respond to emerging needs in the community.

Recommended Resources

Connected by STEAM

You for Youth has updated their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) course to include the arts. This online professional development resource includes an overview of STEAM, information on how STEAM benefits students now and in future careers, and strategies implementing STEAM programming in your 21st CCLC program.

Summer Learning from Screen to Screen

A new report, Summer Learning From Screen to Screen: Lessons Learned from After School Matters Summer 2020 Programs, by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and After School Matters, shares research findings about the lived-experience of Chicago teens and program instructors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report found that during the pandemic, food insecurity is widespread across Chicago; teens and their families are experiencing considerable economic hardship; and teens felt stress as a result of the challenges of COVID-19, financial hardship, and food insecurity.

Information for Grantees

Important Dates and Events

Grants and Other Opportunities

The Voya Foundation offers grants in two areas: innovative and experiential K–8 STEM learning opportunities and the provision of financial education curriculum for students in grades 9–12. Organizations with programming that aligns with these priorities are encouraged to contact the foundation to be considered for an application. Learn more on the Voya Foundation 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 ©2021 by American Institute for Research. This publication was developed by AIR in 2021 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.