Illinois Quality Afterschool (IQA) Quarterly

Summer 2020

girl making chalk drawings on pavement

In This Issue

  • Afterschool Focus: Technology in Afterschool
  • Program Profile: CATS Academy 21st CCLC Uses Technology to Boost Student Learning
  • News from the Field: My Time 21st CCLC Students Learn Science with Live Animals

Afterschool Focus

Technology in Afterschool

To help students become empowered citizens and have access to 21st-century jobs, educators must help students creatively and effectively use technology to support their learning. This issue of Illinois Quality Afterschool Quarterly explores how 21st CCLC programs can integrate technology into afterschool programming to foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Because many 21st CCLC programs have offered some virtual programming this spring and may continue to do so in the fall, we also outline considerations for virtual 21st CCLC activities.

Program Profile

CATS Academy 21st CCLC Uses Technology to Boost Student Learning

At CATS (Collectively Aiming Towards Success) Academy 21st CCLC in Christopher Unit School District 99, technology supports nearly all aspects of learning and enrichment. Technology enhances research and projects but also provides a vehicle for students to create and express themselves.

News from the Field

My Time 21st CCLC Students Learn Science with Live Animals

It’s no secret that offbeat, hands-on activities are a great way to keep students engaged in afterschool. At My Time 21st CCLC, part of Fox Valley Park District in Aurora, students have the opportunity to put their hands on a collection of frogs, snakes, turtles, and other critters in a program offered by the Frog Lady.

Recommended Resources

Antiracism, Equity Education, and Youth Voice Tools

Across the United States, youth are organizing and speaking out to call for racial justice. This blog post from the Afterschool Alliance provides a list of resources that afterschool professionals can use in person or virtually to provide youth with opportunities to share their views, develop an understanding of antiracism and social justice, and reflect on current events.

Inclusion in Remote Learning

As schools and afterschool programs transitioned to remote learning and look to continue this format or adopt hybrid in-person and remote learning programs in the fall, supporting students' diverse learning needs is more important than ever. This case study from Educating All Learners describes how one school worked to adapt instruction to meet all learners' needs.

Information for Grantees

Important Dates and Events

Grants and Other Opportunities

Author James Patterson is giving $2.5 million to help teachers build their classroom libraries. The Patterson Partnership will award 5,000 teachers with $500 in individual grants matched by 500 Bonus Points from Scholastic Book Clubs to acquire books and other materials needed to enhance their classroom libraries. Winners will be randomly selected and announced in September. The grant program is open to all teachers in Pre-K through grade 12 in U.S. schools. Learn more on the Scholastic website.

Responding to educators’ emerging needs as they address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning, the NEA Foundation is offering three new grant opportunities, including a COVID-19 Response Student Success Grant. Grants in amounts of either $2,000 or $5,000 will be awarded for a one-year period, beginning in September–October 2020. Applicants requesting this funding should be prepared to implement their projects during the 2020–2021 school year. Learn more on the NEA 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 ©2020 by American Institute for Research. This publication was developed by AIR in 2020 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.