Illinois Quality Afterschool (IQA) Quarterly

Winter 2021

girl smiling after giving the right answer

Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

In This Issue

  • Afterschool Focus: Writing Instruction
  • Program Profile: Matteson School District 162 21st CCLC Makes Writing Relevant
  • News from the Field: Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) Focuses on Values

Afterschool Focus

Writing Instruction

In a world of emojis and internet slang like “LOL” and “OMG,” writing remains an essential skill. This issue of Illinois Quality Afterschool Quarterly explores some practices and strategies to help students to be effective writers.

Program Profile

Matteson School District 162 21st CCLC Makes Writing Relevant

Matteson School District 162 offers a range of enrichment activities where students can develop interests and skills. Through a variety of activities, students write for a variety of purposes, seeing real-world applications of their efforts.

News from the Field

Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) Focuses on Values

The team members in the Out of School Time (OST) Grades 3–8 Program at Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) responded to the events of 2020 by updating their program’s mission and values. These new values have defined goals for the 2020–21 school year, professional development, and new curriculum for 21st CCLC programming.

Recommended Resources

Avoiding Cabin Fever

As we grapple with cold weather and the rise in COVID-19 cases, the idea of cabin fever has new implications. Impatience, restlessness, irritability, and lack of motivation are real concerns. This blog post from the U.S. Department of Education’s You for Youth (Y4Y) web portal lists resources and strategies to help to battle cabin fever among staff and students alike.

Student Engagement Strategies That Go Beyond Zoom

Keeping students engaged involves more than turning on the webcam. This blog post from the BELE Network outlines strategies for keeping students engaged during virtual learning: encouraging feedback, creating an equitable learning environment, and more.

Information for Grantees

Important Dates and Events

Grants and Other Opportunities

The New York Life Foundation is seeking applications for grants to afterschool, summer, or expanded learning programs serving underserved middle-school youth. Awardees will be selected based on their ability to help youth transition successfully to ninth grade and the ways in which they are providing academic, social, and emotional supports to youth during the pandemic. There is an informational webinar for applicants on January 14. Applications are due on February 1. Learn more on the Afterschool Alliance website, a partner in the program.

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.