Illinois Quality Afterschool (IQA) Quarterly

Winter 2022

Woman reading story

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUImages.

In This Issue

  • Afterschool Focus: Using Your Local Evaluation for Continuous Improvement
  • Program Profile: Behind Every Fox Valley Park District 21st CCLC Site Is Good Evaluation Data
  • News From the Field: Summertime Is Fun Time at Columbia College 21st CCLC Program

Afterschool Focus

Using Your Local Evaluation for Continuous Improvement

The key steps in the continuous improvement process are Develop, Implement, Evaluate, and Improve. Those steps can take you from doing a good job in your 21st CCLC program to doing an even better one in the future. Your local evaluation can tell you what is working and what is not working in your program, leading to programming changes and refocusing that can result in better student outcomes.

Program Profile

Behind Every Successful Fox Valley Park District 21st CCLC Site Is a Strong Evaluation Collaboration

West Aurora is a community that values its afterschool programs—so much so that there are waiting lists to get into the programs at the Fox Valley Park District 21st CCLC program. The program quality is strong thanks to the collaborative relationship between program staff and the evaluation team from Aurora University.

News from the Field

Summertime Is Fun Time at the Columbia College 21st CCLC Program

The Columbia College 21st CCLC program focuses on the arts as a way to get students energized and motivated. Last summer’s program was the first time students had attended afterschool programming in-person since the start of the pandemic. Their energy and enthusiasm made sustained projects like mural painting, art, and activism a resounding success.

Recommended Resources

Make Learning Outside of School Count

What do learning math concepts through boatbuilding, shadowing a teacher to see classroom management practices in action, and developing software skills while studying video game development all have in common? These are all examples of credit-for-learning opportunities available through afterschool programs. A recent Afterschool Alliance Issue Brief, Credit for Learning: Making Learning Outside of School Count, discusses credit-for-learning programs and the many ways students benefit from credit-for-learning opportunities.

A Framework for Boosting High School Students’ Math Confidence

In a recent Edutopia article, author Ranjani Iyer uses a four-step framework to help students develop a growth mindset and positive attitude toward math. The SAFE framework includes the following steps: Self-Reflection, Affirmation, Failing Forward, and Enliven. Helping students visualize where they want to be using “heartful” affirmations and celebrating small successes help build mathematical confidence in Iyer’s classroom.


Information for Grantees

Important Dates and Events

Grants and Other Opportunities

The New York Life Foundation Aim High Grants program includes 1- and 2-year grant programs to support afterschool and summer learning programs to provide foundational skills and guidance that middle school students need to successfully transition into high school. This year, the 1-year grants focus on supporting programs’ racial equity and social justice efforts. The 2-year grants support programs in enhancing direct service activities, technical assistance, capacity building, and their efforts in continuing to serve youth while facing the challenges of the pandemic and beyond. Read more about the Aim High Grants at The deadline for the grant proposals is February 1, 2022.


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 ©2022 by American Institute for Research. This publication was developed by AIR in 2022 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.