Resource Database

Photo of students outdoors reviewing a map together
The Illinois Quality Afterschool team has created this resource database to help you and your staff provide high-quality 21st CCLC programming. Browse or search the database to find the latest information on afterschool research, best practices, tools, conference proceedings, policy briefs, professional development tools, and activities.

Click on a topic or use the search box below to look for a listing:


There are 402 resources. Displaying 10 resources per page.

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Including Students with Disabilities

Afterschool programs serve students with mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders, but staff and other stakeholders are not always prepared to fully support these students. The Summer 2019 issue of AfterSchool Today, the official publication of the National AfterSchool Association, addresses the topic of disability inclusion. Topics include an overview of disability inclusion and professional development in afterschool, a special report on trends in disability inclusion, and an overview of promising practices in providing sensory-inclusive experiences for all students.



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Diverse Learners
Putting Data to Work for Young People: A Ten-Step Guide for Expanded Learning Intermediaries

How can expanded learning practitioners gather and use data to inform decisions that support afterschool and summer programs, recruit students, and allocate resources? A new 10-step guide from RAND offers insights into collecting, analyzing, and managing data to improve decision-making. The guide serves as a starting point to help improve the ways in which afterschool professionals use data to benefit the programs, communities, and young people they serve.



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Program Management
Safety First: Protect the Young People You Treasure

From a sudden thunderstorm knocking down power lines and flooding roads to a family dispute moving from the home to your afterschool program, emergencies happen. Y4Y has developed a suite of tools to help 21st CCLC programs prepare for emergencies. Resources include a training session on developing and implementing a safety plan, a template for a site coordinator safety checklist, and resources for communicating with families about safety.



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Program Management
Human Resources Course

You for Youth (Y4Y), the U.S. Department of Education’s online resource for 21st CCLC programs, has a new human resources course for grantees. The course covers nine key strategies that afterschool leaders can use to manage and develop their staff, covering everything from hiring to training to building a positive work environment to managing staff performance.



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Program Management
History of Afterschool in America

The How Kids Learn Foundation has created a documentary on the history of afterschool programs in the United States since the 1800s. The film provides useful background to help expanded learning stakeholders understand the historic need for these programs and how they have supported youth and communities through the decades. The one-hour documentary can be viewed for free on the How Kids Learn Foundation website. There is also a learning guide and trailer for the documentary.



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Sustainability
Smithsonian Game Center

The Smithsonian Science Education Center has several interactive online games that help students reinforce science concepts. The games are tagged by grade level and aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. They also provide opportunities for students to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are important to science education.



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Academic Enrichment
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The Goddard Space Flight Center at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a suite of resources for educators. There are activities for both formal and informal educators, which means there is something for everyone, regardless of how much science or instructional experience you have. For educators who want to let youth take the lead, there are also activities for “amateur astronomers.”



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Academic Enrichment
Reading Aloud to Middle School Students

Read alouds aren’t just for young children. This article from Edutopia describes one educator’s positive experience reading out loud to middle school students. The article explains how the practice reinforces skills and sparks interest in reading. It also lists some reading practices that educators can model when reading to their middle school students.



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Academic Enrichment
25 Creative Ways to Ask Students About Their Day

Have you ever asked students about their day and heard “fine” or received a shoulder shrug in response? This article from the National AfterSchool Association stresses the importance of engaging in dialogue about student experiences (despite what appears to be a lack of student interest). The article also lists 25 different ways that educators can ask youth about their day.



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Afterschool Enrichment
Food Deserts

Food deserts are areas in the United States where it is difficult to access affordable or good-quality fresh food, a phenomenon that can contribute to obesity and other diet-related illnesses. Food Deserts: Causes, Consequences and Solutions, a lesson from Teaching Tolerance, helps students learn more about the causes, consequences, and locations of food deserts. In addition to determining whether their community is in a food desert, students have the opportunity to design solutions to this challenge. This interdisciplinary lesson can serve students in middle school and high school and touches on areas of social studies, economics, and science and health.



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Afterschool Enrichment

There are 402 resources. Displaying 10 items per page.

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Volunteers: Engaging, Training, Managing and Retaining (Two-Part Series)

Volunteers can strengthen a 21st CCLC by expanding a program’s offerings, increasing adult-to-student ratios, increasing student access to experts, and more. This two-part webinar series from the U.S. Department of Education’s You for Youth (Y4Y) team shows 21st CCLC professionals how to engage, train, manage, and retain fantastic volunteers in every type of geographic location. Throughout the series, participants hear from experts and program leaders on strategies for maximizing the power of volunteers.
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America After 3pm

Demand for afterschool programs has remained strong during COVID-19, with parents seeing programs as providing critical supports. The fourth edition of America After 3PM, an Afterschool Alliance report on parent satisfaction with afterschool programs in 2020, finds that demand for afterschool programs remains high while cost and access barriers to participation and inequities persist. In addition to the report and executive summary, Afterschool Alliance has provided resources like infographics and fact sheets to help afterschool programs share information about the demand, need, and support for afterschool programs.
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