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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Support for Families When a Suicide Attempt Hits Home

USAGov and Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention teamed up to share some important tools to help guide those dealing with the challenging crisis of attempted suicide. Resources include links to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, guidance to assure caregivers take care of their own needs, advice on communicating with children during times of crisis, tools on resiliency and moving forward after a crisis.



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Diverse Learners
Linking Communities and Schools for Healthy Students

Research has proven that children are best supported when communities and schools work together for positive outcomes for youth. This includes conveying a unified message around healthy food and lifestyle choices. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation recently launched the Smart Food Planner, a tool that helps community organizations find ideas for healthy snacks, meals, and beverages for everything from events to everyday afterschool activities. The tool makes it easier for schools and community organizations to quickly find healthy options for a variety of events.



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Program Management
The Skills to Pay the Bills: An Evaluation of an Effort to Help Nonprofits Manage Their Finances

This study examines an initiative sponsored by the Wallace Foundation aimed at improving the financial management skills and practices of 25 Chicago afterschool providers through training and coaching. The effort provided and tested two models for professional development: intensive customized training and less costly group training and coaching. Both models produced long-lasting improvements. Moreover, organizations receiving the group training improved almost as much as those receiving customized training, albeit over the course of 3 years rather than 2.



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Program Management
Better Together: Leveraging Partnerships for Afterschool Systems

Have you considered partnering with other youth-serving systems in your community to better serve the youth population in your afterschool program? This blog post by the American Youth Policy Forum highlights possible partnerships, the benefits to building a community of support, and examples of partnerships that have already been forged. These partnerships help support youth-whether through STEM-related activities, simply getting youth outdoors, or creating opportunities for youth employment-by building on the strengths of each organization.



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Program Management
Creating a Safe Physical Environment

Safety is a number one priority in afterschool programs. When thinking about safety, providers must think about how safe an environment is when the children are actively engaged and moving toys and equipment from one part of the room to another. This article by the National AfterSchool Association guides afterschool practitioners through critical safety issues and provides a link to the Council on Accreditation that has specific guidelines for creating a safe environment for the students you serve.



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Program Management
ESSA Toolkit

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides a tremendous opportunity for the State Afterschool Networks and other statewide afterschool organizations to elevate the importance of afterschool and summer learning programs with key audiences and secure additional out-of-school time resources. This online toolkit and playbook from the Afterschool Alliance is designed to help networks and their allies understand which parts of the new law have the most potential to support afterschool and summer learning programs. It provides guidance and tools to help networks engage with state and local audiences, including information about who to engage, which messages to use, and how to participate in critical discussions.



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Program Management
Examining 21st CCLC Practices and Outcomes

This article in Children & Schools, the journal of the National Association of Social Workers, examines which aspects of afterschool program quality contribute most to positive outcomes. Studying 21st CCLC programs in one Midwestern state, the authors found that family engagement strategies most strongly correlated to program outcomes. These research findings may prove a valuable source of evidence for programs seeking support to develop and implement quality measures and family engagement initiatives.



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Family and Community Engagement
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Taking a Year-Round Approach to Literacy

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with Dollar General Literacy Foundation, presents this issue brief examining the vital role afterschool programs play in building students’ literacy skills, with an emphasis on the need for year-round support. The brief provides detailed descriptions of award-winning and exemplary afterschool and summer learning programs offering fun and engaging ways to get students excited about literacy. This resource offers inspiring examples for literacy programming and projects, as well as research-grounded information to use in garnering program support.



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Academic Enrichment
Eight Things to Remember When Integrating STEM

The National AfterSchool Association’s most recent staff development resource features an article by Anna Padget Crocker of the Franklin Institute Science Museum. The eight tips are designed to help staff view STEM as an essential component of afterschool programs without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. The resource includes a discussion guide and application activities for staff development.



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Academic Enrichment
Learn to Speak “STEM-ish”

Want to help afterschool STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) blast off in your community? This two-part webinar series is grounded in the FrameWorks Institute’s recently completed study of effective messaging about afterschool and STEM. Learn how research-based communications strategies boost public support for afterschool STEM programs and how to avoid common communications traps that can weaken messages’ effectiveness. View the recordings for part 1 and part 2 of the webinar and find tools and resources on the Afterschool Alliance website.



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Topics
Academic 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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