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Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
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New report from the Wallace Foundation: Strategies to scale up

By Nikki Yamashiro

The question of how to scale up—taking a successful program, project, or policy and growing it to expand its reach and therefore its impact—has been an important one when thinking about systems change. It is a key component in efforts to make sustainable, positive social gains; a subject highly relevant to the afterschool field. Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, the study, “Strategies to Scale Up Social Programs: Pathways, Partnerships and Fidelity,” takes a close look at the strategic decisions made by 45 programs—ranging in focus from education to the environment—that helped them expand their reach and bring their services to a greater number of people. Key takeaways from the report include:

Pathways, partnerships, and fidelity. The three interrelated strategic choices common to scale up efforts are:

  1. Pathways - the decision of how to scale
  2. Partnerships - whom to partner with and how
  3. Fidelity - how a scale up effort does or does not change or adapt as new partners or communities implement the scale up

Partnerships are critical in scaling up efforts. While funders were identified as core partners by almost all of the programs included in the study, partnerships provided scaling up efforts more than funding. From consultation expertise to volunteers and from infrastructure to implementation, the programs reviewed relied on the support of their partners.

Find the right balance. Finding the right balance between program fidelity and adaptation can help ensure that the scaling up effort is meeting the needs of the community while at the same time maintaining its effectiveness.



Welcome, 2017-2018 class of Afterschool & Expanded Learning Policy Fellows!

By Jen Rinehart

Torrance Robinson from FLUOR speaks to the 2016-2017 Fellows about corporate engagement

Sixteen leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning nationwide have been selected as White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellows as part of a partnership between the Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Through deep discussion of case studies led by policy change-makers, the fellowship equips graduates with a real-world understanding of sound policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning. In the ten-month program, which begins in October, fellows will study afterschool/expanded learning policy and develop and implement state-level policy projects in partnership with their statewide afterschool networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.

"Attending the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship was as not only rewarding academically but also for creating network partners across the country,” said Darren Grimshaw of the Burlington Police Department, a recent fellow. “The manner in which policy development was presented allowed for the collaboration of fellows and the input of subject matter experts in the field of afterschool programming. This policy fellowship experience has also given me the tools necessary to continue building much needed partnerships between law enforcement and out-of-school programs. This was an amazing hands-on experience."



New resources for STEM in afterschool from the Research + Practice Collaboratory

By Leah Silverberg

Check it out: the Research + Practice Collaboratory has some new and updated resources for the afterschool field! If you are not familiar, the Research + Practice Collaboratory works to bridge the gap between education research and STEM education implementation. The Collaboratory’s goal is to increase communication and partnerships between educators and researchers to promote the co-development research-based tools that are grounded in practice.

Case study teaches research and collaboration through tinkering

In a recent blog post, Jean Ryoo from the Exploratorium talks about her partnership with in-school and out-of-school time practitioners to create a conference presentation for school administrators and in-school and afterschool educators. The presentation was intended as an opportunity for afterschool professionals to share ideas with the larger education community and showcase collaboration across institutions, research, and teaching.