The afterschool field is an essential part of communities’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. As the pandemic progresses, programs continue to innovate their services to support youth, families, and communities. Many are re-starting operations and providing critical afterschool programming to help youth re-engage, re-connect, and thrive.

However, 3 in 4 programs report that they are at-risk of laying off staff or closing. Navigating recovery legislation and pressing for investments in future recovery funding bills will be critical for the survival of these essential programs. To help make sense of the situation, this resource site offers guidance, resources, and examples from programs addressing the broad range of issues the field faces today.

We’re concerned for our kids, and what they are missing. In afterschool, kids get time with friends and mentors, hands-on learning, creative enrichment and expression, a chance to lead, explore and create without stress. That space has dramatically altered, and in some communities, taken away. We fear that the opportunity gap we were helping to close is widening.

We are confident we will get through this crisis together, and when we do, the afterschool field will be ready. Youth will need expanded support to emerge from this crisis strong, resilient, and hopeful - and we’ll be there to help them do so.

Policies for Recovery
For now, the federal Department of Education has not issued official guidance on 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs. Fortunately, many states have issued their own guidance for the COVID emergency. For more information on the various policy opportunities and initiatives, visit the Policy & Regulation section.
Safely Reopening Programs
There are many things afterschool and summer learning programs can do to ensure the safety of their students and staff. For in-depth guidance, review guides from our partners at the CDC, American Camp Association, and National Summer Learning Association.
Connecting with and Supporting Youth and Families
Social distancing, hybrid school schedules, and virtual learning make it difficult to connect with and support your program’s youth and families. The Community Wellbeing section has resources to help families with the emotional and financial challenges of the pandemic.

Statewide Afterschool Networks Resources

Many statewide afterschool networks have created a COVID-19 pages with state specific information. We will continue to update the links on this map as more information becomes available.

Importance of Including Afterschool in School Reopening Plans

07/30/20

When schools reopen this fall, it won't be business as usual. New health and safety standards developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic necessitate a radical rethinking of the way we serve students.

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Virtual Town Hall: #Afterschoolworks to Support Learning & Recovery

05/28/20

The National Town Hall celebrates the many ways afterschool programs have risen to the moment to help their communities respond to the pandemic, and looks ahead toward afterschool and summer learning programs' critical role in recovery. Read the follow-up Q&A document here.

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Facing Inequity with Youth and Families During the COVID-19 Era

05/07/20

The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing and widening existing social justice gaps in education broadly and out-of-school time is no exception. Given this unprecedented time, we focus on real-time approaches that afterschool and summer learning programs can use to move the needle on issues of equity and access.

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Safely Engaging Youth in a Virtual World

04/23/20

With the quick transition from in-person to virtual learning environments, afterschool providers are quickly adapting to serve young people in this new virtual world. But sifting through all of the resources that have flooded the field can be a tough task. Instead, we can learn from experts who have years of experience preparing educators to engage students in a virtual environment.

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Policy Supports for Afterschool and Summer Programs during the Pandemic

04/21/20

State and federal legislation and guidance around education, child care, human services, and child nutrition policy are rapidly changing under the COVID-19 pandemic. As these policies and guidance shift, it is critical to keep track of where things stand and what's coming up.

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How Federal COVID-19 Response Bills can Support Afterschool Opportunities

04/09/20

Many afterschool providers are struggling to provide opportunities for young people and families in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and financial assistance and flexibility is often needed. We will talk through opportunities included in the three major COVID-19 response bills, as well as a glimpse into what’s proposed for next round of legislation.  

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