As communities and states begin to emerge from lockdowns, afterschool and summer learning programs are developing plans to welcome young people back through their doors. There are significant considerations programs need to undertake in order to successfully and safely reopen. To help afterschool and summer learning programs through this process, we've curated a number of resources, guides, and examples to help you develop a plan — and collaborate with your school system — to safely care for children and youth.
5 Steps: Reaching out to School Leaders About Reopening
Use this simple 5-step plan to help ensure your afterschool programs are at the planning table and included in schools' reopening strategies. You'll find more factsheets, blogs, and CDC guidance below.
Identify the school districts, school board leaders and groups you will reach out to, including states superintendent, school board or community education council and school administrator associations. If statewide outreach is daunting, build a list of priority districts. Consider:
- High need and high poverty areas (map of high poverty counties)
- Districts where you have good working relationships with the district or afterschool programs in the area
- Districts that have a politically influential representative in Congress or the state legislature
- Bonus: aim to cover a variety of media markets in your state Identify any people or programs you can partner with to reach key groups on your target list.
Use these tools to contact the people and organizations you've identified. Share materials that show how afterschool can support schools for reopening and throughout the year. Request a meeting where feasible.
Afterschool networks, leaders and providers can help engage parents and ask them to contact their child's principal. State networks can also reach out to help coordinate and support programs in districts that have a politically influential representative in Congress or the state legislature.
build_circle Sample email from network to providers
build_circle Sample email from providers to families
build_circle NAFSCE Recommendations
State networks and leaders may consider using an open letter to gather signatures of partners, supportive schools and education leaders, programs, and other supporters across the state to share with school boards and superintendents.
State networks, leaders, programs and staff can use social media channels to promote the role of afterschool programs in reopening—and share tools that programs can use.
build_circle Sample posts and tweets
- Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Are Essential for Recovery (factsheet)
- How Afterschool Supports Students' Learning (factsheet)
- Re-opening: The big picture & practical realities for afterschool (blog)
- CDC Guidance
Brief: Expanded Learning Programs: Principles for Reopening & Recovery
Quick Brief: Tools to Help Plan for Summer Programs
Factsheet: Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Are Essential for COVID-19 Recovery
American Camp Association – Camp Operations Guide 2020
National Summer Learning Association – Summer Learning: A Bridge to Student Success and America’s Recovery, a COVID-19 PLAYBOOK
National Occupational Therapy Association – Back to School Guide in the Era of COVID-19
Playworks – Playworks School Re-Opening Workbook
- YMCA Nashville Childcare Policy and YMCA Safety Protocol
- Supporting staff, YMCA of Metro Atlanta (video)
- How Horton's Kids are pivoting to bring in new public and private funding (video)
- Staying connected with families—find creative ways program are keeping in touch with families to respond to need