Sample polling questions

Demonstrate the impact of afterschool in your community

There's a wealth of statewide data available through our America After 3PM dashboard, but you can supplement this by conducting your own local survey to learn more about the needs of your community—and to better inform your marketing strategy. Here are some ideas for questions you can ask parents, teachers, community members and kids.

Questions for parents, teachers, community members and other adults:

1. Do you think there needs to be some type of organized activity or place where children can go after school every day that provides opportunities to learn?

2. Which is the most important element for an afterschool program to have (pick one):

            a) Homework and tutoring time

            b) Physical activity

            c) Arts activity—music, dance, drama, etc.

            d) Healthy snack

            e) Community service

            f) Other (be specific)

3. Do you have children? How old are they? Do they participate in an afterschool program?

4. Why do your children participate in an afterschool program? Why not?

5. If an afterschool program is not available in your area, would you support the creation of one? Why or why not?

6. Which afterschool program outcome is most important to you (pick one):

            a) Increasing test scores

            b) Keeping kids safe

            c) Healthier kids (through fitness and nutrition activities)

            d) Development of creative and artistic skills

            e) Other (be specific)   

7. Do you think money for afterschool programs should come primarily from federal, state or local government?

8. If your children are in an afterschool program, do you think it makes you a more efficient member of the workforce? Why or why not?

Questions for kids:

1. Do you think there needs to be some type of organized activity or place where children can go after school every day to be safe, learn and have fun?

2. Which is the most important element for an afterschool program to have (pick one):

            a) Homework and tutoring time

            b) Physical activity

            c) Arts activity—music, dance, drama, etc.

            d) Healthy snack

            e) Community service

            f) Other (be specific)

3. Do you participate in an afterschool program? If so, where is it? (For example, a school, community center, church…etc?) If not, where do you usually go after school?

4. What’s your favorite activity in your afterschool program?

5. What have you learned in your afterschool program?

6. What would happen if your afterschool program ended?  What would you do once the school day was over?

Other suggestions:

Don’t limit yourself to the above questions—you know what the issues are surrounding your afterschool program and your community and should tailor your questions to reflect what's important in your area. For example, is your program in danger of closing? Even if it isn’t, ask people how they would feel if it did close. What would their biggest concern be?  Ask the kids where they would go after school if they had no program, and ask parents where they would send their kids.

What to do when you’re done:

Once you’ve polled enough people—and enough depends on the size of your program, school or community—you need to tally up the answers. Then you need to decide how you want to present your data, for example with bar graphs or as text. (You can get ideas from our own Polling Data.)  The final report should only be about one or two pages long, depending on how big your poll was. You can then use the results to market your program—check out our Media Toolkit for help putting together a press release or letter to the editor sharing your findings.