Afterschool Alliance Research

Informing providers, advocates, and policymakers for 20 years

Delve into our vast collection of research resources that show afterschool programs are keeping kids safe, inspiring learning, and helping working families across the country. 

An integral component of Afterschool Alliance’s mission to ensure that all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs is research that assesses and examines the ways children spend their time during the afterschool hours, the opportunities afterschool programs provide the children and families in their communities, and the public support for these programs.

This section contains research materials the Afterschool Alliance has produced over the past 15 years. Find the resource that best fits your needs by searching by document type or by issue area. If you are interested in learning more about afterschool programs, explore Afterschool Essentials, or find out how many children are in afterschool programs by visiting the America After 3PM page. You can also search by issue topic and learn more about afterschool programs supporting young people in variety of areas and subjects, ranging from the arts to health and wellness to STEM. 

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Credit for Learning: Making Learning Outside of School Count (Nov 2021)

Creating new and engaging learning opportunities for middle and high school students can help them find their inspiration, gain skills that will benefit them in and outside of the classroom, and play an active role in designing their own learning journey to reach their full potential. This issue brief, complemented by in-depth afterschool program profiles, explores the ways in which afterschool programs can provide older youth with opportunities to explore their interests and participate in activities that also allow them to earn credits toward their graduation requirements.

Youth Development

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Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 Surveys

As the coronavirus continues to impact families and communities, the Afterschool Alliance has commissioned a series of surveys of parents and afterschool and summer program providers to monitor the state of the afterschool field and parents' needs as the country adapts to the challenging circumstances and stressors created by the pandemic. Find survey results, interactive dashboards, toplines, and more on this page.

Surveys COVID-19

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What Summer Programming Looks Like for 2021 in the Time of COVID-19 - Wave 5 (Aug 2021)

This summer, as most states lift COVID-19 restrictions and families ease back into public life, summer programs also report moving toward a return to normal, with a nearly 70 percent increase in programs opening their doors and serving students in-person in some capacity compared to the summer of 2020 and 8 in 10 providers reporting optimism about the future of their program. However, issues remain, with more than half of providers serving students in-person reporting a waitlist and operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The Wave 5 provider survey of 937 program providers was conducted June 2-28, 2021, and represents more than 6,400 program sites.

Surveys COVID-19

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Thriving in Afterschool: Promoting Healthy Futures for Young People (June 2021)

Afterschool and summer enrichment programs have been a consistent source of support to young people and families who are juggling remote school or work, dealing with the health and economic stressors created by the pandemic, and managing the toll that COVID-19 is taking on their mental health and overall well-being. Throughout 2020 and into 2021, afterschool and summer learning programs have risen to meet the needs of their students and families, finding ways to support them as the nation continues to navigate the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic.

Health and Wellness

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An Ongoing Look at Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 – Wave 4 (March 2021)

Roughly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic began, afterschool programs are continuing to help children, families, and their communities push through these difficult times. This dashboard includes findings from Wave 4 of the Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 survey series, conducted Feb. 19-March 15, 2021, as well as comparisons to previous survey waves.

Surveys COVID-19

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Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 Surveys

As the coronavirus continues to impact families and communities, the Afterschool Alliance has commissioned a series of surveys of parents and afterschool and summer program providers to monitor the state of the afterschool field and parents' needs as the country adapts to the challenging circumstances and stressors created by the pandemic.

Surveys COVID-19

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Afterschool STEM: Re-engaging students in an equitable recovery

The hands-on learning approach of quality afterschool STEM programs offers a natural platform for reengaging students as they return to classrooms. Hands-on, project-based STEM learning in afterschool supports students in connecting what they learn in the classroom to future careers while developing a new generation of problem solvers in STEM fields.

STEM

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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (April 2021)

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to before-school, afterschool, and summer learning programs. In addition to information regarding how 21st CCLC programs have responded to the needs of their communities during the pandemic, this fact sheet provides an updated overview of the 21st CCLC program, highlights its outcomes and benefits, and addresses the current state of funding.

21st CCLC

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The Evidence Base for Afterschool and Summer (April 2021)

This research brief synthesizes findings from nearly two dozen evaluations of afterschool and summer programs that demonstrate the evidence of the positive impact programs have on academics, social and emotional skills and competencies, and overall well-being to help students re-engage in learning and emerge from the pandemic strong, resilient, and hopeful.

Evaluations

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The academic and social and emotional benefits of participation in 21st Century Community Learning Centers (March 2021)

This short brief includes findings from state evaluations of 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs—locally designed school and community afterschool, before-school, and summer learning programs—that demonstrate the academic and social and emotional benefits that programs provide to support the whole child.

21st CCLC Federal Policy

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