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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This is Afterschool Fact Sheet (2019)

Support for afterschool is overwhelming and demand is growing. Nationwide, 9 in 10 adults say afterschool programs are important to their community—and more than 19 million kids are waiting to get in. This fact sheet outlines the ways in which quality afterschool programs are benefiting kids, families, and communities across America.

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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (2019)

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. This fact sheet provides an updated overview of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, highlights its outcomes and benefits, and addresses the current state of funding.

21st CCLC

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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (2020)

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. This fact sheet provides an updated overview of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, highlights its outcomes and benefits, and addresses the current state of funding.

21st CCLC Federal Policy

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21st Century Community Learning Centers: The evidence base (Feb 2020)

21st Century Community Learning Centers: The evidence base (Feb 2020) Over the course of more than 20 years, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative has expanded and evolved to offer elementary, middle, and high schoolers enriching learning activities outside of the school day in literacy, math, science, the arts, and music, as well as hands-on experiences to help develop workforce skills. This document provides a small sampling of current research that demonstrates participation in Community Learning Centers makes a positive difference in the lives of the young people they serve.

21st CCLC Evaluations

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A Big-Picture Approach to Wellness: Afterschool Supporting Strong Bodies and Minds (September 2018)

A comprehensive approach to wellness—which includes healthy eating and physical activity and extends to additional aspects of health, such as social and emotional skills and competencies—can provide the necessary supports for healthy children grow into healthy adults. This issue brief details the national public health issues children are facing today and discusses the afterschool field’s ability to provide a place where children feel safe, are surrounded by supportive mentors, have access to nutritious foods, are able to be active, can form relationships with their peers, learn how to set positive goals for themselves, and feel empowered to take charge of their lives. Accompanying this brief are five in-depth afterschool program profiles that highlight the different roles programs play to support their students’ physical and social and emotional health:

Health and Wellness

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Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 – Wave 1 (July 2020)

In the first in a series of surveys that take the pulse of the afterschool field during the pandemic, it is clear that although afterschool programs remain a vital partner to help young people emerge from this crisis strong, resilient, and hopeful, they are in dire need of support. In a survey conducted by Edge Research on behalf of the Afterschool Alliance between May 28-June 30, 7 in 10 program providers report serving students in some capacity since the pandemic began, however, 84% of programs report that they are concerned that they will not be able to provide services in the fall.

 

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Afterschool Supports Service Opportunities from Youth to Young Adulthood (April 2019)

All individuals, regardless of age, can benefit from service opportunities. For youth, service-learning projects promote strong community ties and positive development outcomes, while experiential service programs promote similar personal and professional gains for young adults. This issue brief details the way in which afterschool and summer learning programs are expanding access and availability of service opportunities for youth and young adults alike. Accompanying this brief are six in-depth afterschool program profiles that highlight the different roles programs play in the healthy development of both the next generation and our democracy:

 

Issue Briefs Service Vista Youth Development

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Afterschool: Fostering Protective Factors that Can Last a Lifetime (September 2019)

New research tells us that the adolescent years are a highly important developmental period for brain growth and “the second most critical period of development.” However, there are factors at the individual and community levels that impact the development process. This includes both risk factors that increase the likelihood that one will take part in unhealthy behaviors, such as substance misuse, and protective factors that spur healthy behaviors and development. This issue brief, accompanied by in-depth afterschool program profiles, examines the way in which afterschool and summer learning programs promote protective factors to help young people to build up the skills and competencies they will need to navigate life’s challenges and become the country’s next generation of leaders, thinkers, and trailblazers.

 

Health and Wellness Issue Briefs

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America for Afterschool (Oct 2018)

This 2018 national poll finds that there is strong public support for afterschool and summer learning programs. In this poll, designed by the bipartisan team of Lake Research Partners and the Tarrance Group and administered by Ipsos through an online omnibus survey, nearly 9 in 10 adults agree that afterschool programs are important to their community and 2 in 3 adults say that they want their federal, state, and local leaders to provide funding for afterschool and summer learning programs.

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Back to School in the Time of COVID-19 – Wave 3 (November 2020)

Eight months into COVID-19, three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the nation. First, many more afterschool programs are operating now than were in the spring and summer. Second, programs are able to serve only about half as many students as they supported before the pandemic. Third, the children being left behind are disproportionately those from low-income families. These findings are documented in the brief, Back to School in the Time of COVID-19, based on the third in a series of surveys of afterschool program providers to monitor the state of the afterschool field. The Wave 3 provider survey of 1,445 program providers, was conducted between September 28 and October 27, and represents more than 7,300 program sites.

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