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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Afterschool and School Improvement (2002)

According to state departments of education, more than 7,000 schools in the United States are considered in need of improvement. This issue brief addresses how afterschool can be a strategic part of a successful school improvement plan, and highlights the recognition afterschool is receiving, from principals and educational organizations across the country, for supporting school's already.


Afterschool and Service-Learning (2004)

Through youth-designed and youth-implemented service projects, youth not only are able to apply their academic skills to the real world, but also donate their services to their neighborhoods. This brief explains how afterschool programs offering service-learning projects can benefit both youth and their communities.


Afterschool and Students with Special Needs (2004)

Students with special needs may not always receive the resources they need to reach their full potential during the school day, but afterschool programs can offer additional activities more tailored to the individual needs of children. Our first issue brief examines the valuable role afterschool programs can play in the life of a child with special needs.


Afterschool and the Building of Character (2003)

Respectfulness, positive behavior, self-confidence, and an interest in school are just a few traits kids can develop through participation in afterschool programs. Check out this issue brief to learn more about ways afterschool can help build character.


Afterschool and the Common Core State Standards (January 2014)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the first of four issue briefs in our sixth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief discusses how U.S. students measure up globally, the call for focus on 21st century skills, the goals of Common Core, and how afterschool programs are working with students, teachers and schools to help them reach these goals.


Afterschool and the Environment: A Natural Fit (January 2009)

Children have a wonderful curiosity about nature and the environment, which, if encouraged through afterschool activities can have a profound impact on their health and well-being. Children also take readily to concepts of conservation which will make them excellent stewards of the future of our environment. This issue brief explores the relationship between children's health, academic enrichment and community awareness through developing a relationship with the wonders of their natural environment.



Afterschool and Workforce Development: Helping Kids Compete (2009)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the first of four issue briefs in this series examining critical issues facing older youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief addresses the need for 21st century skills in our increasingly competitive labor market and examines how afterschool provides older youth with the opportunity to develop these skills.


Afterschool and Working Families in Wake of the Great Recession (2011)

Though the economy shows signs of recovery, it is evident that the Great Recession has had dramatic effects on the accessibility of employment for parents, the availability of affordable afterschool programs and, most of all, the education and future of our nation's youth. This brief examines the ways in which afterschool programs have coped with the difficulties brought on by the economic downturn and its impactful effects on children, families and communities.


Afterschool Benefits Kids with Special Needs (2008)

This issue brief highlights the effectiveness of afterschool programming in offering children with special needs an opportunity to develop alongside their non-disabled peers. The benefits of afterschool for kids with special needs include; improved performance on standardized tests, mastery of individualized education goals, higher grades, improved behavior and increased motivation to learn.


Afterschool Essentials

Afterschool Essentials are materials that help to make a strong case for afterschool, including key facts about the afterschool hours, the positive impact of afterschool, and details about the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to before-school, afterschool and summer learning programs.

21st CCLC Evaluations

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