Afterschool Alliance Research

Informing providers, advocates, and policy makers for 15 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. 

Date Title

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Digital Media & Learning in Afterschool (February 2013)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the last of four issue briefs in our fifth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief discusses the growing importance of digital media and technology in education, the "digital divide" between high- and low-income communities, and the many opportunities and challenges the afterschool field faces with implementing equitable digital learning.

Digital Learning STEM

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Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of Afterschool Programs' Impact on Academics, Behavior, Safety and Family Life (2013)

Afterschool programs have been operating across the country for decades, and federal investment in afterschool has increased dramatically since the mid-1990s. Still, more investment is needed to meet growing demand.  As public demand and need for afterschool have grown, so too has the demand for accountability. This backgrounder contains research demonstrating the impact of afterschool programs on participant's academic achievement, behavior, safety, and overall wellness.

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Afterschool: A Key to Successful Parent Engagement (2012)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the third of four issue briefs in our fifth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief demonstrates the ties between parent engagement and student success, why afterschool programs are an ideal partner to help schools break down the barriers often present between parents and schools, and how they create unique opportunities that also encourage parent engagement.

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Arts Enrichment in Afterschool (2012)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the second of four issue briefs in our fifth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief addresses the positive influences art has on a child's development, the challenges schools face in providing comprehensive arts education and the role afterschool programs can play to support arts enrichment.

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Uncertain Times 2012: Afterschool Programs Still Struggling in Today's Economy

This is the third installment of the Uncertain Times series, which assesses the impacts of economic conditions on afterschool programs. Based on 1,012 survey responses, this report finds that afterschool programs are struggling to meet the needs of children and families in their communities as they face shrinking resources and dismal prospects for new support. Hardest hit are programs serving disadvantaged communities—the very population that has the most to gain from afterschool and summer programs.

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Afterschool: An Ally in Promoting Middle School Improvement (2012)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the first of four issue briefs in our fifth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. Currently, roughly 5 percent of all U.S. schools are chronically underperforming. This brief explains the Department of Education's School Improvement Grants (SIG) aimed at turning around America's lowest performing schools, and discusses the role afterschool programs can play in supporting this effort.

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Afterschool in Action: How Innovative Afterschool Programs Address Critical Issues Facing Middle School Youth (2012)

With support from MetLife Foundation, the Afterschool Alliance is proud to present this compendium containing a series of four issue briefs examining critical issues facing middle school youth, schools and communities, and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. The four briefs address: aligning afterschool with the regular school day; bullying prevention; service learning; and promoting literacy. The compendium also includes profiles of successful programs and a discussion of the MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Awards

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Student-Centered Learning in Afterschool: Putting Students' Needs and Interests First (2011)

Now more than ever, creativity and imagination are an important part of helping children learn to think critically, solve problems and express themselves - all necessary to compete in today's global community. Wherever children are - in school or out - [student-centered learning opportunities] work to surround them with opportunities to develop skills and nurture talents that lead to success.

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Literacy in Afterschool: A Building Block for Learning and Development (2011)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the last of four issue briefs in our fourth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief emphasizes the dramatic literacy gap between low- and high-income students, and explores how afterschool programs are uniquely positioned to fill those opportunity gaps and support the acquisition of reading and writing skills among underserved youth to help them develop a brighter future.

Academic Enrichment Literacy

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Service-Learning in Afterschool: Helping Students Grow and Communities Prosper (2011)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the third of four issue briefs in our fourth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief addresses the difference between community service and service-learning, discusses the benefits of service learning and outlines how afterschool programs are already promoting service learning.

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