Issue Briefs

Drawing connections between pressing issues and afterschool

Name almost any topic and the Afterschool Alliance can tell you how it intersects with afterschool in these briefs that are chock-full of information. 

Afterschool programs are a key partner in strengthening communities across the country, whether it's keeping kids active and healthy in the hours after school or meeting the needs of underserved populations to promoting parent engagement and beyond. These briefs demonstrate the connections between afterschool and a wide range of hot topics, presenting contextual data on the topic, providing examples of promising afterschool programs, and making the case for greater investment in afterschool.

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Active Hours Afterschool: Childhood Obesity Prevention and Afterschool Programs (2006)

The obesity crisis in America has become so dire that health experts warn this generation of children may be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. This brief addresses the current epidemic of childhood obesity, its health and economic costs, and how after afterschool can play a role in combating childhood obesity by offering healthy snacks and encouraging physical activity in a safe and educational environment.


Afterschool and Global Competence: Expanding and Enhancing Learning Opportunities (2010)

In our increasingly globalized society, having knowledge about the world and understanding diverse perspectives or cultures is essential, however many youth do not have the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and perspectives needed for our global age. The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with the Longview Foundation, is proud to present this issue brief examining the importance of global competence, describing ways afterschool programs are successfully facilitating global learning, and highlighting resources and partners for global learning.

Executive Summary

Afterschool and Healthy Youth (2004)

Since childhood obesity was declared a national epidemic in 2002, much attention has been focused on the health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition. This brief addresses how afterschool programs are promoting healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes by offering healthy snacks, physical activity, and health education in the curriculum.


Afterschool and Pregnancy Prevention (2002)

Though teen pregnancy rates in the United States have dropped within the past decade, the teen birth rate in the U.S. is still higher than any other developed nation. This brief explains how a safe environment, positive role models, decision making skills, and health education offered by afterschool programs can aid in teenage pregnancy prevention.


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.