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.

Date Title

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Literacy and Reading in Afterschool Programs (2001)

Many quality afterschool programs offer literacy and reading activities that research indicates provide significant benefits to youth. This brief illustrates the several benefits these reading activities can offer participants, such as improved literacy skills, enjoyment of recreational reading, and building positive relationships with adults.

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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.

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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.

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Afterschool Programs Help Working Families (2003)

Today, less than one-fourth of American families portray the "traditional" image of one parent at home while the other parent provides financial support. This makes accessible, affordable childcare more necessary than ever before. With work hours increasing and flexibility decreasing, the burden on parents, dangers for children and drain on employers is continuing to grow. This brief examines the ways in which working parents, their children, and employers can all benefit from quality afterschool programs.

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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.

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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.

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Afterschool: The Natural Platform for Youth Development (2004)

This brief discusses the relatively new "youth development" movement, and explores the ways in which this movement can utilize afterschool programs as a solution to the increasing number of challenges our unsupervised youth are facing today.

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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.

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Afterschool, Community Service and Volunteerism (2004)

Parents and teens show overwhelming support for participation in community service, and they would like to see their afterschool programs offer volunteering opportunities. This issue brief explores how afterschool programs can give youth the opportunity to volunteer and discusses the benefits of volunteering, including learning applicable life skills, forming bonds with community organizations, and discovering the value of community service.

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Afterschool Programs Level the Playing Field for All Youth (2004)

This brief describes how afterschool programs have an opportunity to help disadvantaged youth catch up with their peers when the regular school day may not provide enough time or resources to address the various economic, language, or cultural barriers some students face.

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