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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Looking at the Data: Afterschool Programs Using Data to Better Serve Students (August 2014)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation is proud to present the last 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 addresses what afterschool programs gain through data collection and evaluation, how to evaluate a program effectively and how to use to data collected for program improvement.

Evaluations

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Afterschool Supporting Students with Disabilities and Other Special Needs (February 2014)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the second 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 addresses the importance of a high school diploma for students with disabilities and other special needs, and how afterschool programs can provide an inclusive learning environment that supports students of all abilities.

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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.

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Preventing Dropouts: The Important Role of Afterschool (2013)

Although much progress has been made in decreasing high school dropout rates nationally, over the last decade, significant gaps persist among states, races, income levels, and students with disabilities and limited English proficiency. This issue brief describes the national impacts of the dropout problem, identifies the risk factors, and evaluates how to address the dropout problem and ways afterschool programs can help.

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The Importance of Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in African-American and Latino Communities (2013)

The national economy is slowly recovering from the Great Recession, yet a deeper examination of its effect on African-American and Latino households reveals that these communities are facing higher rates of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and food insecurity. This issue brief looks closely at the current economic state of African-American and Latino communities, the far-reaching impact of poverty on academic achievement and highlights the important role afterschool and summer programs play in supporting youth and families in these communities. Afterschool and summer learning programs provide youth who are most in need of support with a safe and supervised space, healthy snacks and meals, and an academically enriching environment. However, this issue brief outlines the challenges these programs confront to keep pace with demand for their services, as well as ensure their doors stay open to continue to provide essential resources that are highly valued in African-American and Latino communities.

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The Life-Enhancing Benefits of Reading in Out-of-School Programs (2013)

Scholastic Family and Community Engagement (FACE) and the Afterschool Alliance have partnered to spotlight the role of reading in a child's life and the unique ways afterschool programs can incorporate reading into their curricula, promoting students' academic success, boosting self-confidence and improving their overall well-being. This issue brief points to research that demonstrate the number of positive outcomes associated with avid reading, such as academic gains, increased drive to do well in school and improved self-esteem. The brief also highlights the important role afterschool programs play in helping students access reading materials, as well as become engaged and critical readers.

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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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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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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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