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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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 Fosters Success in School (2008)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the third of four issue briefs in a series examining the vital role afterschool programs play in supporting children, families and communities. This brief addresses afterschool’s role in improving school attendance, engagement in learning, test scores, grades, reducing risky behaviors, and supporting social and emotional development to foster student success.


Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 – Wave 1 (July 2020)

In the first in a series of surveys that take the pulse of the afterschool field during the pandemic, it is clear that although afterschool programs remain a vital partner to help young people emerge from this crisis strong, resilient, and hopeful, they are in dire need of support. In a survey conducted by Edge Research on behalf of the Afterschool Alliance between May 28-June 30, 7 in 10 program providers report serving students in some capacity since the pandemic began, however, 84% of programs report that they are concerned that they will not be able to provide services in the fall.

Surveys COVID-19


Afterschool Partnerships with Higher Education (2007)

Community partnerships are the cornerstone of some of the most successful afterschool programs. This brief describes the benefits higher education institutions can provide as partners to afterschool programs. College students can serve as mentors, tutors or youth workers, and faculty can provide assistance with evaluations or curriculum development—all of which can be beneficial to college students and institutions in return.


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.


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.