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 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 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.


Afterschool Programs Strengthen Communities (2004)

As people work longer hours, endure longer commutes and manage busier schedules, they have less time to socialize or join community organizations. This means it has become increasingly difficult for individuals to get to know their neighbors and communities. This brief explores how afterschool programs can play an important role in strengthening communities by offering a safe and stable environment for youth and providing opportunity for school and community partnerships.


Afterschool Programs: A Wise Public Investment (2005)

As budgets have grown tighter at all levels of government, afterschool advocates and practitioners have faced increased difficulty securing adequate funding. This brief discusses the social cost associated with not providing afterschool programs and outlines the many benefits of investing in afterschool, including the high returns on investments for governments and businesses alike.


Afterschool Programs: Helping Kids Compete in Tomorrow's Workforce (2007)

Preparing youth for success in tomorrow’s workforce is of increasing concern to our nation’s schools, communities, policymakers and businesses. This brief discusses the unique opportunities afterschool programs can offer students to prepare them for the workforce, including the development of important core competencies, such as interpersonal, critical thinking and leadership skills.