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 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.

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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.

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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.

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Afterschool Programs: Helping Kids Succeed in Rural America (2007)

In communities where infrastructure and resources are limited, afterschool programs may offer the only opportunity for academic, recreational, and creative enrichment. This brief explores how afterschool programs in several rural communities are successfully serving their children, families and communities with vital resources.

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Afterschool Programs: Keeping Kids - and Communities - Safe (2007)

Rising violence among youth is a concern nationwide, with youth involvement in crime peaking in the afterschool hours from 3 to 6 pm. This brief examines the role afterschool programs play in decreasing crime by increasing student safety and supporting youth. The brief also highlights how some communities are using afterschool programs to to enhance juvenile delinquency prevention efforts.

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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, 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: A High School Dropout Prevention Tool (2009)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the third 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 discusses the current dropout problem, the broader impacts of high school dropout rates, and how afterschool programs are proven to support graduation by addressing the issues and risk factors that lead to dropout.

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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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Afterschool: A Natural Platform for Career Development (2004)

In the information economy of the 21st century, a “skilled” workforce is vitally necessary. Students must leave high school with more than basic proficiency in core subjects to continue on to higher education, career success and productive adulthood. This brief explores how afterschool programs can help all youth prepare for the workforce by building 21st century skills and offering exposure to various career fields or academic areas, which may be missed in the regular school day curriculum.

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