Archives:

Select:

New resources from NRPA: How parks and recreation has responded to the pandemic

READ FULL STORY

New resources from NRPA: How parks and recreation has responded to the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, parks and recreation agencies have been essential partners in supporting community wellbeing and reopening efforts. According to a survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than 190 million U.S. residents visited a park, trail, or other public space at least once during the first three months of the pandemic—fifty-two percent of people indicate that their use of local parks has increased and eighty-three percent of U.S. adults agree that visiting their local parks, trails, and open spaces have been essential for their mental and physical well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to providing a safe space for community members to exercise, gather in socially distant ways, and find a bit of peace among nature, parks and recreation agencies are supporting students and families this fall by providing extended childcare hours to accommodate for virtual learning and adjusted school-day schedules, providing Wi-Fi to support virtual learning for those families without or with limited access, supplying meals, and offering spaces for schools in need of additional facilities to follow new health and safety guidelines. Out-of-school-time (OST) programs play a major role in facilitating these services.

How can parks and recreation programs respond to the impact of COVID-19 in their communities?

To support OST programs engaging in this work, NRPA has identified a new guide to assist programs in recognizing the ways they can best respond to the needs in their communities. “When Learning Starts: Playbook for Healthy School Communities” was developed by Kaiser Permanente and outlines many different ways that communities can address the challenges that have arisen from this “new normal.” NRPA has pulled out several key points from this guide that are especially relevant for OST programs:

  • Acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, especially taking into consideration youth who were facing traumas and adversity before the pandemic that have been exacerbated in the last 6 months;
  • Understand the impact of COVID-19 on social drivers of health and create a network of support to meet the particular needs of families who require additional services or resources;
  • Prioritize physical activity and physical education, as access to physical activity has been severely limited in many communities with shelter-in-place orders and physical education can be a valuable space to incorporate building SEL skills; and
  • Focus on staff well-being—identifying and addressing the individual challenges that staff are facing, including financial concerns, new workplace obstacles to feeling safe, and increased stress and burnout, enables staff to feel supported and in turn better support the youth and families they work with.

What long-term impact will COVID-19 have on parks and recreation?

In recognition of the flexible role that parks and recreation agencies have played over the course of the last 6 months, NPRA has also published a piece outlining the ways that parks and recreation will change forever as a result of the pandemic, the economic recession, and the increased national attention on racism and racial inequity. The design of spaces may change physically and the funding structure of sites might shift to include a more diverse set of funding sources and partnerships. Agencies may shift to a greater focus on holistic community health, placing mental and physical health on the same level of prioritization. Parks and recreation must also address the inequities of access and health disparities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic—accordingly, six in seven park leaders note that the pandemic has impacted strategic priorities in health equity and social justice at their agency.

How can parks and recreation programs respond to the growing rates of mental health and substance use coming out of COVID-19?

One particular area of focus in addressing health disparities, especially in park and recreation spaces, is substance use and mental health—given recent challenges associated with the opioid epidemic, rising rates of mental health conditions, and the impact of COVID-19, out-of-school-time and community-based programs will have an even bigger role to play in responding to substance use and mental health challenges. NRPA has released a new report that outlines the ways that parks and recreation facilities can respond to these challenges, including how to respond to substance use occurring in parks and recreation spaces, how to support community members impacted by substance use, and how to focus their efforts on prevention. Including case studies and recommendations for best practices, the report is a comprehensive look into the many different levels of community response and the role that out-of-school time programs can play in this response.

For more resources from the National Recreation and Park Association on how programs can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, check out their Path to Recovery.

Valley Heights Community Education: Helping their rural community through the pandemic

This blog post is adapted from a program spotlight in "How Afterschool is Supporting Learning and Recovery During COVID-19," a June 2020 issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance. Started in the mid-1990s as a response to more households having both parents working outside the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/21

The Arkansas-Mississippi Delta After 3PM: Parents give programs high marks, unmet demand soars

The Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi is an area rich in history, natural beauty, and promise, but one that also faces great challenges, with high poverty and limited economic growth. When we look at afterschool in the Delta, we see a similar story, with great potential for afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/11/21

New Data on Afterschool: Demand grows, opportunity shrinks

5 big takeaways from America After 3PM 2020 Since 2004, America After 3PM has provided an essential view into the state and circumstances of children and young people in the after-school hours. This year’s study, America After 3PM 2020, includes responses from 30,000 U.S. families and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/08/20

Key findings from Wave 3 of our program provider survey

A few weeks ago, we concluded the third in a series of national surveys of afterschool providers in the pandemic, conducted by Edge Research and released by the Afterschool Alliance. Eight months into COVID-19, there are three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/20/20

Grad Nation report highlights challenges, solutions towards a 90% graduation rate

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash A recent webinar from Grad Nation, Building a Grad Nation: Meet the Moment 2020!, marked the release of their report, A Grad Nation 2020: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. The annual report discusses recent progress...

BY: Bella DiMarco      11/09/20

New resources from NRPA: How parks and recreation has responded to the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, parks and recreation agencies have been essential partners in supporting community wellbeing and reopening efforts. According to a survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than 190 million U.S. residents visited a park, trail, or other...

BY: Erin Hegarty      09/28/20

4 key takeaways from program providers' summer planning

Last month, the Afterschool Alliance released a blog digging into regional differences from the COVID-19 program provider survey results. Here, we will explore a few more notable differences, specifically in regards to programs’ summer plans and what the future holds.  This...

BY: Bella DiMarco      08/27/20

Help us tell the story of afterschool AND win a chance at a cash prize

We need your help to keep the drumbeat going on the ways in which COVID-19 is impacting afterschool and summer programs and the young people and families who rely on them. By completing this short survey, which should take no more than 10-15 minutes of your time, you are helping to tell your...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      08/20/20

Survey: 70% of programs are still serving kids during COVID

For the past four months, I have heard stories from the field about the hardships afterschool program staff are seeing in their community and the creative ways they have adapted their programming to support the children and families they serve. From adjusting operations to serve children of...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      08/04/20

New issue brief: How afterschool is supporting learning and recovery during COVID-19

During a media briefing last week, “The School Reopening Dilemma: New Survey Sheds Light on the Role Out-of-School-Time Programs Can Play in Educating Students and Supporting Families This Fall,” it was revealed that 70 percent of afterschool program providers reported serving students...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/31/20

Visualizing the skyrocketing demand for afterschool programs during COVID-19

This article was originally published on Graphicacy's medium.com account on January 21, 2021. It is being reposted here with their permission. The Afterschool Alliance came to Graphicacy looking to create a compelling interactive experience with freshly gathered...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/22/21

The Arkansas-Mississippi Delta After 3PM: Parents give programs high marks, unmet demand soars

The Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi is an area rich in history, natural beauty, and promise, but one that also faces great challenges, with high poverty and limited economic growth. When we look at afterschool in the Delta, we see a similar story, with great potential for afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/11/21

Los Angeles After 3PM: 9 in 10 parents want more afterschool support

In Los Angeles, afterschool programs earn a 95 percent satisfaction rate from parents, and a whopping 90 percent of parents support more public investments in afterschool. But the unmet demand for programs in Los Angeles is soaring, as parents cite lack of programs, cost, and transportation as...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/05/21

Atlanta After 3PM: Parents want more afterschool support

In Atlanta, GA, a high number of families want to enroll their children in afterschool programs – but barriers such as cost stand in the way, pointing to a lack of affordable afterschool options. For every child in an afterschool program in Atlanta, two more are waiting to get in. These...

BY: Ursula Helminski      12/16/20

New Data on Afterschool: Demand grows, opportunity shrinks

5 big takeaways from America After 3PM 2020 Since 2004, America After 3PM has provided an essential view into the state and circumstances of children and young people in the after-school hours. This year’s study, America After 3PM 2020, includes responses from 30,000 U.S. families and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/08/20

Key findings from Wave 3 of our program provider survey

A few weeks ago, we concluded the third in a series of national surveys of afterschool providers in the pandemic, conducted by Edge Research and released by the Afterschool Alliance. Eight months into COVID-19, there are three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/20/20

New report: SEL+OST=Perfect Together

In October 2019, The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance brought together youth development leaders, researchers, and educators to discuss social and emotional learning (SEL), identify obstacles to teaching SEL, and begin to brainstorm ways to address those challenges. While...

BY: Erin Hegarty      08/28/20

4 key takeaways from program providers' summer planning

Last month, the Afterschool Alliance released a blog digging into regional differences from the COVID-19 program provider survey results. Here, we will explore a few more notable differences, specifically in regards to programs’ summer plans and what the future holds.  This...

BY: Bella DiMarco      08/27/20

Data on child well-being: How does the nation measure up?

Understanding how our youth are faring is an important aspect of not only reinforcing, but also strengthening the supports that afterschool provides. Two separate reports released this summer delved into the state of child well-being across the country, measuring our nation’s progress over...

BY: Rina Moss      09/03/19

To elevate equity, diversity, and inclusion, go deeper into your quality standards

By Femi Vance, researcher at American Institutes for Research, Board President for the California School-Age Consortium, Field Consultant for the National Summer Learning Association, and editor of Changemakers! Equity and Access in Out-of-School Time Programs. Implementing high-quality...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/23/19

America After 3PM: Middle School Youth

The 2020 edition of the Afterschool Alliance’s America After 3PM report – which includes survey response data from more than 10,000 U.S. families of middle school students – reveals that while parents of middle school students recognize the many benefits of afterschool programs,...

BY: Chandler Hall      02/03/21

Visualizing the skyrocketing demand for afterschool programs during COVID-19

This article was originally published on Graphicacy's medium.com account on January 21, 2021. It is being reposted here with their permission. The Afterschool Alliance came to Graphicacy looking to create a compelling interactive experience with freshly gathered...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/22/21

America After 3PM: Black and Latinx Communities

The Afterschool Alliance’s fourth edition of America After 3PM—which provides a detailed accounting of the circumstances and conditions of U.S. children during the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. and compares afterschool program participation and unmet demand statistics for 2020 with results from...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/13/21

A how-to guide for navigating the America After 3PM dashboard: Part 1

While recent reports, fact sheets, and infographics detail key findings from the America After 3PM household survey of more than 31,000 parents of school-aged children, the America After 3PM dashboard was created to provide broader access to the survey’s rich data set, which includes...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      01/12/21

The Arkansas-Mississippi Delta After 3PM: Parents give programs high marks, unmet demand soars

The Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi is an area rich in history, natural beauty, and promise, but one that also faces great challenges, with high poverty and limited economic growth. When we look at afterschool in the Delta, we see a similar story, with great potential for afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/11/21

Los Angeles After 3PM: 9 in 10 parents want more afterschool support

In Los Angeles, afterschool programs earn a 95 percent satisfaction rate from parents, and a whopping 90 percent of parents support more public investments in afterschool. But the unmet demand for programs in Los Angeles is soaring, as parents cite lack of programs, cost, and transportation as...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/05/21

Atlanta After 3PM: Parents want more afterschool support

In Atlanta, GA, a high number of families want to enroll their children in afterschool programs – but barriers such as cost stand in the way, pointing to a lack of affordable afterschool options. For every child in an afterschool program in Atlanta, two more are waiting to get in. These...

BY: Ursula Helminski      12/16/20

New Data on Afterschool: Demand grows, opportunity shrinks

5 big takeaways from America After 3PM 2020 Since 2004, America After 3PM has provided an essential view into the state and circumstances of children and young people in the after-school hours. This year’s study, America After 3PM 2020, includes responses from 30,000 U.S. families and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/08/20

While collaboration between youth-serving organizations continues, gaps in service still exist

In a Forum for Youth Investment webinar, Shaping Summertime Experiences: Aligning Practice to Recommendations Recap and Resources, panelists Dr. Deborah Moroney, managing director at American Institutes for Research, and Chris Smith, president and executive director of Boston After School &...

BY: Bella DiMarco      05/14/20

Key findings from Wave 3 of our program provider survey

A few weeks ago, we concluded the third in a series of national surveys of afterschool providers in the pandemic, conducted by Edge Research and released by the Afterschool Alliance. Eight months into COVID-19, there are three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/20/20

Report: Participation in afterschool meals program increased in 2019

A new report released on October 20 by the Food Research and Action Center highlights some good news about the federal Afterschool Meals Program. According to the report, Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation, more than 1.4 million low-income children participated in the Afterschool...

BY: Alexis Steines      11/02/20

New report: SEL+OST=Perfect Together

In October 2019, The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance brought together youth development leaders, researchers, and educators to discuss social and emotional learning (SEL), identify obstacles to teaching SEL, and begin to brainstorm ways to address those challenges. While...

BY: Erin Hegarty      08/28/20

Council for a Strong America report depicts state-level campaign to combat childhood obesity

This report was released by Mission: Readiness, one of the five organizations that comprise Council for a Strong America, which aims to strengthen national security by ensuring kids stay in school, stay fit, and stay out of trouble. A recent Council for a Strong America (CSA) Mission:...

BY: Bella DiMarco      08/06/20

Survey: 70% of programs are still serving kids during COVID

For the past four months, I have heard stories from the field about the hardships afterschool program staff are seeing in their community and the creative ways they have adapted their programming to support the children and families they serve. From adjusting operations to serve children of...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      08/04/20

New issue brief: How afterschool is supporting learning and recovery during COVID-19

During a media briefing last week, “The School Reopening Dilemma: New Survey Sheds Light on the Role Out-of-School-Time Programs Can Play in Educating Students and Supporting Families This Fall,” it was revealed that 70 percent of afterschool program providers reported serving students...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/31/20

More children are getting afterschool meals that boost their health and learning

By Clarissa Hayes. Originally published on October 25,2019 as a blog on FRAC Chat, the blog of the Food Research & Action Center.  National participation in the Afterschool Nutrition Programs — which are key to closing the hunger gap that exists afterschool for many children...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/01/19

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19

The Impact of Summer: New report offers evidence of the short- and long-term value of investments in summer learning programs

As many in the out-of-school-time field know, the summer months have the potential to widen existing learning inequities contributing to the achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers, or serve as a valuable space to combat this exacerbation and not only prevent...

BY: Erin Hegarty      12/21/20

Grad Nation report highlights challenges, solutions towards a 90% graduation rate

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash A recent webinar from Grad Nation, Building a Grad Nation: Meet the Moment 2020!, marked the release of their report, A Grad Nation 2020: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. The annual report discusses recent progress...

BY: Bella DiMarco      11/09/20

New resources from NRPA: How parks and recreation has responded to the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, parks and recreation agencies have been essential partners in supporting community wellbeing and reopening efforts. According to a survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than 190 million U.S. residents visited a park, trail, or other...

BY: Erin Hegarty      09/28/20

Urban Institute: 21st CCLC among 8 policy strategies for school-age child care

The Urban Institute recently released a working paper entitled, “Meeting the School-Age Child Care Needs of Working Parents Facing COVID-19 Distance Learning,” that addresses major challenges that both families and afterschool and childcare providers are currently facing, and lays out a...

BY: Bella DiMarco      09/01/20

New report: SEL+OST=Perfect Together

In October 2019, The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance brought together youth development leaders, researchers, and educators to discuss social and emotional learning (SEL), identify obstacles to teaching SEL, and begin to brainstorm ways to address those challenges. While...

BY: Erin Hegarty      08/28/20

Making the most of research partnerships for advancements in afterschool

A brief recently released by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), “Research Partnerships are Key to Improving Practice,” highlights research partnerships and their importance in improving both policy and practice in education. As the brief states, research partnerships—diverse...

BY: Bella DiMarco      04/09/20

Afterschool turns the peak time for crime into a time of opportunity for young people

For close to 20 years, we at the Afterschool Alliance have been dedicated to the cause of expanding afterschool opportunities because we know the life changing impact programs can have on children, on families, and on communities.  Today, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a new report that...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

Closing the Childhood Equity Gap: New report provides a data-driven look into the prioritization of children at the state and local levels

A new report released by Save the Children provides the first-ever ranking of counties in the United States where children are most and least prioritized. The report, aptly entitled, “The Land of Inopportunity: Closing the Childhood Equity Gap for America’s Kids,” shows that where...

BY: Erin Hegarty      06/26/20

New issue brief: Afterschool and the juvenile justice system

COVID-19 has created a number of challenges for millions of families and exacerbated existing inequities, leaving certain groups more vulnerable than others to the harmful effects of the pandemic. This week, we are turning our attention toward celebrating the ways that afterschool programs across...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/26/20

Engaging the Arts Across the Juvenile Justice System: New report outlines opportunities for engagement

Arts education programs can play a significant role in preventing youth from getting involved with the juvenile justice system and supporting the mental wellbeing and successful transition out of the system for those already involved, according to a new report released by the Education Commission...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/22/20

The Power of Mentorship: Adult Friends for Youth makes a difference in redirecting youths’ lives

This blog post was adapted from a program highlight featured in Fight Crime, Invest in Kids’ report, “From Risk to Opportunity: Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Safe.” Read the full report here. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will highlight the different ways that...

BY: Erin Hegarty      12/19/19

Afterschool turns the peak time for crime into a time of opportunity for young people

For close to 20 years, we at the Afterschool Alliance have been dedicated to the cause of expanding afterschool opportunities because we know the life changing impact programs can have on children, on families, and on communities.  Today, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a new report that...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19

America After 3PM: Black and Latinx Communities

The Afterschool Alliance’s fourth edition of America After 3PM—which provides a detailed accounting of the circumstances and conditions of U.S. children during the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. and compares afterschool program participation and unmet demand statistics for 2020 with results from...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/13/21

Grad Nation report highlights challenges, solutions towards a 90% graduation rate

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash A recent webinar from Grad Nation, Building a Grad Nation: Meet the Moment 2020!, marked the release of their report, A Grad Nation 2020: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. The annual report discusses recent progress...

BY: Bella DiMarco      11/09/20

Closing the Childhood Equity Gap: New report provides a data-driven look into the prioritization of children at the state and local levels

A new report released by Save the Children provides the first-ever ranking of counties in the United States where children are most and least prioritized. The report, aptly entitled, “The Land of Inopportunity: Closing the Childhood Equity Gap for America’s Kids,” shows that where...

BY: Erin Hegarty      06/26/20

Engaging the Arts Across the Juvenile Justice System: New report outlines opportunities for engagement

Arts education programs can play a significant role in preventing youth from getting involved with the juvenile justice system and supporting the mental wellbeing and successful transition out of the system for those already involved, according to a new report released by the Education Commission...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/22/20

Afterschool turns the peak time for crime into a time of opportunity for young people

For close to 20 years, we at the Afterschool Alliance have been dedicated to the cause of expanding afterschool opportunities because we know the life changing impact programs can have on children, on families, and on communities.  Today, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a new report that...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19