Health & Wellness

Afterschool and summer programs can help youth reach their full potential in school, career, and life. Supporting health and wellness is an important aspect of out-of-school time (OST) programs, from providing access to nutritious foods and promoting healthy habits, to keeping students physically fit and supporting mental health.

The Afterschool Alliance works to enhance and expand OST programs by advocating for supportive local, state, and federal policies; building the afterschool field; and conducting and sharing research to inform policy and practice.


  • Encourage Sustainable Investments. We believe health and wellness is essential for students to achieve their full potential in academics, their future careers, and their lives. Students may be in out of school programs for 15 or more hours per week during the school year and all day in the summer, meaning out-of-school time programs are uniquely positioned to help students grow up healthy. We encourage public and private investments in OST programs to create the healthiest environment possible for students.

  • Inspire Purposeful Implementation. Our focus is to inspire thoughtful, responsive, protective and developmentally appropriate health and wellness practices (particularly social and emotional, physical activity and nutrition education ) in out-of-school-time programs.

  • Support Equitable Access. We're committed to making sure that every OST program is equipped with the resources it needs to positively impact the health and wellness of each child its serves. We are especially cognizant of the resource needs of smaller programs and programs that serve a high percentage of students from vulnerable populations.

The Interrelated Approach

Given the multitude of health and wellness challenges that youth are facing, it can be hard for afterschool providers to address each need. To that end, we have developed a Positive Health Youth Development Framework that will allow providers to view and address health issues holistically and in correlation to each other.