Afterschool Alliance Research

Informing providers, advocates, and policymakers for 20 years

Delve into our vast collection of research resources that show afterschool programs are keeping kids safe, inspiring learning, and helping working families across the country. 

An integral component of Afterschool Alliance’s mission to ensure that all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs is research that assesses and examines the ways children spend their time during the afterschool hours, the opportunities afterschool programs provide the children and families in their communities, and the public support for these programs.

This section contains research materials the Afterschool Alliance has produced over the past 15 years. Find the resource that best fits your needs by searching by document type or by issue area. If you are interested in learning more about afterschool programs, explore Afterschool Essentials, or find out how many children are in afterschool programs by visiting the America After 3PM page. You can also search by issue topic and learn more about afterschool programs supporting young people in variety of areas and subjects, ranging from the arts to health and wellness to STEM. 

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Investments in Student Recovery: 5 Facts about High-Poverty School Districts’ Pandemic Relief Spending on Afterschool and Summer Programs (May 2024)

Following up on the report “Investments in Student Recovery: A Review of School Districts’ Use of American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Afterschool and Summer Opportunities,” this fact sheet examines high-poverty school districts’ spending of American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds on afterschool and summer programming.

Federal Funding Federal Policy COVID-19

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This is Afterschool (May 2024)

This fact sheet includes data points on how afterschool programs are accelerating students' academic growth, supporting their well-being, and helping working families. Additionally, it highlights the overwhelming support afterschool programs have from voters across the political spectrum.

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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (May 2024)

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to before-school, afterschool, and summer learning programs. In addition to providing an updated overview of 21st CCLC programs, which currently serve more than 1.3 million students, this brief highlights the activities and supports provided by programs; the impact programs have on students’ school-day attendance, academics, and behavior; and addresses the current state of funding for the initiative.

21st CCLC Federal Funding Federal Policy

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Afterschool Programs Support Learning Recovery But Struggle with Staffing and Program Costs (April 2024)

A survey of 1,116 afterschool program providers, conducted between October 31 and December 5, 2023, finds that afterschool programs are keeping young people connected, engaged, and inspired, but also continue to face challenges largely due to staffing and program costs. For programs that have been able to obtain federal pandemic relief funds, these funds have helped them keep their doors open, take steps to enhance staff recruitment and retention efforts, serve more students, and expand programming. However, as the end of this federal funding approaches, providers are very concerned about their future sustainability.

Evaluations

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5 Facts about Rural School Districts’ Pandemic Relief Spending on Afterschool and Summer Programs (March 2024)

Following up on the report “Investments in Student Recovery: A Review of School Districts’ Use of American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Afterschool and Summer Opportunities,” this fact sheet takes a closer look at if and how rural school districts have allocated their American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds toward afterschool and summer programming.

Federal Funding Federal Policy Rural COVID-19

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Investments in Student Recovery: A Review of School Districts' Use of American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Afterschool and Summer Opportunities (October 2023)

Federal funds distributed to school districts across the nation to aid in pandemic-related recovery represent a unique opportunity to support students through afterschool and summer programs. This brief illustrates how school districts allocated their American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds toward afterschool and summer learning opportunities and the strategies districts used to support students’ learning recovery. It also provides recommendations to maximize future investments in afterschool and summer programs to help young people learn, be healthy, and thrive.

  • St. Louis Park Public Schools: Expanding support and opportunities for underserved students in afterschool and summer programs using ARP ESSER funds

Federal Funding COVID-19

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Then and Now: A Retrospective on the Afterschool in the Time of Covid-19 Survey Series - Waves 1-9 (July 2023)

Over the course of the past three years, the U.S. has gone through a tumultuous time, from statewide stay-at-home orders in March 2020 to the recent end of the national and public health emergency declarations. We are grateful to the afterschool community for being generous with their time and responding to our series of surveys in the midst of this challenging time. This dashboard provides an overview of the afterschool field’s changing landscape as it responded to the immediate needs of the children and families they served.

Surveys

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Recent Evaluations of 21st Century Community Learning Centers Illustrate Wide Range of Benefits (July 2023)

This brief highlights a cross section of recently conducted statewide evaluations on 21st CCLC programs to illustrate the impacts of this initiative, which is accelerating academic growth, improving students' engagement in school and behavior in class, fostering well-being, and helping students thrive both in school and out.

 

21st CCLC

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Afterschool Supports Children’s Well-Being and Healthy Development (May 2023)

Recent studies describe the rise in young people across the country experiencing anxiety, depression, loneliness, stress, and aggression. At the same time, research has found that this time period—from birth through young adulthood—is “the second most critical period of development” in a person’s life and is shaped by the environments that they move through. This fact sheet highlights the essential role that afterschool and summer programs play to support the healthy development of young people, serving as a safe space that fosters belonging, develops supportive relationships with peers and adult mentors, encourages healthy behaviors, and helps young people build and cultivate the skills necessary to navigate through the struggles and challenges they may come up against in life.

Health and Wellness

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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (May 2023)

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to before-school, afterschool, and summer learning programs. In addition to providing an updated overview of 21st CCLC, including the number of students and families served and activities and supports provided by programs, the brief highlights the impact programs have on students’ academic and behavioral outcomes and addresses the current state of funding for the initiative.

21st CCLC

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