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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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (April 2021)

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 information regarding how 21st CCLC programs have responded to the needs of their communities during the pandemic, this fact sheet provides an updated overview of the 21st CCLC program, highlights its outcomes and benefits, and addresses the current state of funding.

21st CCLC

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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (March 2020)

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. This fact sheet provides an updated overview of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, highlights its outcomes and benefits, and addresses the current state of funding.

21st CCLC Federal Policy

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21st CCLC Facts and Figures (May 2022)

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 information regarding how 21st CCLC programs have responded to the needs of their communities during the pandemic, this fact sheet provides an updated overview of the 21st CCLC program, highlights its outcomes and benefits, and addresses the current state of funding.

21st CCLC Federal Policy

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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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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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21st CCLC one pager

21st Century Community Learning Centers Providing Afterschool Supports to Communities Nationwide PDF

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21st Century Community Learning Centers: The evidence base (Feb 2020)

21st Century Community Learning Centers: The evidence base (Feb 2020) Over the course of more than 20 years, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative has expanded and evolved to offer elementary, middle, and high schoolers enriching learning activities outside of the school day in literacy, math, science, the arts, and music, as well as hands-on experiences to help develop workforce skills. This document provides a small sampling of current research that demonstrates participation in Community Learning Centers makes a positive difference in the lives of the young people they serve.

21st CCLC Evaluations

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5 Facts about Rural School Districts’ Pandemic Relief Spending on Afterschool and Summer Programs

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.

Rural

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A Big-Picture Approach to Wellness: Afterschool Supporting Strong Bodies and Minds (September 2018)

A comprehensive approach to wellness—which includes healthy eating and physical activity and extends to additional aspects of health, such as social and emotional skills and competencies—can provide the necessary supports for healthy children grow into healthy adults. This issue brief details the national public health issues children are facing today and discusses the afterschool field’s ability to provide a place where children feel safe, are surrounded by supportive mentors, have access to nutritious foods, are able to be active, can form relationships with their peers, learn how to set positive goals for themselves, and feel empowered to take charge of their lives. Accompanying this brief are five in-depth afterschool program profiles that highlight the different roles programs play to support their students’ physical and social and emotional health:

Health and Wellness

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Summary

Access to Afterschool Programs Remains a Challenge for Many Families (August 2022)

A survey of approximately 1,500 parents or guardians of school-age children, conducted May 22-June 28, 2022, provides a snapshot of the current afterschool program landscape during the pandemic, documenting that while children and families who are able to access afterschool programs report high levels of satisfaction, for every child in an afterschool program, there are four more who are waiting to get in.

COVID-19

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