Afterschool Research: Health & Wellness

Keeping kids active, encouraging a healthy lifestyle

Afterschool programs are helping young people get enough physical activity and providing nutritious snacks.

Close to 16 percent of U.S. children ages 6-19 are overweight, and another 15 percent are at risk of becoming overweight. Additionally, in 2012 more than 1 in 5 children under the age of 18 lived in poverty and were exposed to hunger. This section covers the variety of ways afterschool programs canand doplay an important role in promoting healthy lifestyles for youth. 

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Back to School in the Time of COVID-19 – Wave 3 (November 2020)

Eight months into COVID-19, three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the nation. First, many more afterschool programs are operating now than were in the spring and summer. Second, programs are able to serve only about half as many students as they supported before the pandemic. Third, the children being left behind are disproportionately those from low-income families. These findings are documented in the brief, Back to School in the Time of COVID-19, based on the third in a series of surveys of afterschool program providers to monitor the state of the afterschool field. The Wave 3 provider survey of 1,445 program providers, was conducted between September 28 and October 27, and represents more than 7,300 program sites.

Surveys COVID-19


Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (March 2015)

This report discusses the current state of healthy eating and physical activity in afterschool, identifies areas for improvement, and provides recommendations moving forward. Kids on the Move is presented as part of the third edition of America After 3PM, which spans a decade of household survey data chronicling how children spend the hours between 3 and 6 p.m.

Health and Wellness

Executive Summary

Summer Learning Programs Nourish Kids Bodies and Minds (2013)

Not only do summer learning programs keep kids safe and engaged in academically enriching activities that help stem the "summer slide," they also help parents ensure their kids are getting nutritious food while school's out. This fact sheet highlights the important role summer learning programs play in feeding high-needs children, addresses the challenges programs face in providing a summer meal and outlines the benefits of programs’ participation in the USDA Summer Food Service Program.


What Summer Programming Looks Like for 2021 in the Time of COVID-19 - Wave 5 (Aug 2021)

This summer, as most states lift COVID-19 restrictions and families ease back into public life, summer programs also report moving toward a return to normal, with a nearly 70 percent increase in programs opening their doors and serving students in-person in some capacity compared to the summer of 2020 and 8 in 10 providers reporting optimism about the future of their program. However, issues remain, with more than half of providers serving students in-person reporting a waitlist and operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The Wave 5 provider survey of 937 program providers was conducted June 2-28, 2021, and represents more than 6,400 program sites.

Surveys COVID-19

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