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 Research and Resources on Before-and-After-School Programs

​​The list below describes some key resources on after-school programs. The U.S. Department of Education or Illinois State Board of Education does not endorse the findings or programs that are featured at the web sites. This list is not meant to be exclusive.

All grant proposals for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program must be developed according to guidelines established in the RFP. These resources will help to support your planning.


  • Academy for Educational Development – www.afterschool.org
    A website designed to share practices that are working in after-school programs. Site enables users to talk and share their own practices.
  • The After-School Alliance--http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/
    This private organization provides information and resources for after-school programs.
  • Benton Foundation Kids Campaign - http://sparkaction.org/
    Information for adults about opportunities to improve their community for children.
    • Choosing a Good Program answers “How can you know a good program when you see it?” Items published by the National PTA on what parents should be looking for in high-quality after-school care.
    • Financing Help for Out-of-School Programs helps to determine the range of costs that out-of-school time and community school initiatives incur, and develops cost estimates.
  • California After School Network http://www.afterschoolnetwork.org/publications
    Access the California After School Program Quality Self-Assessment Tool, the High School Quality Self-Assessment Rubric, and the (21st CCLC) High School ASSETs program Start-up guide
  • Council of Chief State School Officers http://www.ccsso.org
    The CCSSO's Extended Learning Project provides information on policies, practices, and strategies.
  • C. S. Mott Foundation - www.mott.org
    As a partner of the USDE's 21st CCLC initiative the foundation awards grants in four program areas in the US and selected regions internationally.
    • Learning Together: The Developing Field of School-Community Issues, a report chronicling the ideas, approaches, and strategies employed by 20 school-community initiatives across the US.
    • Making After-School Count , a publication on issues of after-school care.
    • Philosophy, Programs, and Procedures: Pathways Out of Poverty Program provides guidelines and application procedures for funding improved education.
  • ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology - www.thegateway.org
    Web-based lesson plans, curriculum units. Browse subject and keyword lists, or search The Gateway. Retrieved records will link directly to the Internet resources they describe.
    • Resource Guide for Planning and Operating After-School Programshttp://www.sedl.org/pubs/fam95/, many resources to support before and after-school, summer and community learning center programs for school-aged children.
  • Extended Learning Time: Research and Resources - http://financeproject.org/
    This resource list was developed by The Finance Project to provide policymakers, school and nonprofit leaders and afterschool providers with a select list of research that supports Expanded Learning and Extended Learning Time (ELT). The resource list includes summaries of each suggested research piece, which includes resources describing recommendations related to policy initiatives and resource allocation. For ease of use, the resources provided are divided into two meaningful sections:
    • Extended Learning Time and Extended Day Initiatives
    • Afterschool and Expanded Learning Opportunities
    This publication is available at: www.financeproject.org/publications/ExtendedLearningTime.pdfPDF Document
  • The Federation for Community Schools - http://www.ilcommunityschools.org/
    Works to bring together individuals and organizations who support community schools throughout Illinois. Community schools create collaborative partnerships between schools, community based organizations, social service and health care agencies, students and parents to ensure that students have the supports and opportunities they need to excel academically. www.ilcommunityschools.org (312)629-4990
  • The Finance Project -- www.financeproject.org
    Technical assistance resources on financing and sustaining out-of-school time and community school initiatives.
    • After School and State Education Finance Formulas: A Primer for Statewide After-school Networks identifies challenges and potential opportunities of incorporating funding for after-school programs into state education finance formulas.
    • The Child Care Partnership Project is an initiative for developing technical assistance materials on public-private partnerships for childcare. Information for state child-care administrators on how to create and sustain effective partnerships.
    • Out-of-School-Time Project provides technical assistance on financing and sustainability of after-school programs.
    • Starting Points is a series of publications and technical assistance materials designed to promote young children’s readiness for school.
    • Sustaining 21st Century Community Learning Centers synthesizes interviews with current and former grantees and with state grant administrators about effective sustainability strategies at a program and policy level.
    • Using Title I to Support Out-of-School Time and Community Initiatives (January 2002, Vol. 2. No. 4): A strategy brief about using Title I funds.
  • Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) - www.ed.gov/free
    Search tools. An online bulletin board for teachers and federal agencies to communicate about potential collaboration on new teaching and learning resources from 30 federal agencies.
  • General Services Administration -- www.afterschool.gov
    Online resource for parents, teachers, after-school providers, and children to learn about after-school resources from many different government and non-profit agencies.
    • Bringing Education to After-school Programs
    • After-school Action Kit
  • Harvard Family Research Project – www.gse.harvard.edu/hfrp
    Useful information on evaluation including: ways to evaluate after-school programs; ways to improve evaluation for practitioners, policymakers, funders and researchers.
    • Federal Funding in Out-of-School Time with Accountability Requirements and Evaluations is a map of the after-school field and detailed federal funding streams for after-school programs.
    • Out-of-School Time Evaluation Database offers an investigation of the overall picture of evaluation work in the field of out-of-school time.
    • Out-of-School Time Issues of the Evaluation Exchange: Quarterly newsletter highlighting issues in the out-of-school time arena and featuring articles by evaluators, researchers, and practitioners in the field.
    • Issues and Opportunities in Out-of-School Time Evaluation briefs highlight current research and evaluation work in the out-of-school time field.
    • Summer Success: Challenges and Strategies in Creating Quality Academically Focused Summer Programs (Number 9, October 2006) synthesizes findings from 34 evaluations of academically focused summer programs to examine ways of creating high-quality programming for youth.

    Learning Point Associates --www.learningpt.org
    Provides information for after-school programs and other educational issues. Beyond the Bell (third edition) is a valuable resource for program directors and site coordinators. Includes resources and examples of after-school programs.

    Specific Resources:

    • Beyond the Bell: A Toolkit for Creating Effective After-School Programs --http://www.beyondthebell.org/
      Provides guidance on critical issues such as management, collaboration, programming, evaluation, and communication. 15 additional resources are included that could prove valuable to after-school planners.
    • Beyond the Bell Start-Up Guide -- http://www.beyondthebell.org/page_startup.php
      Provides information and guidance for the early stages of planning and development. Free PDF version of the guide is available for download.

    Make It Stick --www.makeitstick.org
    Based on the 5 elements of the New Day for Learning vision, this program highlights changes in education that are making a difference.

    Maryland Out of School Time Network -- http://www.mdoutofschooltime.org
    The mission of the Maryland Out of School Time Network is to build a coalition of youth, families, community members, program providers, educators, funders, and policy makers to expand funding , implement more effective policies, and support increased program quality for youth opportunities in the out of school hours.

    Review Maine’s “Reaching Potential Through Quality StandardsPDF Document” - particularly Chapter 3 pp.16-18.

    Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (MCREL) -- http://www.mcrel.org/
    A useful compendium of examples of innovative after-school programs.

    The National After School Association (NAA) -- www.naaweb.org
    NAA is the membership association for professionals who work with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours.

    The National Governors Association -- www.nga.org
    Information on schools and after-school programs.

    National Network for Child Care (NNCC) -- www.nncc.org
    Houses a database of publications and a listserv supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service.

    Specific Resources:

    • NNCC School-Age Child Care Database, a resource that contains articles and abstracts about before- and after-school care; including not-for-profit status for school-age care programs, selecting staff, and preventing conflict.

    National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL -- http://www.sedl.org/afterschool/welcome.html
    Provides training and technical assistance to local and state practitioners to develop high-quality balanced programming that engages students.

    Specific Resources:

    • Quality afterschool Programs Make a Real Difference, a brochure that describes the top five components of successful after-school programs.
    • Shared Features of High Performing After-School Programs: A follow-up to the TASC Evaluation, a full report on after school.
    • After School Toolkit -- http://www.sedl.org/afterschool/toolkits/

    Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory -- http://www.nwre.org/learns
    LEARNS, a program of one of the U.S. Department of Education-funded regional education laboratories, features downloadable resources, innovative ideas for literacy practices and education-based national service projects.

    Specific Resources:

    • Extra Learning Opportunities, a web-based publication regarding practices and recent activities in after-school programs.
    • EXTRA: Quarterly publication used to disseminate information on after-school issues and practices.
    • LEARNS features downloadable resources, ideas for literacy practices and education-based national service projects.

    Partnership for Family Involvement in Education --
    How to join, a list of members, examples of Partner activities, a comprehensive listing of USDE publications on family and community involvement, including after-school programs.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture - www.fns.usda.gov/cnd
    Provides information on the after-school snack program, including eligibility and reimbursement.

    U.S. Department of Education (USDE) -- www.ed.gov
    Information about national education issues, publications, education statistics, and information about its different offices and programs. For more about after-school programs, visit 21st Century Community Learning Centers at http://www.ed.gov/programs/21stcclc/applicant.html.

    Specific Resources:

    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Providing Quality After-school Learning Opportunities for America’s Families
      A publication on aspects of the 21st CCLC and a description of the initial challenges and successes of the program.
    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Monitoring Support
      Evaluation Framework for 21st CCLC ProgramsPDF Document
    • Bringing Education to After-school Programs helps after-school providers understand how to integrate academic content (e.g., reading and mathematics) into their programs to enhance learning.
    • Information for Parents and Families:
      Ideas, funding, and conferences relevant to family and community involvement in education, including after-school programs.
    • Keeping Schools Open as Community Learning Centers: Extended Learning in a Safe, Drug-Free Environment Before and After school is designed to help schools and community-based organizations begin their process of keeping neighborhood schools open for children and families.
    • Safe and Smart: Making After-School Hours Work for Kids highlights research evidence on the potential of after-school programs to increase the safety of children, reduce their risk-taking, and improve learning.
    • When Schools Stay Open Late: The National Evaluation of the 21st-Century Community Learning Centers Program presents the first-year findings of a large and rigorous examination of school-based after-school programs.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- www.hhs.gov
    Interesting resources are found in the section on Health and Human Child Care Programs, including the Child Care Development Fund.


    In addition to websites, the following listservs may be of interest.

    Subscribe to this news service listserv with the latest information about the U.S. Department of Education at www.ed.gov/news.html.

    After-school listserv
    The after-school listserv, supported by the C.S. Mott Foundation, is hosted by the Academy for Educational Development. The listserv is designed to provide a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, resources, and experiences. To subscribe, send a message to ppas@aed.org.

    Promising Practices in Afterschool Listserv
    The PPAS listserv, is hosted by AED Center for Youth Services. a community of over 2,300 afterschool, out-of-school-time, and extended learning professionals around the globe. The PPAS Listserv is a daily-moderated opportunity for you to communicate with your peers, ask questions and share resources. To subscribe visit http://www.afterschool.org/listserv.​​​​​​


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List of Schools Served

 Webinar Archive

FY 2015 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant RFP – Applicant Technical Assistance Webinar July 8, 2014

FY 2013 21st Century Community Learning Centers New Grant Awardees November 27, 2012

FY 2013 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant – Applicant Technical Assistance Webinar August 7, 2012

To describe and explain the information necessary for submission of a proposal in response to the 2012 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program request for proposals.

21st Century Community Learning Center FY13 Continuation Application Webinar June 13, 2012

The Webinar and PowerPoint explain the process for entering the e-grant application in IWAS.

An introduction to ISBE, 21st CCLC staffing, programming, compliance, budgeting, reimbursements and more January 5, 2012

Implementing Community Schools Using 21st CCLC Funding Webinar July 21, 2011

FY 2012 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant – Applicant Technical Assistance Webinar July 7, 2011

To describe and explain the information necessary for submission of a proposal in response to the 2012 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program request for proposals.

FY 2012 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant – Continuation Application and Budget Preparation Technical Assistance Webinar May 11, 2011

A webinar for 21st Century Community Learning Centers program grantees to describe and explain the information necessary for submission of a FY 2012 continuation application and budget.

An Introduction to the 21st Century Community Learning Center Self Monitoring and Certificate Packet Presentation January 13, 2011

Completing Your 21st Century Community Learning Centers Annual Fall Survey and Using the Evaluation Template November 10, 2010

The 21st CCLC Annual Fall Survey is due no later than December 1st. It includes baseline data for this year and a critique of your local evaluation for 2010. This help session will provide useful tips on completing the requirements and is appropriate for anyone involved in completing the survey, especially your evaluator.

An Introduction to the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program and the 2012 RFP Process November 4, 2010

The purpose of this webinar is to provide interested parties an understanding of what a 21st CCLC program looks like by explaining some of the federal requirements and expectations that shape the program. Included in the presentation will be cursory information about the 2012 RFP process including eligibility, funding priorities, classifications of grantees and a timeline for the award.

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