Archives:

Select:

When talking about social and emotional learning, what language works best?

READ FULL STORY

When talking about social and emotional learning, what language works best?

We all know that high quality afterschool and summer learning programs provide kids with the skills that they need to succeed in school and life. While the concept sounds simple, finding the best way to describe these skills and their development is anything but. Some people use phrases such as "social and emotional learning (SEL)" or "character development." Others refer to "21st century," "noncognitive" or "non-academic skills." With such a wide array of terms available, it can be hard to know how to best describe the set of skills youth develop in programs.

New research commissioned by the Wallace Foundation provides some helpful insights. For the study, EDGE Research performed desktop research, interviewed more than 45 leaders in the field, held focus groups with parents, and surveyed more than 1,600 professionals in the field. Their findings provide a valuable lens on how educators, afterschool and summer program leaders, policy makers, and parents think about these skills and what terms and messaging frames are most useful in communicating their value.

Key findings

Unfortunately, there is no “silver bullet” term for describing these skills.

Two terms—"social and emotional learning" and "social-emotional and academic learning"—are suggested as the likely best options because they were relatively familiar and clear to the audiences with which they were tested, and were generally viewed in a positive light.

The most compelling messaging strategy is to frame the skills in terms of how they benefit children by naming specific outcomes. For example, you could describe how developing social and emotional skills helps children succeed in school and in life by providing them with the ability to manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and navigate social environments, which allows them to fulfill their potential.

Interested in learning more about the study and the other terms and messaging frames that were tested? Read the full analysis and download the webinar recording on the Wallace Foundation website.

Survey results point to a summer of learning and engagement ahead for young people

As the temperature starts to rise, and in D.C., we start to feel the familiar humidity creep into the air, one’s thoughts can’t help but turn to summer—and for those of us at the Afterschool Alliance, that includes thinking about what the state of summer programming will look...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      05/17/24

New survey: Afterschool programs advance learning recovery efforts but face staffing and cost challenges

Based on a new national survey of 1,116 afterschool program providers, programs are supporting students’ academic development, strengthening peer-to-peer connections, and creating opportunities where they can practice life skills. At the same time, providers report grappling with issues such...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      04/25/24

Pandemic relief funds expanded support for underserved students in Minnesota

A recent report on pandemic relief funds showed the numerous ways that school districts are using federal funds to support students with afterschool and summer learning opportunities. A new spotlight dives deeper into one example in Minnesota and how St. Louis Park Public Schools used American...

BY: Liana Shivers      04/12/24

Year in review: Pandemic relief funds support the nutrition of young people

In 2023, we released eight blogs and collected over 550 examples on our American Rescue Plan map, highlighting some of the amazing ways pandemic relief funds are being utilized for afterschool and summer. These funds have supported youth access to arts, physical activity, mental health services,...

BY: Emily Murtaugh      01/04/24

Tracking American Rescue Plan funds: Recommendations from the field

By Emily Murtaugh and Liana Shivers. In October, the Afterschool Alliance released a new report, “Investments in Student Recovery: A Review of School Districts’ Use of American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Afterschool and Summer Opportunities,” detailing how districts are...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/01/23

American Rescue Plan funds support afterschool programs for Native American families

Native Americans represent more than 570 tribes, 3.7 million people, and 644,000 students across the country. The America After 3PM for Native American Families fact sheet highlights how afterschool programs play an important role in Native American communities by providing comprehensive support...

BY: Liana Shivers      11/28/23

Pandemic relief funds fuel partnerships

We’re highlighting ways that COVID relief funds are increasing partnerships to support out-of-school time learning, as a part of our series highlighting the wide variety of examples available in our map of City, State, and School District Investments in Afterschool and Summer Learning with...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/07/23

COVID relief funds support 21st Century Community Learning Centers

This month, we're spotlighting entries in our map of pandemic relief funds that support 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs across the country. This initiative is the only federal funding source solely dedicated to before-school, afterschool, and summer learning...

BY: Sophie Kidd      10/16/23

Latino voters prioritize afterschool and summer programs

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which started on Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15, the following graphic was created to highlight responses from registered voters who identified as Latino, Latina, or Hispanic and how they feel when it comes to the issue of afterschool and summer...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      10/10/23

New dashboard presents a retrospective of the Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 survey series

Over the course of the last three years, thanks to the afterschool field’s generous nature and taking the time during an incredibly tumultuous period to respond to our surveys, the Afterschool Alliance has been able to track the changing landscape of the afterschool field. A recently released...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/19/23

5 facts about rural school districts’ pandemic relief spending on afterschool and summer programs

In rural Washington State, one school district invested a quarter of a million dollars of its American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to create a brand-new afterschool program for the district’s elementary school students that provided extra homework help, STEM learning opportunities, and time for...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      03/22/24

Cultivating the next workforce generation in afterschool programs

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) provide new career opportunities for students by giving them hands-on experience working in afterschool and summer enrichment programs. Many 21st CCLC sites offer opportunities where students can be assistant teachers, tutors, coaches, and...

BY: Sophie Kidd      02/02/24

Year in review: Pandemic relief funds support the nutrition of young people

In 2023, we released eight blogs and collected over 550 examples on our American Rescue Plan map, highlighting some of the amazing ways pandemic relief funds are being utilized for afterschool and summer. These funds have supported youth access to arts, physical activity, mental health services,...

BY: Emily Murtaugh      01/04/24

COVID-relief funds deep dive (part 2)

By Liana Shivers and Emily Murtaugh. In March 2021, local education agencies (LEAs) received approximately $22 billion from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to support COVID-related learning recovery, including afterschool and summer learning. This is the second blog...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/22/23

New dashboard presents a retrospective of the Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 survey series

Over the course of the last three years, thanks to the afterschool field’s generous nature and taking the time during an incredibly tumultuous period to respond to our surveys, the Afterschool Alliance has been able to track the changing landscape of the afterschool field. A recently released...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/19/23

Survey finds that programs open this summer will reach the highest levels in three years

Thanks to the more than 1,100 program providers who responded to Afterschool Alliance’s spring survey to better understand the current state of the field, we are able to share some insights into what providers anticipate for this summer. This summer, program providers are much more certain...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/14/23

Pandemic relief funds are supporting summer learning opportunities for youth

Photo courtesy of GENTS & GLAM As we look forward to National Summer Learning Week on July 10-14, we’re shining a light on the ways COVID-relief funds are supporting students while school is out for the summer. Thanks to these funds, kids have the opportunity to explore new activities,...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/28/23

Kicking off a celebration of 25 years of 21st CCLC

Over the course of the past 25 years, millions of students have taken part in fun, academically enriching learning experiences in their 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, making friends while exploring new areas of interest and finding their passions, all in a safe...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      05/23/23

Pandemic relief funds are helping support youth and families' mental health

We continue to add examples to the American Rescue Plan map, illuminating how cities, states, and school districts use pandemic relief funds to support afterschool and summer learning. Today, we are focusing on mental health. Why? May is National Mental Health Awareness Month! In 2021,...

BY: Liana Shivers      05/12/23

Fall afterschool provider survey results: A child care provider perspective

The recent Afterschool Provider Survey, published February 2023, included a universe of over 1,000 programs across the country. Of the 1,016 programs surveyed, just under 10 percent (92) identified themselves as “afterschool programs run by child care centers.” The data allow for...

BY: Jillian Luchner      05/08/23

Pandemic relief funds expanded support for underserved students in Minnesota

A recent report on pandemic relief funds showed the numerous ways that school districts are using federal funds to support students with afterschool and summer learning opportunities. A new spotlight dives deeper into one example in Minnesota and how St. Louis Park Public Schools used American...

BY: Liana Shivers      04/12/24

5 facts about rural school districts’ pandemic relief spending on afterschool and summer programs

In rural Washington State, one school district invested a quarter of a million dollars of its American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to create a brand-new afterschool program for the district’s elementary school students that provided extra homework help, STEM learning opportunities, and time for...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      03/22/24

New fact sheet: Using American Rescue Plan Funds For Afterschool And Summer Programs

Following up on findings from the “Investments in Student Recovery: A Review of School Districts’ Use of American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Afterschool and Summer Opportunities” report, our new fact sheet describes the impact of American Rescue Plan (ARP) investments in...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      02/26/24

Cultivating the next workforce generation in afterschool programs

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) provide new career opportunities for students by giving them hands-on experience working in afterschool and summer enrichment programs. Many 21st CCLC sites offer opportunities where students can be assistant teachers, tutors, coaches, and...

BY: Sophie Kidd      02/02/24

Year in review: Pandemic relief funds support the nutrition of young people

In 2023, we released eight blogs and collected over 550 examples on our American Rescue Plan map, highlighting some of the amazing ways pandemic relief funds are being utilized for afterschool and summer. These funds have supported youth access to arts, physical activity, mental health services,...

BY: Emily Murtaugh      01/04/24

Tracking American Rescue Plan funds: Recommendations from the field

By Emily Murtaugh and Liana Shivers. In October, the Afterschool Alliance released a new report, “Investments in Student Recovery: A Review of School Districts’ Use of American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Afterschool and Summer Opportunities,” detailing how districts are...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/01/23

American Rescue Plan funds support afterschool programs for Native American families

Native Americans represent more than 570 tribes, 3.7 million people, and 644,000 students across the country. The America After 3PM for Native American Families fact sheet highlights how afterschool programs play an important role in Native American communities by providing comprehensive support...

BY: Liana Shivers      11/28/23

Pandemic relief funds fuel partnerships

We’re highlighting ways that COVID relief funds are increasing partnerships to support out-of-school time learning, as a part of our series highlighting the wide variety of examples available in our map of City, State, and School District Investments in Afterschool and Summer Learning with...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/07/23

Tracking American Rescue Plan funds: 8 in 10 school districts invest in afterschool and summer, focus on traditional academic support

By Emily Murtaugh and Liana Shivers. In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act allocated $109 billion in  Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds to local school districts to support pandemic recovery, including addressing students’ learning loss and...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/23/23

COVID relief funds support 21st Century Community Learning Centers

This month, we're spotlighting entries in our map of pandemic relief funds that support 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs across the country. This initiative is the only federal funding source solely dedicated to before-school, afterschool, and summer learning...

BY: Sophie Kidd      10/16/23

5 facts about rural school districts’ pandemic relief spending on afterschool and summer programs

In rural Washington State, one school district invested a quarter of a million dollars of its American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to create a brand-new afterschool program for the district’s elementary school students that provided extra homework help, STEM learning opportunities, and time for...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      03/22/24

New fact sheet: Using American Rescue Plan Funds For Afterschool And Summer Programs

Following up on findings from the “Investments in Student Recovery: A Review of School Districts’ Use of American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Afterschool and Summer Opportunities” report, our new fact sheet describes the impact of American Rescue Plan (ARP) investments in...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      02/26/24

Pandemic relief funds fuel partnerships

We’re highlighting ways that COVID relief funds are increasing partnerships to support out-of-school time learning, as a part of our series highlighting the wide variety of examples available in our map of City, State, and School District Investments in Afterschool and Summer Learning with...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/07/23

New dashboard presents a retrospective of the Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 survey series

Over the course of the last three years, thanks to the afterschool field’s generous nature and taking the time during an incredibly tumultuous period to respond to our surveys, the Afterschool Alliance has been able to track the changing landscape of the afterschool field. A recently released...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/19/23

Survey finds that programs open this summer will reach the highest levels in three years

Thanks to the more than 1,100 program providers who responded to Afterschool Alliance’s spring survey to better understand the current state of the field, we are able to share some insights into what providers anticipate for this summer. This summer, program providers are much more certain...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/14/23

Pandemic relief funds are supporting summer learning opportunities for youth

Photo courtesy of GENTS & GLAM As we look forward to National Summer Learning Week on July 10-14, we’re shining a light on the ways COVID-relief funds are supporting students while school is out for the summer. Thanks to these funds, kids have the opportunity to explore new activities,...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/28/23

Fall afterschool provider survey results: A child care provider perspective

The recent Afterschool Provider Survey, published February 2023, included a universe of over 1,000 programs across the country. Of the 1,016 programs surveyed, just under 10 percent (92) identified themselves as “afterschool programs run by child care centers.” The data allow for...

BY: Jillian Luchner      05/08/23

300 ways pandemic relief funds are supporting afterschool and summer

We’re thrilled to share a new and improved interactive map showing examples of afterschool and summer programming supported by pandemic relief funds. From experiential learning camps in Vermont where youth learned how to use a compass and identify wild edibles; to STEM offerings in...

BY: Ursula Helminski      04/17/23

COVID-relief funds deep dive (part 1)

By Emily Murtaugh and Liana Shivers. Two years have passed since states received their portion of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III or ARP ESSER) funds as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Funds, allocated at the state education agency (SEA) and local...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/14/23

ARP funds are helping young people stay active

As the weather warms up this spring, we are highlighting how American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding supports kids getting outside to play and move their bodies. Physical activity is essential to a young person’s development; from pre-pandemic levels to during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been...

BY: Emily Murtaugh      04/10/23

Survey results point to a summer of learning and engagement ahead for young people

As the temperature starts to rise, and in D.C., we start to feel the familiar humidity creep into the air, one’s thoughts can’t help but turn to summer—and for those of us at the Afterschool Alliance, that includes thinking about what the state of summer programming will look...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      05/17/24

Phase II findings from the National Summer Learning and Enrichment Study explore how SEAs approached summer

Researchers at Westat released the second batch of findings from the National Summer Learning & Enrichment Study. The Wallace Foundation is supporting the study. This release is the second in a series of three reports taking a closer look at summer learning in 2021 from the perspective of state...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/16/23

Survey finds that programs open this summer will reach the highest levels in three years

Thanks to the more than 1,100 program providers who responded to Afterschool Alliance’s spring survey to better understand the current state of the field, we are able to share some insights into what providers anticipate for this summer. This summer, program providers are much more certain...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/14/23

Best practices from school districts for advancing equity in expanded learning

How can we promote equity in out-of-school time (OST) programs? A new research brief commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, Expanding Equity in Afterschool and Summer Learning: Lessons From School Districts, explores this question. The brief summarizes work done by researchers at the University of...

BY: Sophie Kidd      07/03/23

Pandemic relief funds are supporting summer learning opportunities for youth

Photo courtesy of GENTS & GLAM As we look forward to National Summer Learning Week on July 10-14, we’re shining a light on the ways COVID-relief funds are supporting students while school is out for the summer. Thanks to these funds, kids have the opportunity to explore new activities,...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/28/23

New study examines how districts approached summer learning in 2021

In December 2022, researchers at Westat released the first batch of findings from the National Summer Learning & Enrichment Study, an effort funded by the Wallace Foundation. The study will feature three reports that analyze summer learning in 2021 and 2022 across the country from the viewpoint...

BY: Sophie Kidd      03/14/23

More than half of public schools report offering afterschool programs for students who need academic assistance

At the beginning of November, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the Institute of Education Services, the research branch of the Department of Education, released findings from the September 2022 data collection of their School Pulse Panel (SPP) study. This study is...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/10/22

More than half of superintendents say summer learning/enrichment programs will decrease or end after ARP funding runs out, according to new survey

This summer, The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) released the third part of their series “School District Spending of American Rescue Plan Funding” which surveys district leaders on how they’re using ARP funds to respond to the pandemic and learning...

BY: Sophie Kidd      10/11/22

State summer learning findings: Partnerships, equity, and long-term funding solutions are top of mind

Organizations in Maryland and Minnesota have recently released reports around summer learning in 2021, as many districts and providers are in the midst of this year’s summer programming. Both reports highlight useful findings, best practices, and areas for future growth. Partnerships, equity,...

BY: Sophie Kidd      07/26/22

New Education Development Center report and webinar highlight ways to strengthen summer learning programs

On Tuesday, June 14, the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) hosted a webinar, “Insights and Reflections on Planning and Implementing District-led Summer Programs,” to share findings from its new report: Supporting Quality in Summer Learning: How Districts Plan, Develop, and...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/24/22

New survey: Afterschool programs advance learning recovery efforts but face staffing and cost challenges

Based on a new national survey of 1,116 afterschool program providers, programs are supporting students’ academic development, strengthening peer-to-peer connections, and creating opportunities where they can practice life skills. At the same time, providers report grappling with issues such...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      04/25/24

Pandemic relief funds expanded support for underserved students in Minnesota

A recent report on pandemic relief funds showed the numerous ways that school districts are using federal funds to support students with afterschool and summer learning opportunities. A new spotlight dives deeper into one example in Minnesota and how St. Louis Park Public Schools used American...

BY: Liana Shivers      04/12/24

Afterschool a priority for Asian American and Pacific Islander voters

A brand new graphic draws attention to the high levels of support among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters for afterschool and summer learning programs. Based on a November 2022 survey of registered voters, the graphic maps out what AAPI voters are saying about afterschool programs,...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      05/30/23

Women voters say that they want increased access to afterschool

A new graphic released this week illustrates the strong support for afterschool and summer programs among women voters. Based on results from an online survey of registered voters conducted by Lake Research Partners between November 9-14, 2022, women across political affiliations, community types,...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      03/31/23

Listening to Black voters: Afterschool is essential

Results are in! By overwhelming majorities, Black voters agree on the value of afterschool and summer learning programs. From inspiring children to learn to supporting young people’s well-being, polling affirms that Black voters are in favor of afterschool programs for our nation’s...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      03/13/23

Oklahoma afterschool program supports Native American youth

Heather Taylor, an afterschool program director, and Native American Student Advocate for Tahlequah Public Schools spoke with Sophie Kidd from the Afterschool Alliance about the history of her program and how they support Native youth. How did your program start? Tahlequah Public Schools...

BY: Sophie Kidd      02/13/23

The importance of culturally driven Native American mental health interventions

By Sasha Neyra. Sasha, 16, is a Junior at Arcata High School and a Member of Big Lagoon Rancheria and wrote this piece as a part of her role as a Student Research Assistant at Two Feathers Native American Family Services. Two Feathers is excited to welcome our student research assistant. Part of...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/09/23

New America After 3PM brief focuses on Native American youth and families

For the first time, an analysis of the Afterschool Alliance’s America After 3PM survey provides an in-depth look at the afterschool experiences of Native American youth. The new brief, “America After 3PM for Native American Families,” presents data collected pre-pandemic and...

BY: Sophie Kidd      01/12/23

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

As Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month wraps up, the Afterschool Alliance is shining a light on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) children in afterschool programs and the experiences of AANHPI parents as it relates to afterschool. Our America After 3PM...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      05/31/22

Phase II findings from the National Summer Learning and Enrichment Study explore how SEAs approached summer

Researchers at Westat released the second batch of findings from the National Summer Learning & Enrichment Study. The Wallace Foundation is supporting the study. This release is the second in a series of three reports taking a closer look at summer learning in 2021 from the perspective of state...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/16/23

Survey finds that programs open this summer will reach the highest levels in three years

Thanks to the more than 1,100 program providers who responded to Afterschool Alliance’s spring survey to better understand the current state of the field, we are able to share some insights into what providers anticipate for this summer. This summer, program providers are much more certain...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/14/23

Pandemic relief funds are supporting summer learning opportunities for youth

Photo courtesy of GENTS & GLAM As we look forward to National Summer Learning Week on July 10-14, we’re shining a light on the ways COVID-relief funds are supporting students while school is out for the summer. Thanks to these funds, kids have the opportunity to explore new activities,...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/28/23

NCES data release shows increased opportunities for summer learning and more mental health supports

In early August, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the Institute of Education Services, the research branch of the Department of Education, released findings from its June 2022 School Pulse Panel (SPP) study. The study’s goal is to collect data on the impact the...

BY: Sophie Kidd      08/25/22

New examples of COVID relief funding for afterschool from National League of Cities

In the next phase of our COVID work and to celebrate the launch of the Engage Every Student Initiative, we have collaborated with the National League of Cities (NLC) on the next iteration of our map that shows where COVID funds are supporting afterschool & summer programs across the country....

BY: Sophie Kidd      07/22/22