Archives:

Select:

New report on building data-driven afterschool systems within cities

READ FULL STORY

New report on building data-driven afterschool systems within cities

A data-centric approach has potential to generate actionable information at the systematic and programmatic levels and ultimately to improve the quality and access to afterschool. The Wallace Foundation commissioned a study in partnership with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and the Gamse Partnership called Using Data to Strengthen Afterschool Planning, Management, and Strategy: Lessons from Eight Cities to evaluate how communities implement a data-tracking system within a city network.

The study evaluates the results of the Foundation’s Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative (ASB2). ASB2, the Wallace Foundation’s second wave of funding for citywide afterschool networks, was formulated in response to interest from afterschool stakeholders in gathering data from their citywide networks to enhance their utility. Baltimore, Denver, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Saint Paul were awarded grants through ASB2 and technical guidance from the Wallace Foundation to establish citywide afterschool data systems.

Approaching the project, each city formed a coalition of stakeholders including mayoral offices, school districts, afterschool programs, local foundations, and community organizations. Designing the Management Information System (MIS) to collect data required the coalition to decide what indicators to prioritize based on the priorities of their constituency. Networks needed investment in people, processes, and technology to operate a data collection system of this magnitude. Dedicated staff capacity, capital to invest in the hardware and software, partnerships, ongoing training about appropriate data collection and use, and actionable communication of findings were all necessary to the effective operation of the system.

Most cities had a precedent of collecting data on accountability such as attendance rates and participant demographics, but the study found that the most successful systems expanded their priorities into the strategic, program management, and improvement realm and used a nuanced analysis to draw conclusions from across all areas of data collection. Cities had a multitude of uses for the information they found: allocating more resources for low-income youth, increasing equity, reprioritizing child retention versus attendance, filling gaps in program delivery, advocating, approaching funders, and troubleshooting management issues.

Key recommendations for developing a community afterschool data system

  • Recognize the importance of a system-level focus. Change is inevitable, so building a strong system with clear goals that can weather unpredictable events is crucial to long-term sustainability.
  • Coalition building and partnerships are vital. Having a variety of stakeholders involved in the project will contribute useful expertise and resources, especially regarding knowledge of data or connections with the community, increasing the scope.
  • Start small and consider context. In the early phases of the project, capacity for data collection may be limited. Prioritize a few indicators based on the needs of the city that can inform meaningful changes.
  • Agree on indicators of success with all stakeholders. Members of the city coalition likely have varying priorities on information gained from such a program. Acknowledging the different motivations early is important to agree on indicators that will be most useful and generate recognition for the program.
  • Provide ongoing training in data literacy. The study found that high rates of stakeholder turnover limited the participant’s ability to use data systems. Generating instruction manuals and providing ongoing training on reporting and understanding information relevant to the project.  
  • Communicate successes early to enhance visibility and utility. Communicating findings and improvements that arose from the data to the public, stakeholders, and funders demonstrates the usefulness of such a system and increases external interest. Identify key milestones that indicate progress to share as proof of efficacy.

Read the full report for an in-depth survey of the cities’ experiences in development, date use, and challenges encountered in implementation.

Valley Heights Community Education: Helping their rural community through the pandemic

This blog post is adapted from a program spotlight in "How Afterschool is Supporting Learning and Recovery During COVID-19," a June 2020 issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance. Started in the mid-1990s as a response to more households having both parents working outside the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/21

The Arkansas-Mississippi Delta After 3PM: Parents give programs high marks, unmet demand soars

The Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi is an area rich in history, natural beauty, and promise, but one that also faces great challenges, with high poverty and limited economic growth. When we look at afterschool in the Delta, we see a similar story, with great potential for afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/11/21

New Data on Afterschool: Demand grows, opportunity shrinks

5 big takeaways from America After 3PM 2020 Since 2004, America After 3PM has provided an essential view into the state and circumstances of children and young people in the after-school hours. This year’s study, America After 3PM 2020, includes responses from 30,000 U.S. families and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/08/20

Key findings from Wave 3 of our program provider survey

A few weeks ago, we concluded the third in a series of national surveys of afterschool providers in the pandemic, conducted by Edge Research and released by the Afterschool Alliance. Eight months into COVID-19, there are three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/20/20

Grad Nation report highlights challenges, solutions towards a 90% graduation rate

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash A recent webinar from Grad Nation, Building a Grad Nation: Meet the Moment 2020!, marked the release of their report, A Grad Nation 2020: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. The annual report discusses recent progress...

BY: Bella DiMarco      11/09/20

New resources from NRPA: How parks and recreation has responded to the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, parks and recreation agencies have been essential partners in supporting community wellbeing and reopening efforts. According to a survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than 190 million U.S. residents visited a park, trail, or other...

BY: Erin Hegarty      09/28/20

4 key takeaways from program providers' summer planning

Last month, the Afterschool Alliance released a blog digging into regional differences from the COVID-19 program provider survey results. Here, we will explore a few more notable differences, specifically in regards to programs’ summer plans and what the future holds.  This...

BY: Bella DiMarco      08/27/20

Help us tell the story of afterschool AND win a chance at a cash prize

We need your help to keep the drumbeat going on the ways in which COVID-19 is impacting afterschool and summer programs and the young people and families who rely on them. By completing this short survey, which should take no more than 10-15 minutes of your time, you are helping to tell your...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      08/20/20

Survey: 70% of programs are still serving kids during COVID

For the past four months, I have heard stories from the field about the hardships afterschool program staff are seeing in their community and the creative ways they have adapted their programming to support the children and families they serve. From adjusting operations to serve children of...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      08/04/20

New issue brief: How afterschool is supporting learning and recovery during COVID-19

During a media briefing last week, “The School Reopening Dilemma: New Survey Sheds Light on the Role Out-of-School-Time Programs Can Play in Educating Students and Supporting Families This Fall,” it was revealed that 70 percent of afterschool program providers reported serving students...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/31/20

Visualizing the skyrocketing demand for afterschool programs during COVID-19

This article was originally published on Graphicacy's medium.com account on January 21, 2021. It is being reposted here with their permission. The Afterschool Alliance came to Graphicacy looking to create a compelling interactive experience with freshly gathered...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/22/21

The Arkansas-Mississippi Delta After 3PM: Parents give programs high marks, unmet demand soars

The Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi is an area rich in history, natural beauty, and promise, but one that also faces great challenges, with high poverty and limited economic growth. When we look at afterschool in the Delta, we see a similar story, with great potential for afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/11/21

Los Angeles After 3PM: 9 in 10 parents want more afterschool support

In Los Angeles, afterschool programs earn a 95 percent satisfaction rate from parents, and a whopping 90 percent of parents support more public investments in afterschool. But the unmet demand for programs in Los Angeles is soaring, as parents cite lack of programs, cost, and transportation as...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/05/21

Atlanta After 3PM: Parents want more afterschool support

In Atlanta, GA, a high number of families want to enroll their children in afterschool programs – but barriers such as cost stand in the way, pointing to a lack of affordable afterschool options. For every child in an afterschool program in Atlanta, two more are waiting to get in. These...

BY: Ursula Helminski      12/16/20

New Data on Afterschool: Demand grows, opportunity shrinks

5 big takeaways from America After 3PM 2020 Since 2004, America After 3PM has provided an essential view into the state and circumstances of children and young people in the after-school hours. This year’s study, America After 3PM 2020, includes responses from 30,000 U.S. families and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/08/20

Key findings from Wave 3 of our program provider survey

A few weeks ago, we concluded the third in a series of national surveys of afterschool providers in the pandemic, conducted by Edge Research and released by the Afterschool Alliance. Eight months into COVID-19, there are three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/20/20

New report: SEL+OST=Perfect Together

In October 2019, The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance brought together youth development leaders, researchers, and educators to discuss social and emotional learning (SEL), identify obstacles to teaching SEL, and begin to brainstorm ways to address those challenges. While...

BY: Erin Hegarty      08/28/20

4 key takeaways from program providers' summer planning

Last month, the Afterschool Alliance released a blog digging into regional differences from the COVID-19 program provider survey results. Here, we will explore a few more notable differences, specifically in regards to programs’ summer plans and what the future holds.  This...

BY: Bella DiMarco      08/27/20

Data on child well-being: How does the nation measure up?

Understanding how our youth are faring is an important aspect of not only reinforcing, but also strengthening the supports that afterschool provides. Two separate reports released this summer delved into the state of child well-being across the country, measuring our nation’s progress over...

BY: Rina Moss      09/03/19

To elevate equity, diversity, and inclusion, go deeper into your quality standards

By Femi Vance, researcher at American Institutes for Research, Board President for the California School-Age Consortium, Field Consultant for the National Summer Learning Association, and editor of Changemakers! Equity and Access in Out-of-School Time Programs. Implementing high-quality...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/23/19

America After 3PM: Middle School Youth

The 2020 edition of the Afterschool Alliance’s America After 3PM report – which includes survey response data from more than 10,000 U.S. families of middle school students – reveals that while parents of middle school students recognize the many benefits of afterschool programs,...

BY: Chandler Hall      02/03/21

Visualizing the skyrocketing demand for afterschool programs during COVID-19

This article was originally published on Graphicacy's medium.com account on January 21, 2021. It is being reposted here with their permission. The Afterschool Alliance came to Graphicacy looking to create a compelling interactive experience with freshly gathered...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/22/21

America After 3PM: Black and Latinx Communities

The Afterschool Alliance’s fourth edition of America After 3PM—which provides a detailed accounting of the circumstances and conditions of U.S. children during the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. and compares afterschool program participation and unmet demand statistics for 2020 with results from...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/13/21

A how-to guide for navigating the America After 3PM dashboard: Part 1

While recent reports, fact sheets, and infographics detail key findings from the America After 3PM household survey of more than 31,000 parents of school-aged children, the America After 3PM dashboard was created to provide broader access to the survey’s rich data set, which includes...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      01/12/21

The Arkansas-Mississippi Delta After 3PM: Parents give programs high marks, unmet demand soars

The Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi is an area rich in history, natural beauty, and promise, but one that also faces great challenges, with high poverty and limited economic growth. When we look at afterschool in the Delta, we see a similar story, with great potential for afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/11/21

Los Angeles After 3PM: 9 in 10 parents want more afterschool support

In Los Angeles, afterschool programs earn a 95 percent satisfaction rate from parents, and a whopping 90 percent of parents support more public investments in afterschool. But the unmet demand for programs in Los Angeles is soaring, as parents cite lack of programs, cost, and transportation as...

BY: Ursula Helminski      01/05/21

Atlanta After 3PM: Parents want more afterschool support

In Atlanta, GA, a high number of families want to enroll their children in afterschool programs – but barriers such as cost stand in the way, pointing to a lack of affordable afterschool options. For every child in an afterschool program in Atlanta, two more are waiting to get in. These...

BY: Ursula Helminski      12/16/20

New Data on Afterschool: Demand grows, opportunity shrinks

5 big takeaways from America After 3PM 2020 Since 2004, America After 3PM has provided an essential view into the state and circumstances of children and young people in the after-school hours. This year’s study, America After 3PM 2020, includes responses from 30,000 U.S. families and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/08/20

While collaboration between youth-serving organizations continues, gaps in service still exist

In a Forum for Youth Investment webinar, Shaping Summertime Experiences: Aligning Practice to Recommendations Recap and Resources, panelists Dr. Deborah Moroney, managing director at American Institutes for Research, and Chris Smith, president and executive director of Boston After School &...

BY: Bella DiMarco      05/14/20

Key findings from Wave 3 of our program provider survey

A few weeks ago, we concluded the third in a series of national surveys of afterschool providers in the pandemic, conducted by Edge Research and released by the Afterschool Alliance. Eight months into COVID-19, there are three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/20/20

Report: Participation in afterschool meals program increased in 2019

A new report released on October 20 by the Food Research and Action Center highlights some good news about the federal Afterschool Meals Program. According to the report, Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation, more than 1.4 million low-income children participated in the Afterschool...

BY: Alexis Steines      11/02/20

New report: SEL+OST=Perfect Together

In October 2019, The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance brought together youth development leaders, researchers, and educators to discuss social and emotional learning (SEL), identify obstacles to teaching SEL, and begin to brainstorm ways to address those challenges. While...

BY: Erin Hegarty      08/28/20

Council for a Strong America report depicts state-level campaign to combat childhood obesity

This report was released by Mission: Readiness, one of the five organizations that comprise Council for a Strong America, which aims to strengthen national security by ensuring kids stay in school, stay fit, and stay out of trouble. A recent Council for a Strong America (CSA) Mission:...

BY: Bella DiMarco      08/06/20

Survey: 70% of programs are still serving kids during COVID

For the past four months, I have heard stories from the field about the hardships afterschool program staff are seeing in their community and the creative ways they have adapted their programming to support the children and families they serve. From adjusting operations to serve children of...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      08/04/20

New issue brief: How afterschool is supporting learning and recovery during COVID-19

During a media briefing last week, “The School Reopening Dilemma: New Survey Sheds Light on the Role Out-of-School-Time Programs Can Play in Educating Students and Supporting Families This Fall,” it was revealed that 70 percent of afterschool program providers reported serving students...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/31/20

More children are getting afterschool meals that boost their health and learning

By Clarissa Hayes. Originally published on October 25,2019 as a blog on FRAC Chat, the blog of the Food Research & Action Center.  National participation in the Afterschool Nutrition Programs — which are key to closing the hunger gap that exists afterschool for many children...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/01/19

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19

The Impact of Summer: New report offers evidence of the short- and long-term value of investments in summer learning programs

As many in the out-of-school-time field know, the summer months have the potential to widen existing learning inequities contributing to the achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers, or serve as a valuable space to combat this exacerbation and not only prevent...

BY: Erin Hegarty      12/21/20

Grad Nation report highlights challenges, solutions towards a 90% graduation rate

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash A recent webinar from Grad Nation, Building a Grad Nation: Meet the Moment 2020!, marked the release of their report, A Grad Nation 2020: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. The annual report discusses recent progress...

BY: Bella DiMarco      11/09/20

New resources from NRPA: How parks and recreation has responded to the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, parks and recreation agencies have been essential partners in supporting community wellbeing and reopening efforts. According to a survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than 190 million U.S. residents visited a park, trail, or other...

BY: Erin Hegarty      09/28/20

Urban Institute: 21st CCLC among 8 policy strategies for school-age child care

The Urban Institute recently released a working paper entitled, “Meeting the School-Age Child Care Needs of Working Parents Facing COVID-19 Distance Learning,” that addresses major challenges that both families and afterschool and childcare providers are currently facing, and lays out a...

BY: Bella DiMarco      09/01/20

New report: SEL+OST=Perfect Together

In October 2019, The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance brought together youth development leaders, researchers, and educators to discuss social and emotional learning (SEL), identify obstacles to teaching SEL, and begin to brainstorm ways to address those challenges. While...

BY: Erin Hegarty      08/28/20

Making the most of research partnerships for advancements in afterschool

A brief recently released by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), “Research Partnerships are Key to Improving Practice,” highlights research partnerships and their importance in improving both policy and practice in education. As the brief states, research partnerships—diverse...

BY: Bella DiMarco      04/09/20

Afterschool turns the peak time for crime into a time of opportunity for young people

For close to 20 years, we at the Afterschool Alliance have been dedicated to the cause of expanding afterschool opportunities because we know the life changing impact programs can have on children, on families, and on communities.  Today, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a new report that...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

Closing the Childhood Equity Gap: New report provides a data-driven look into the prioritization of children at the state and local levels

A new report released by Save the Children provides the first-ever ranking of counties in the United States where children are most and least prioritized. The report, aptly entitled, “The Land of Inopportunity: Closing the Childhood Equity Gap for America’s Kids,” shows that where...

BY: Erin Hegarty      06/26/20

New issue brief: Afterschool and the juvenile justice system

COVID-19 has created a number of challenges for millions of families and exacerbated existing inequities, leaving certain groups more vulnerable than others to the harmful effects of the pandemic. This week, we are turning our attention toward celebrating the ways that afterschool programs across...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/26/20

Engaging the Arts Across the Juvenile Justice System: New report outlines opportunities for engagement

Arts education programs can play a significant role in preventing youth from getting involved with the juvenile justice system and supporting the mental wellbeing and successful transition out of the system for those already involved, according to a new report released by the Education Commission...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/22/20

The Power of Mentorship: Adult Friends for Youth makes a difference in redirecting youths’ lives

This blog post was adapted from a program highlight featured in Fight Crime, Invest in Kids’ report, “From Risk to Opportunity: Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Safe.” Read the full report here. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will highlight the different ways that...

BY: Erin Hegarty      12/19/19

Afterschool turns the peak time for crime into a time of opportunity for young people

For close to 20 years, we at the Afterschool Alliance have been dedicated to the cause of expanding afterschool opportunities because we know the life changing impact programs can have on children, on families, and on communities.  Today, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a new report that...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19

America After 3PM: Black and Latinx Communities

The Afterschool Alliance’s fourth edition of America After 3PM—which provides a detailed accounting of the circumstances and conditions of U.S. children during the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. and compares afterschool program participation and unmet demand statistics for 2020 with results from...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/13/21

Grad Nation report highlights challenges, solutions towards a 90% graduation rate

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash A recent webinar from Grad Nation, Building a Grad Nation: Meet the Moment 2020!, marked the release of their report, A Grad Nation 2020: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. The annual report discusses recent progress...

BY: Bella DiMarco      11/09/20

Closing the Childhood Equity Gap: New report provides a data-driven look into the prioritization of children at the state and local levels

A new report released by Save the Children provides the first-ever ranking of counties in the United States where children are most and least prioritized. The report, aptly entitled, “The Land of Inopportunity: Closing the Childhood Equity Gap for America’s Kids,” shows that where...

BY: Erin Hegarty      06/26/20

Engaging the Arts Across the Juvenile Justice System: New report outlines opportunities for engagement

Arts education programs can play a significant role in preventing youth from getting involved with the juvenile justice system and supporting the mental wellbeing and successful transition out of the system for those already involved, according to a new report released by the Education Commission...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/22/20

Afterschool turns the peak time for crime into a time of opportunity for young people

For close to 20 years, we at the Afterschool Alliance have been dedicated to the cause of expanding afterschool opportunities because we know the life changing impact programs can have on children, on families, and on communities.  Today, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a new report that...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19