To help afterschool and summer learning programs through the re-opening process, we've curated a number of resources, guides, and examples. From acquiring funding to finding staff and mobilizing parents in your community, we can equip your program with the strategies and guidance to make COVID relief opportunities work for your kids.

Planning for summer learning programs


Operating during COVID

  • CDC guidance
  • Look up your state and district health and safety plans for schools and camps
  • Contact your state afterschool network and sign up for updates. Your state network is a valuable resource for guidance on operations, information on potential new sources of fundings from federal COVID relief dollars, and professional development.


Recruiting staff

Is your afterschool program hiring?

Use our Fall 2021 Staff Recruitment Toolkit! This collection of materials is designed to help program providers recruit and hire new staff. Includes outreach strategies, messages, and easy-to-tailor flyers and graphics.


Reaching out to school and district leaders

Schools and school districts have significant funding from federal COVID relief efforts that can support afterschool and summer programming. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act specifically names afterschool and summer programs as a strategy that can be used to support student’s academic, social, and emotional wellbeing.

Use this Outreach Toolkit to generate a letter and prep for meeting with your local school leaders about how you can support students.

Explore Partnering with Schools to Reopen and Meet Students' Needs, a table that describes how afterschool programs can help meet kids' needs for different strategies schools are using to reopen. This includes messages you can use to make the case for involving afterschool leaders in discussions about protocols and schedules that are being developed for instruction, transportation and safety procedures in the coming school year.

Use these Resources to help make the case for using funds to support afterschool and summer programs: Evidence-based strategies & examples of programs supporting students’ recovery


Funding support

The federal government has provided significant funding to states and localities, including funds that can be used to support afterschool and summer programs, and policies around some funding streams have changed to adapt to serving during COVID.

Policy and Regulations covers changes and new resources across federal funding sources.

Also see our Funding Database.


Mobilizing support from parents

Afterschool networks, leaders and providers can help engage parents and ask them to contact their child's principal. State networks can also reach out to help coordinate and support programs in districts that have a politically influential representative in Congress or the state legislature.

Sample email from providers to families - A template email afterschool providers can send to families requesting that they email their child's principal about including afterschool in reopening plans. The email includes a sample letter from parent to principal in both English and Spanish.


Graphics to promote your program, makle your case, and leverage your social networks

Use these graphics in your materials, presentations, and social media channels to promote the role of afterschool programs in reopening.


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Blueprint: A School Year Like No Other Demands a New Learning Day

Blueprint: PDF
Statement in support: PDF | Word

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Brief: Expanded Learning Programs: Principles to Support Student Re-Engagement
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Quick Brief: Tools to Help Plan for Summer Programs
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Factsheet: Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Are Essential for COVID-19 Recovery
National Organization Guidance

American Camp AssociationCamp Operations Guide 2020

Centers for Disease Control and PreventionConsideration for Youth and Summer Camps | Camp Reopening Decision Tree

National Summer Learning AssociationSummer Learning: A Bridge to Student Success and America’s Recovery, a COVID-19 PLAYBOOK

National Occupational Therapy AssociationBack to School Guide in the Era of COVID-19

PlayworksPlayworks School Re-Opening Workbook

Promising Practices for Reopening