#1. Intentional Program Design

Positive youth outcomes are too important to leave to chance. While each program is unique, the need for intentional program design is universal.  Programs identify their desired youth outcomes and directly connect program activities to those goals. Programs are more likely to achieve desired youth outcomes if they use a deliberate process to design, implement and evaluate activities. 

Research and Reports
Tools and Templates
  • University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development and Youth Community Connections. (2009). Once We Know It, We Can Grow It.
    This white paper – informed by a group of professionals in Minnesota’s youth development and afterschool field – articulates quality afterschool practices and how they impact multiple dimensions of non-formal learning in out-of-school time programs.
  • Birmingham, J., Pechman, E. M., Russell, C. A., & Mielke, M. (2005). Shared features of high-performing after-school programs: A follow-up to the TASC Evaluation. Austin, TX: SEDL.
    This report identifies the shared characteristics of 10 high-performing afterschool programs around programming, staffing, and support systems.
  • Wilder Research. (2010). Program Theory and Logic Models. A one-pager that simply explains logic models: their benefits, how to build them, common challenges in implementing them, and how to address those challenges.
  • Jordan, C., Parker, J., Donnelly, D., Rudo, Z. (Eds.). (2009.) A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs. Austin, TX: SEDL.
    Designed to share with you the practices that can help you cover it all—great programming, terrific staff, positive relationships, and plenty of resources to lead and sustain successful afterschool programs.
  • University of Kansas Community Toolbox. Developing a Logic Model or Theory of Change.
    An overview of logic models, along with helpful templates, checklists, and tools to help you build and follow a logic model.
  • Olson, B. (2014). Logic Models and Impact Maps 101. Retrieved from brandiolsonconsulting.com/resources-2/.
    A slide deck that will provide you with a basic overview of logic models and a how-to guide for creating a logic model or impact map with your team. Become an impact-driven organization by creating a map of where you are going and how you will get there!