Want to discover more about afterschool programs?  Need practical advice on how to coordinate afterschool in your community?  Looking for the latest research on the impact of afterschool?  Wondering what’s happening with afterschool in Minnesota?

You’ll find all that — and much more — right here. Our resources help increase your knowledge of all aspects of afterschool, no matter which level of expertise you bring or what role you serve in the field.

As you explore our resources, keep in mind that out-of-school time (OST) refers to programs that take place outside of school hours. This includes before-school, after-school, and summer learning, and is sometimes also referred to as Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO). Happy Reading.

Afterschool in Minnesota

Minnesota After 3 PM. Afterschool Alliance, 2009. This fact sheet sheds light on the context of afterschool in Minnesota.

Exploring the Supply and Demand for Community Learning Opportunities in Minnesota. Center for Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension, 2009. This report, which the Network contributed to under its previous name of Youth Community Connections, explores the supply and demand of afterschool programs in Minnesota from the perspective of youth and parents.

Supporting Youth Success: The Promise of Expanded Learning Opportunities. Youth Community Connections, 2010. This report, written with the input of various stakeholders in the network’s former name of Youth Community Connections, details the promising benefits of afterschool programs, provides recommendations for how Minnesota can move forward to realize those benefits.

Minnesota Out of School Time Primary Funding Streams Report for Fiscal Year 2012. Minnesota Department of Education, 2013.

 Investing in Minnesota: The Power of AfterschoolIgnite Afterschool, 2014. This issue brief helps anyone unfamiliar with the research around afterschool quickly grasp why it’s so important for not only youth but everyone in Minnesota.

Afterschool: A Path to College and Career ReadinessIgnite Afterschool, 2014. This issue brief focuses on the various ways that afterschool programs prepare youth for post-secondary success.

The Question of Youth Program Accreditation. Kate Walker, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development, 2012. This thought-provoking issue brief explores the tough questions surrounding accreditation and accountability for those working in youth programs in Minnesota.

Once We Know It, We Can Grow It. University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development, 2009. This paper – informed by a group of professionals in Minnesota’s youth development and afterschool field – presents a framework for quality non-formal learning opportunities. It aims to define quality practice and identify essential steps to  move a statewide quality initiative forward.

Perspectives on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) from Out-of-School Time (OST) Leaders in Minnesota. Kate Walker, Dale Blyth & Tim Sheldon, University of Minnesota Extension. This thought-provoking poster presents results from an online survey of over 900 leaders in the out of school time field. The survey taps their perspectives on social and emotional learning, its importance, its assessment, barriers, current efforts in this area, and which dimensions of SEL are considered most important. It will reinforce and/or add to, your understanding of how leaders and youth both in and out of school understand, value and promote the social and emotional development of young in Minnesota.

Foundations of Successful Afterschool Programs

Making the Connections: A Report on the First National Survey of Out-of-School-Time Intermediary Organizations. The Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, 2012. This report shares findings from a survey of out of school time intermediary organizations to explain their work, successes, and areas for improvement.

Hours of Opportunity. Rand Education, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, 2010. This 3-volume report helps understand the promise and challenges of citywide coordination of afterschool programs with other institutions like schools, parks, and other community organizations.

Toolkit for Expanding Learning. The Expanding Learning & Afterschool Project, 2013. A toolkit for those looking to strengthen the foundations of afterschool programs in their communities.

Out-of-School Time Issue BriefUnited Way Worldwide, 2012. This report from the global United Way organization details what afterschool is, why it’s important, and recommendations for supporting it within communities. It incorporates voices from various United Way directors across America and lessons learned from on-the-ground workers.

Building Quality Improvement SystemsThe Forum for Youth Investment, 2007. This report  examines three case studies of youth-serving and afterschool networks building quality improvement systems, to identify best practices for emergent networks looking to build a system for improving quality in their programs.

Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools. The Forum for Youth Investment, Second Edition, 2009. This guide was designed to compare the purpose, structure, content and technical properties of several youth program quality assessment tools. The following tools are included in the guide: Assessing Afterschool Program Practicies Tool (APT), Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Leanring Observation Tool (CORAL), Out-of-School Time Observation Tool (OST), Program Observation Tool (POT), Program Quality Observation Scale (PQO), Program Self-Assessment Tool (QSA), Promising Practicies Rating Scale (PPRS), Quality Assurance System (QAS), School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS), Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA).

Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework. University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, 2015. This report aims to build a common understanding of young people’s developmental needs from early childhood through young adulthood and proposes a developmental framework of the Foundations for Young Adult Success.

High-Quality Afterschool Curriculum

Out-of-School Time (OST) Curriculum GuideSprockets – Saint Paul’s OST Network. Though developed by St. Paul Public Schools Community Education and Sprockets, these curriculum guides are relevant to youth and youth workers throughout MN. Each Curriculum guide provides a wide variety of activities for grades 1 – 8 that both follow youth development principles and match up with Minnesota state standards of education. The guides are designed so that programs can implement them as a whole, or pull out individual activities.

STEM Everyday’ CurriculumYou for Youth (Y4Y). You for Youth is a great website for any afterschool resources; it serves as the online professional development and technical assistance website for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, but is free for anyone to use. This curriculum guide features videos, powerpoints, and documents designed to help program providers integrate hands-on STEM activities into their existing programming.

Frontiers in Urban Science Exploration Resource GuideEvery Hour Counts. This guide to informal science learning provides a handy guide to implementing science programs outside the classroom, from best practices, to implementation, to evaluation. You can also jump straight to the ‘Curriculum’ section if you just want a few ideas for great STEM programming.

Click 2 Science. This website helps afterschool program providers plan engaging STEM learning experiences for the youth in their programs. It includes resources to ensure your program is intentionally fostering STEM skills in youth. A great place to look if you’re considering doing STEM learning in your program!

Social and Emotional Learning Practices. Beyond the Bell, 2014. This self-reflection tool is designed to help afterschool program staff reflect upon their own social and emotional competencies and their ability to support young people’s SEL through program practices.

Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings. The National Academic Press 2015. This report provides guidance for designing and implementing out-of-school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people.

Supporting Social and Emotional Development Through Quality Afterschool Programs. Beyond the Bell, Fourth Edition, 2014. This brief in the Beyond the Bell series focuses on how afterschool programs contribute to the development of social and emotional competencies in young people. It provides an overview of the work done to date both in afterschool and school-based settings to define social and emotional learning, shares recent research on how afterschool programs contribute to the development of these competencies, and, finally, offers some next step recommendations to both practitioners and researchers.

Impact of Afterschool

Afterschool Programs That Follow Evidence-Based Practices to Promote Social and Emotional Development Are EffectiveExpanded Learning and Afterschool Project, 2013. A report outlining the findings of a meta-analysis of over 60 studies of afterschool programs.

Highlights from the OST Database. Harvard Family Research Project, 2012. This great resource features a number of research updates on a range of out of school time topics.

Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Safe, Engage Kids in Learning and Help Working Families. Afterschool Alliance, 2013. A fact sheet presenting the research on how afterschool programs help youth and families in a variety of ways.

Can Afterschool Programs Help Level the Academic Playing Field for Disadvantaged Youth? Campaign for Educational Equality, 2009. This report provides an overview of the potential for afterschool to boost academic achievement for disadvantaged youth and narrow the achievement gap.

Learning Around the Clock: Benefits of Expanded Learning Opportunities for Older Youth. American Youth Policy Forum, 2009. This report summarizes the findings from a meta-analysis of afterschool programs

After School Programs in the 21st Century: Their Potential and What it Takes to Achieve It. Harvard Family Research Project, 2008.

Afterschool Outcomes. Afterschool Alliance, 2013. This is a great resource for a quick overview of some of the most promising outcomes that afterschool programs are delivering.

Expanding Minds and Opportunities Compendium. The Expanding Learning & Afterschool Project, 2013. This compendium is a one-stop resource for the most recent research and trends in afterschool, presented by the wide variety of stakeholders involved in afterschool programs.

The Achievement Gap is Real. The Expanding Learning & Afterschool Project, 2013. This easy-on-the-eyes research summary lays out how afterschool helps to narrow the achievement gap, among other positive outcomes. It comes from Deborah Vandell, one of the leading researchers on out-of-school time.

Examining the Impact of Afterschool STEM ProgramsAfterschool Alliance, 2014. This report summarizes research about the importance of afterschool for STEM learning, and analyzes evaluation data from a selection of strong afterschool STEM programs. 

From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Programs Outcomes. The Forum for Youth Investment. Second Edition 2014. While programs collect outcome data for a variety of reasons – including the desire to better fit program activities to the needs of young people, the desire to assess how much a program is improving outcomes, and the dictates of funders – several considerations are critical to selecting the correct measurement tool. This guide will help you choose the best measurement tool to yield valid and reliable information for your specific program.

Understanding the Issues Facing Afterschool in America

Uncertain TimesAfterschool Alliance, 2012. This report examines the impact of the nation’s economy on the provision of after school programming.

America After 3pmAfterschool Alliance, 2009. This report summarizes findings from an in-depth study of current afterschool programming and gaps in service.

Afterschool Issue Overview. Afterschool Alliance, 2013. An overview of issues related to afterschool: funding, public opinion, and outcomes of high-quality programs.