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Defining Webs of Support: A New Framework to Advance Understanding of Relationships and Youth Development

March 01, 2017

In this brief, the authors present a web of support framework to describe how youth relate to adults and peers in their lives, and how these relationships provide the supports necessary for young people to thrive. This framework is composed of three key layers, each of which contributes to a young person’s development: relationships, resources, and networks/social capital.
Blended Learning Offers Promise as a Strategy for Re-engaging Students

April 07, 2016

This paper presents a landscape analysis of how blended learning currently is being used as a strategy to serve young adults, age 16-24, who have re-engaged in education in an effort to obtain a high school diploma or equivalency. The analysis is based on a review of relevant empirical research and interviews with program developers, practitioners and policy makers in the field.  Contributing to a nascent body of literature, this report highlights examples of how blended learning is being implemented in schools and community-based organizations.
Afterschool: A Vital Partner in STEM Education

January 15, 2014

This report from the Afterschool Alliance looks at the role that afterschool time can play in STEM education. There is widespread recognition among education fields of the need for literacy and proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to navigate the modern world and workplace. The afterschool setting serves as an ideal chance for educators to narrow the opportunity gap that many children and youth from under-served and under-represented communities face.
Afterschool: Providing a Successful Route to Credit Attainment and Recovery

January 15, 2014

Afterschool provides older youth with critical academic supports including credit attainment and recovery opportunities. Many educators are turning to afterschool programs to reach students who fail one or more courses, become disengaged, or want alternatives to the traditional path to graduation. Credit recovery refers to recovering credits that are lost due to failure or drop out. Credit attainment refers to alternative methods of gaining credits outside of “seat time” in the classroom.
Afterschool: The Bridge Connecting Schools and Communities

January 15, 2014

Afterschool programs can play a vital role in reconnecting schools and communities. These programs help schools move beyond the constraints of the regular day and embrace the surrounding neighborhood, capitalizing on the resources, assets, and perspectives of organizations and individuals outside the school. This research brief present tha benefits to children and youth for bridging schools and communities and of extending afterschool beyond the schools into the community.
Authentic Youth Engagement: Youth-Adult Partnerships

January 15, 2014

Engaging young people in making plans and decisions that affect their lives reaps critical benefits throughout the transition to adulthood. This issue brief from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative explains how brain development research supports young people having authentic partnerships with adults and gives recommendations for how to create such partnerships. 
Marketing Afterschool

January 15, 2014

This online resource from the Afterschool Alliance provides links to sites discussing the best marketing strategies for attracting funding, participants, and attention to start-up afterschool programs. It provides an online marketing tutorial and tips on how to make a program profile that successfully targets the youth demographic in the area.
Out-of-School Time Toolkit

January 15, 2014

This toolkit is a resource for United Ways and their community partners who seek to deepen their out-of-school time efforts so that more young people have access to quality programs. Over the past three years, United Way Worldwide, with the ongoing support of jcpenney, has provided grants and technical assistance to a number of local United Ways to help them strengthen out-of-school time systems in their communities.
Starting an Afterschool Program

January 15, 2014

This online resource from the Afterschool Alliance provides a list of resources for how schools and youth leaders can go about starting their own afterschool programs. It includes links to start-up guides, sites outlining program development and curriculum building, opportunities for funding and sustainability, as well as ways to reach out to the local community as a whole.
Family Engagement for High School Success Toolkit: Planning and Implementing an Initiative to Support the Pathway to Graduation for At-Risk Students

June 10, 2013

This toolkit highlights the lessons learned from a planning process that tasked 15 local United Way “pilot sites” with bringing together schools, community organizations, families, and other stakeholders to a develop a comprehensive family engagement initiative. With support from UWW and the Harvard Family Research Project, these pilot sites adopted outcome-focused approaches with the aim of designing family engagement strategies to remove obstacles to engagement, and, ultimately, build stronger connections between families and schools.