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Home > About > News and Events > News > Field News > Research Explores How to Build and Sustain Afterschool Education Programs

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Research Explores How to Build and Sustain Afterschool Education Programs

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Jul 24, 2015

In a new report published by The Wallace Foundation, researchers surveyed successful, city-wide afterschool education systems and highlighted the key components that are necessary to support and sustain program viability. The research suggests that, first and foremost, afterschool program administrators need to think about a coordinated approach between local organizations, city officials, and the public education system. Importantly, the report finds that dynamic arts education projects are an integral aspect of afterschool programs that provide comprehensive youth development.

The study highlights four components of a successful afterschool education system:

  • Strong leadership from major players: There is no substitute for a committed mayor or superintendent, but for a system to thrive long term, city agencies, private funders, schools, program providers and families all need to “own” the effort to some degree.
  • Coordination that fits local context: A system’s coordinating entity can be a single public agency, multiple agencies working together, a nonprofit intermediary or a network of partners, depending on local needs.
  • Effective use of data: Gathering and sharing data on a large scale takes both technology to track and organize information and a skilled staff to interpret and act on it.
  • A comprehensive approach to quality: Cities must decide what program quality means to them, how “high stakes” to make their assessments of it and how to support continuous improvement of programs.


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This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. www.nationalguild.org