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Research
This section provides educators with statistical data, briefs, and articles on areas such as afterschool funding, changing policies, and the importance of out-of-school time programs (including: prevention of risky behaviors, improvement of academic performance, and youth building positive relationships with adults). Other resources include toolkits on implementing successful out-of-school time programs, evaluation tools, and resource guides.

 

2008 Election Eve/ Election Day Poll on Voters’ Attitudes on Afterschool
Afterschool Alliance Poll finds three in four voters want federal, state and local lawmakers to increase funding for after school programs. Check out these resources for an in-depth look at our newest data from our Election Eve/Election Day 2008 poll and an overview of messages that may work best in this economic climate. (Released November 2008)

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40 Percent Cut in After-School Funding: America's Lost Opportunity to Prevent 41,000 Crime and Save $2.4 Billion (Brief) (2003)
Congress is considering a proposal to cut federal funds for after-school programs by 40 percent, from $1billion a year to $600 million. By cutting access for 570,000 children to after-school programs, instead of making sure those programs have adequate resources to provide high-quality services, America could lose the opportunity to prevent 41,000 crimes and save taxpayers and crime victims $2.4 billion dollars. This study considers the benefits of investing in after-school programs.

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Afterschool: A Powerful Path to Teacher Recruitment and Retention
This brief, examines the current teacher shortage facing our schools, the impact this shortage is having on our rapidly changing educational system, and ways afterschool programs can help meet the need for recruiting and retaining new teachers. It is one in a series of Issue Briefs sponsored by the MetLife Foundation that addresses the benefits afterschool programs provide to children, families and communities.

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Afterschool Alliance. America after 3 p.m.: A Household Survey on Afterschool in America
(2004) In order to learn how many children are in afterschool programs and how many are unsupervised after school, in the summer of 2003 the Afterschool Alliance conducted a household survey, with funding from the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. The America After 3 PM survey gives the most comprehensive and accurate picture yet of what this nation’s youth are doing each day after school. It differs from other household surveys in that it includes data on K-12 youth, rather than just K-8 youth. This survey also collected more detailed information about parent satisfaction with afterschool programs, and it offers the best data yet about demand for afterschool, including the likelihood that non-participating children would join afterschool programs, if programs were available.

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Afterschool Alliance Backgrounder: Formal Evaluations of the Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs
This paper summarizes the evaluation data from 17 individual and national evaluations of extended learning programs. (2004)

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Afterschool and the Building of Character
Respectfulness, positive behavior, self-confidence, and an interest in school are just a few traits kids can develop through participation in after school programs. Check out this issue brief to learn more about ways after school can help build character.

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Afterschool and Students with Special Needs
Students with special needs may not always receive the resources they need to reach their full potential during the school day, but after school programs can offer additional activities more tailored to the individual needs of children. This brief examines the valuable role after school programs can play in the life of a child with special needs.

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Afterschool Benefits Kids With Special Needs
This issue brief highlights the effectiveness of afterschool programming in offering children with special needs an opportunity to develop alongside their non-disabled peers. The benefits of afterschool for kids with special needs include; improved performance on standardized tests, mastery of individualized education goals, higher grades, improved behavior and increased motivation to learn.

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Afterschool for the Global Age
This report summarizes a national meeting that was organized to discuss ways in which out-of-school time can be used to better prepare youth for an increasingly global economy.

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Afterschool Innovations in Brief
With support from MetLife Foundation, the Afterschool Alliance has published "Afterschool Innovations in Brief", a compilation of four issue briefs examining critical issues facing children, schools and communities, and the vital role after-school programs play in addressing these issues. (May 2008)

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Afterschool Programs in the 21st Century: Their Potential and What it Takes to Achieve It
This brief from the Harvard Family Research Project draws on seminal studies to address two primary questions: Does participation in after school programs make a difference, and, if so, what conditions appear to be necessary to achieve positive results?

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After-School Programs In Public Elementary Schools
This study from The National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences provides a national profile of various types of formal after-school programs physically located at public elementary schools in 2008. These programs included stand-alone programs that focus primarily on a single type of service (e.g., only day care) and broad-based programs that provide a combination of services such as academic enrichment and cultural activities.

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After-School Grows Up
Tony Proscio and Basil J. Whiting (October 2004)
In the last decade, initiatives to create, expand, and improve afterschool services for young people have become more typical in large cities across the United States. However, the field is still nascent and tremendous challenges remain. Co-authors Proscio and Whiting provide in-depth studies of four cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Diego—who have, over time, developed highly effective afterschool support organizations. While each city's story is set in a unique political and social landscape, there are common elements in their profiles that the Project believes are fundamental to their successes to-date.

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Afterschool: Supporting Family Involvement in Schools
This brief explores the various ways afterschool programs create linkages between school and home for students and parents. It is one in a series of Issue Briefs sponsored by the MetLife Foundation that addresses the benefits afterschool programs provide to children, families and communities.

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After-School Worries: Tough on Parents, Bad for Business
This study looks at the factors contributing to PCAST (Parental Concern about After-School Time) and the consequences for both parents and employers.

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America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2008
Each year, the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics has published a report on the well-being of children and families. The Forum alternates publishing a detailed report, America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, with a summary version that highlights selected indicators. This year, the Forum is publishing America's Children in Brief; it will publish the more detailed report in 2009.

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Arts and Afterschool: A Powerful Combination
Not only do arts activities help draw students to after school programs, but, as this brief explains, after school programs with an arts component can be used as an outlet for self expression, a means to uniting community partners, and a tool for academic and skills development.

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Before- and After-School Care, Programs, and Activities for Children in K-8th Grade (2005)
This NCES report from the National Household Education Surveys Program presents data on participation in after school activities and programs in the United States. The data are from the After-School Programs and Activities Survey (ASPA) of the 2005 National Household Education Surveys Program.

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Child-Care Patterns for School-Age Children with Employed Mothers
An investigation of the different types of child care arrangements, including unsupervised 'self-care' that has school-age children home alone after school without supervision or structured activities.

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Collaboration Principles
This report aims to put policymakers and program operators on firmer ground as they make these decisions by sharing lessons learned about the design and content of existing school-based, after-school programs.

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Community In School: Central to Character Formation, Violence Prevention and More
By Eric Schaps
Eric Schaps examines the positive effects of building community in schools amongst school age children, and how school involvement boosts grades and prevents risky behavior. Schap also provides various ways for schools and programs to improve community relations between school and students.

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Community in School as Key to Student Growth: Findings from the Child Development Project
By Eric Schaps, Victor Battistich, and Daniel Solomon
Published in Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? edited by J. Zins, R. Weissberg, M. Wang, & H. Walberg, 189–205. New York: Teachers College Press, 2004.
In the course of this work, it was found that helping schools to become a “caring community of learners” proved pivotal for enabling the full range of students to progress along these several dimensions of development. Along with other researchers, it is now a belief that this priority on community building in school provides a powerful focus for improving Caring Communities and Education educational practice, and especially for practice aimed at helping children to become caring, principled, and intrapersonally and interpersonally effective.

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The Costs of Out-of-School-Time Programs: A Review of the Available Evidence
A review of the operating costs of a quality out-of-school-time program. Specifically, it looks at measuring the full costs of programs, examining the relationship between cost and quality, and developing cost estimate models.

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Detroit's After-School Choice: The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime Or Youth Enrichment and Achievement (Brief) (2006)
When the school bell rings, thousands of Detroit children and teens head to the street with neither constructive activities nor adult supervision and violent juvenile crime suddenly soars. Research from across the country consistently shows that on school days, the hours from 3 to 6 PM are the peak hours for teens to commit crimes. This study is an executive summary of how after-school programs can curb juvenile crime.

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Effects of an Elementary School Intervention on Students’ “Connectedness” to School and Social Adjustment During Middle School
By Victor Battistich, Eric Schaps, and Nance Wilson
Published in The Journal of Primary Prevention, Vol. 24, No. 3, Spring 2004.
This research examined the effects at follow-up during middle school of a comprehensive elementary- school intervention program, the Child Development Project, designed to reduce risk and promote resilience among youth. Parental consent to participate in the middle school study was obtained for 1,246 students from six programs and six matched comparison elementary schools. Three of the program elementary schools were in the “high implementation” group, and three were in the “low implementation” group during the elementary school study. Findings indicated that, studywide, 40% of the outcome variables examined during middle school showed differences favoring program students, and there were no statistically reliable differences favoring comparison students. Among the “high implementation” group, 65% of the outcome variables showed differences favoring program students.

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Evaluations Backgrounder: Academic Impact of Afterschool Programs
The Afterschool Alliance has updated its, "Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of Afterschool Programs." The update includes new data from ongoing evaluations of Citizen Schools, as well as recently released evaluations of After School Matters, CORAL, a state level evaluation of New Hampshire programs, and findings from two meta-analysis studies and a large-scale quasi-experimental study conducted by Deborah Lowe Vandell, Elizabeth Reisner and Kim Pierce. (Updated July 2008)

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Evaluations Backgrounder: Afterschool Programs' Impact on Behavior, Safety and Family Life
The Afterschool Alliance has updated its "Evaluations Backgrounder: A Summary of Formal Evaluations of Afterschool Programs' Impact on Behavior, Safety and Family Life." The update includes new data from ongoing evaluations of Citizen Schools, as well as recently released evaluations of After School Matters, CORAL, LA's BEST, and more. Studies examining health benefits for students and families are also included. (Updated August 2008)

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The Evaluation Of Enhanced Academic Instruction In After-School Programs: Findings After The First Year Of Implementation
This report presents implementation and impact findings after one year of program operation. This study tests whether structured approaches to academic instruction in after school programs in reading and math produce better academic outcomes than after school services that consist primarily of help with homework or a less structured curriculum.

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Family and Neighborhood Risks: How They Relate to Involvement in Out-of-School Time Activities
This brief illustrates the needs of children in high-risk families and neighborhoods for quality after school programs.

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From America's Front Line Against Crime: Proven Investments in Kids Will Prevent Crime and Violence - With Citations (Brief) (2009)
We call on all federal, state and local officials to implement this four-part plan to cut crime and violence. Doing so will help America’s children learn the values and skills they’ll need to become good neighbors and responsible adults. Across all ages there are effective programs. Some start before birth, others are proven to work with older kids, even serious juvenile offenders. While no plan can prevent every violent act, this common-sense approach, based on our experience and the latest research about what really works, can make all of us safer.

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A Guide to Successful Public-Private Partnerships for Out-of-School Time and Community School Initiatives
This guide is designed to provide policy makers, program leaders, system building advocates and other with practical information on creating and maintaining public-private partnerships.

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The Heart of a Caring School
by Eric Schaps
Published in Educational Leadership,Vol. 60, No. 6, p. 31–33, March 2003.
Researchers Edward Deci and Richard Ryan have systematically documented the role that these basic needs play in shaping human motivation, and their implications for learning and development (Deci & Ryan, 1985). They have shown that we will work very hard indeed to meet our needs for—and to preserve our sense of—autonomy, belonging, and competence, as well as safety.

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Impossible Choices
A 2005 report on how states are addressing the federal failure to fully fund afterschool programs.

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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007
This report is the tenth in a series of annual publications produced jointly by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the U.S. Department of Justice. The indicators in this report are based on information drawn from a variety of data sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, and principals.

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Invest in - Not Cut - Programs for Kids to Reduce Crime and Grow Maine's Economy (Brief) (2003)
Federal and state funding proposals currently under consideration would cut almost 3,000 of Maine’s children from after-school programs and 1,000 from pre-kindergarten and child care. Unfortunately, these cuts would move Maine in exactly the wrong direction, resulting in significantly more crime and higher crime costs. Instead of cutting, the federal and state governments should fully fund programs that research shows will result in lower crime and drug use, higher graduation rates, and lower rates of welfare enrollment.

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Kids Count 2010 – Annie E. Casey Foundation
The broad array of data we present each year in the KIDS COUNT Data Book is intended to illuminate the status of America’s children and to assess trends in their well-being. By updating the assessment every year, KIDS COUNT provides ongoing benchmarks that can be used to see how states have advanced or regressed over time. Readers can also use KIDS COUNT to compare the status of children in their state with those in other states across several dimensions of child well-being.

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Lessons Learned About Academics After School
by Eric Schaps
Published in Perspective, Journal of the Association of YMCA Professionals, October 2005.
Eric Schaps discusses how to improve afterschool programs by building a sense of community with schools. He discusses the importance of community building, creating safe and fun spaces for students, and integrating academic and social skills into activities.

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Literacy and Reading in Afterschool Programs
This brief illustrates several benefits of after school programs, such as improved literacy skills, enjoyment of recreational reading, and building positive relationships with adults, which reading activities in afterschool can offer to participants.

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MARS Full Report
Massachusetts After-school Research Study - A groundbreaking research is the first of its kind to explore the relationship and connections between staff attributes and program quality features with academic and social outcomes for youth. By examining a range of academic and non-academic outcomes, and linking these to program practices, the MARS study is designed to build our understanding of the complex relationships between program goals, program practices, and outcomes for youth. The study focuses on 4,108 children in 78 after school programs distributed across the state of Massachusetts. As such, it is the largest study of its kind to date in the Commonwealth.

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New York City's Out-of-School-Time Choice: The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime Or Youth Enrichment and Achievement (Brief) (2007)
Quality youth development programs can cut crime and transform the “prime time for juvenile crime” into hours of academic enrichment, constructive recreation and community service. Out-of-school-time programs can protect both kids and adults from becoming victims of crime.

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Ohio's After-School Choice: The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime or Youth Enrichment and Achievement (Brief) (2007)
As an organization of more than 250 Ohio police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys, and violence survivors, we are determined to see that dangerous criminals are put behind bars. But anyone who thinks that jailing a criminal undoes the agony of crime has not seen crime up close.

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Out-of-School Time Program Evaluation Database and Bibliography. Harvard Families Research Project (HRFP)
The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) Out-of-School Time (OST) Program Research and Evaluation Database is a compilation of profiles written by HFRP of research studies and evaluations of OST programs and initiatives. It provides accessible information about research and evaluation work on both large and small OST programs to support the development of high quality evaluations and programs in the out-of-school time field.

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Preparing Youth for Careers, Lifelong Learning, and Civic Participation
This report looks at programs that have proven to be effective for youth development and employment. Through these summaries, the American Youth Policy Forum hopes to give youth professionals and policymakers an understanding of the principles and characteristics of successful youth development programs so that they may be replicated.

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A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs
National Center for Community Education (NCCE). This guide organizes resources into six areas necessary for the successful operation of after-school programs: Management, Communication, Programming, Integrating K-12 and After-School Programs, Community Building/ Collaboration, and Evaluation. The resources complement the training curricula developed by the NCCE Training Task Force for 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

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Reflect and Improve: A Tool Kit for Engaging Youth and Adults as Partners in Program Evaluation
This toolkit was developed in partnership with the New England Network for Child, Youth, & Family Services, Social Policy Research Associates and the University of Kentucky Department of Community and Leadership Development. This practical, easy-to-follow tool kit is designed for adult and youth staff at youth development and youth civic engagement organizations. It guides readers as they assess their organizational needs for evaluations, design evaluations to fit their organizational goals, and use evaluation data to report to funders and other community stakeholders.

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Roadmap to Afterschool for All
With the Harvard School of Public Health and support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Afterschool Alliance initiated the Roadmap to Afterschool for All, a scientific study that for the first time assesses the current investment in afterschool programs from the public sector, parents, foundations and businesses, and estimates the additional investment needed from each sector to provide quality afterschool programs for all children. The research shows that parents are paying the lions share of afterschool costs, even among programs serving high poverty children, and that funding of all types is insufficient.

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The Role of Supportive School Environments in Promoting Academic Success
Published as Chapter 3 in Getting Results, Developing Safe and Healthy Kids Update 5: Student Health, Supportive Schools, and Academic Success. Developed by the Safe and Healthy Kids Program Office, California Department of Education, 2005.

This chapter focuses on the question, What influence does a caring, supportive school environment have on the course of students’ academic success—their academic attitudes, motivation, engagement, and goal setting; their staying in school and graduating; their grades and test scores? Poor school achievement is certainly a concern in its own right and is the focus of most current school improvement efforts.

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The Role of the School’s Social Environment in Preventing Student Drug Use
By Eric Schaps and Daniel Solomon
Published in The Journal of Primary Prevention, Vol. 23, No. 3, Spring 2003.
Correlation and intervention studies of school environmental factors associated with student drug use and prevention are summarized. Major factors that emerge in the correlational studies are school supportiveness, sense of community, and opportunities for students to interact and to exert influence. Similar factors are involved in the intervention studies, with the development of a sense of community and attachment to school central, although the means by which these are approached differ across projects. A common conclusion seems to be that a supportive environment increases students’ attachment to school and thereby their inclination to abide by the school’s norms and values.

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Science in After-School: A Blueprint For Action
Examines the need for science in afterschool programs and how this can be achieved. It also gives some examples of successful programs and lessons learned.

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Shared Features Of Quality Afterschool Programs: Follow-Up On The TASC Evaluation
This study, conducted by Policy Studies Associates with support from the U.S. Department of Education analyzes key features of high-performing afterschool programs sponsored by The Afterschool Corporation (TASC).

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Snapshot of Sustainability: Profiles of Successful Strategies for Financing Out-of-School Time Programs
This report from the Finance Project profiles afterschool programs that have been successful in sustaining their programs over many years despite the challenges of findings and maintaining funding. The programs profiled serve rural and urban communities and children of various age groups.

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Strategies for Creating a Classroom Culture of High Expectations
To help students meet rigorous course standards in academic and career/technical classrooms, each teacher must establish and maintain a learning environment that supports and motivates students to do their personal best. Classroom management is so much more than a set of appropriate rules and consequences. There is a skill set of strategies that teachers and principals can use to create focused and productive classrooms that help students achieve higher levels of performance. Principals and teachers can implement self-assessment and staff development programs built around the following 10 strategies.

Southeast Regional Education Board (SREB)

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The Study of Promising After-School Programs: Descriptive Report of the Promising Programs
This report analyzed promising practices in afterschool programs. Focusing on in-school and school-linked programs, the researchers have identified a number of program processes, content factors, and structural and institutional supports that were common to high quality programs. (2004) Vandell, Reisner et al.

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Survey Of Income And Program Participation
Information on child care costs and arrangements are collected on an intermittent basis in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Detailed information from recent surveys and historical trends in selected areas are also listed. The Survey of Income and Program Participation is currently the only source the Census Bureau uses to collect child care information from families.

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Surveys and Polls Show Strong Support for Afterschool
A Summary of Findings Highlighting the Need and Demand for More Afterschool Programs for Children and Older Youth. (Updated April 2008)

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Sustaining 21st Century Community Learning Centers: What Works for Programs and How Policymakers Can Help
This publication looks at the sustainability of 21st Century Community Learning Centers. It discusses ways in which grantees and policymakers alike can promote sustainability within these programs.

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The T-Mobile Huddle Up Afterschool Survey
The survey, conducted online in July 2007, shows the high level of importance parents place on afterschool programs. Eight out of 10 (80 percent) parents say that their child needs a safe, positive place to go to afterschool and parents said their children want the same (82 percent). Based on responses from 603 parents, it’s clear that parents believe afterschool programs are critical in steering kids away from crime and improving academic performance and overall well-being.

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Uncertain Times
Funding Insecurity Puts Afterschool Programs at Risk - An August-September 2006 survey of more than 2000 afterschool programs examining issues related to funding and accessibility. Includes state level data where available.

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Uncertain Times 2009
Released in June, Uncertain Times 2009 finds that just as children in their communities need more help, afterschool program leaders across the country say they are being forced to increase fees and reduce staffing, activities and hours to cope with budget cuts and rising costs. Nearly all respondents to a survey of afterschool programs (95 percent) say the recession is affecting their communities, with 60 percent seeing more kids going hungry or families struggling to provide food for children, and half seeing increased homelessness. Yet afterschool programs are unable to provide as much help as children need because their budgets are down. Eighty-six percent of respondents say children in their communities need afterschool care and are unable to access it.

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When Schools Stay Open Late: The National Evaluation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, Final Report (2005)
This study finds that elementary students who were randomly assigned to attend the 21st Century Community Learning Centers after-school program were more likely to feel safe after school, no more likely to have higher academic achievement, no less likely to be in self-care, more likely to engage in some negative behaviors, and experience mixed effects on developmental outcomes relative to students who were not randomly assigned to attend the centers.

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Year in Review 2007
In 2007, funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers increased for the first time since 2002. New research and polls show enduring and far-reaching support. More community leaders and policy makers are pledging their support for afterschool, and new dedicated state level funding streams are cropping up across the country. These positive developments, and more, as well as critical challenges that remain, are discussed in "2007 Afterschool Year in Review." (January 2008)

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Year In Review 2008
The past year presented the afterschool community with many obstacles, most notably the economic crisis, but also many opportunities for growth. The year 2008 saw the celebration of ten years of 21st CCLC, one of the largest Lights On Afterschool rallies ever was held, and the Afterschool Alliance published the stories of so many whose lives have been transformed by afterschool in America's Afterschool Storybook.

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Youth Indicators 2005: Trends In The Wellbeing Of Children And Youth
This report, developed by the National Center for Education Statistics, contains statistics that address important aspects of the lives of youth, including family, schooling, work, community, and health. The report focuses on American youth and young adults 14 to 24 years old, and presents trends in various social contexts that may relate to youth education and learning.

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