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Resources for Providers

As part of our commitment to improve afterschool programs in Denver, the Denver Afterschool Alliance connects to resources that will assist in growing a quality afterschool program.  This section includes a variety of resources that highlight important topics to the afterschool field.  If there are other resources that you feel would be valuable to share with others, please email them to Maxine Quintana at

  • Afterschool Tool Kit – Business to Business (PDF)
    This tool kit has been designed by Corporate Voices for Working Families to serve as a resource that will direct and inspire proactive business engagement in after school policies and programs at the community level and will lead to policies and community outreach that garner widespread public support.

  • Afterschool Tool Kit – Community to Business (PDF)
    This toolkit is geared toward afterschool advocates and providers interested in establishing connections and forming partnerships with businesses.

  • After-School Data: Six Tip Sheets on What Cities Need to Know
    A set of easy-to-read tips gives city agencies, after-school program providers, intermediary organizations, and others a jump-start on making the most of data in afterschool programming.

  • Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory’s Out-of-School-Time Program Evaluation Tools for Action
    This guide helps program administrators know how their afterschool program is working and if it's meeting the expectations of students, staff, parents, and community partners. Through surveys, focus groups, and other data sources, administrators are able to gain valuable information that not only influences program direction but also helps in fulfilling grant reporting requirements. The parent and student surveys are provided in Spanish.

  • Afterschool Evaluation 101: How to Evaluate an Expanded Learning Program
    A how-to guide for conducting an evaluation. It is designed to help out-of-school time (OST) program directors who have little or no evaluation experience develop an evaluation strategy.

  • The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) helps stakeholders develop and evaluate strategies to promote the well being of children, youth, families, and their communities. They work primarily within three areas that support children’s learning and development—early childhood education, out-of-school time programming, and family and community support in education. Underpinning all of their work is a commitment to evaluation for strategic decision making, learning, and accountability.

  • From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes (PDF)
    This resource reviews eight youth outcome measurement tools that are appropriate for use in afterschool settings. For each tool, it provides sample items and crucial information about usability, cost, and evidence of reliability and validity. The guide can help providers select conceptually grounded, psychometrically sound measures appropriate for programs that serve upper-elementary through high school-aged youth.

  • Recruiting and Retaining Older Youth in Afterschool
    Afterschool programs across the country provide critically needed services to our nation’s children and families, however, many afterschool providers find it difficult to recruit and retain children once they enter middle school and high school. Teens offer afterschool providers a special set of challenges, which they must overcome in order to attract and retain participants. For example, older youth are more autonomous, busier, better able and more likely to articulate specific needs, and less appeased by activities designed for a general audience. While older youth can clearly benefit from participation in afterschool, programs must employ innovative strategies to attract and keep older youth engaged.

  • Afterschool and Workforce Development: Helping Kids Compete
    Preparing youth for success in tomorrow’s workforce is of increasing concern to our nation’s schools, communities, policy makers and businesses. Afterschool programs, which have proven to keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning, are also a powerful tool that helps young people develop the skills needed for the 21st Century workplace. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, schools, institutions of higher education and the business community, afterschool programs are playing a key role in preparing youth for work and careers.

  • Afterschool Training Toolkit
    Resources that can help to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching activities that not only engage youth, but extend their knowledge in new ways and increase academic achievement.

  • The California Afterschool Resource Center
    Provides free online trainings designed exclusively for afterschool program providers.  Topics covered:  academics, nutrition, health and safety, and physical activity.

  • You for Youth

    This site is designed to support the important work and play that happens in an afterschool program.  The focus of this site is on learning and professional development, for every staff member at every level of the program. The learning experiences, tools, resources and contacts on this website come from afterschool experts, education researchers and people at real afterschool programs.

  • Denver Quality Afterschool Connection (DQUAC)
    A coalition of youth service providers, working together to promote the importance of quality in out-of-school-time programming, both after school and during summer.

  • National Afterschool Association
    The leading national voice of the afterschool profession dedicated to the development, education and care of children and youth during their out-of-school hours.

  • National Summer Learning Association
    A network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders across the country, the National Summer Learning Association provides tools, resources, and expertise to improve program quality, generate support, and increase youth access and participation in summer programs.

  • The American Camp Association
    The American Camp Association (ACA) is a community of camp professionals who, for 100 years, have joined together to share knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs.  As a leading authority in youth development, ACA works to preserve, promote, and improve the camp experience.

  • NAA Code of Ethics
    Designed as a resource to assist the afterschool professional in understanding the ethical responsibilities inherent in providing afterschool programs for children ages 5-18, the NAA Code of Ethics sets standards of conduct for the afterschool professional and outlines personal and professional excellence.

  • Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools, 2nd Edition
    Program quality assessment and improvement continues to be central themes in the afterschool and youth development fields. This guide compares the purpose, history, structure, methodology, content and technical properties of different program observation tools.

  • A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs
    SEDL's National Center for Quality Afterschool offers a practitioner's guide, which includes practices for building and managing quality afterschool programs.  The practices included in the guide focus not only on improving student performance and motivation, but also on how to oversee daily operations, support staff and sustain stakeholder relationships.

  • Putting It All Together: Guiding Principles for Quality After-School Programs Serving Preteens
    Based on the latest research and experiences in the field, this publication identifies the characteristics of quality afterschool programs that are linked to positive outcomes for preteens.  This resource was developed along with a companion Resource Guide that includes links to research and tools to strengthen programs.

  • Embracing YPQA
    This inspiring 13-minute video documents how the Georgetown Divide, a small community in the Sierra foothills of Northern California has embraced a positive youth development approach across the settings where youth spend time and has anchored that commitment through widespread use of the Youth Program Quality Assessment.

  • Afterschool Toolkit: Tips, Techniques and Templates for Improving Program Quality  (PDF)
    Public/Private Ventures developed this toolkit to help afterschool managers create and sustain quality academic programs.  It is based on lessons learned during a three-year study of the Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) initiative funded by The James Irvine Foundation in five California cities.  While the toolkit draws on many CORAL lessons and examples, the structures, processes and tools it offers are broadly applicable to the work of program providers who seek to enhance program quality.

  • The David P. Weikert Center of Youth Program Quality
    The core mission of the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality is to position point of service quality as a powerful public idea that drives the out-of-school time field towards higher levels of understanding, expectation, and action about the quality of experiences available to youth.  As the developers of the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA), the Weikert Center helps youth programs set meaningful improvement goals based on data, enact new practices, and create powerful developmental environments for youth.

  • Afterschool Alliance
    The nation’s leading voice for afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and advocating for more afterschool investments.

  • Children Youth Families and Education Research Network
    CYFERnet is designed to be used by anyone who needs comprehensive children, youth, or family information including: educators, researchers, parents, youth agency staff, community members, human services and health care providers, students, policy makers, youth, and the media.

  • Child Trends
    Provides research and briefs for the out-of-school time field, including staff development, school and community involvement, and outcome measurements.

  • The Forum for Youth Investment
    A trusted resource for policy makers, advocates, researchers, and program professionals.   Provides youth and adult leaders with the information, connections, and tools they need to create greater opportunities and outcomes for young people.

  • The Wallace Foundation
    The Wallace Foundation is a national organization that among other issues, seeks to expand and improve afterschool learning opportunities through research and strengthening leadership.

  • The Coalition for Science AfterSchool
    The Coalition is a strategic alliance of individuals and organizations from STEM education, youth development and programs held outside of school time.  Their mission is to coordinate and mobilize community stakeholders to strengthen and expand opportunities that engage young people in science after school.

    A one-stop shop for the informal science community, which includes afterschool STEM programs, science centers and museums, zoos and aquariums, broadcast media, and other out-of-school time science learning environments.  All resources are sortable by “afterschool”.

  • PEAR's Assessment Tools in Informal Science
    A searchable database of assessment tools for evaluating program quality and outcomes.

    A collection of learning activities, tools, and services designed especially for those who teach school-aged children in non-classroom settings (like museums, zoos, aquaria, and afterschool or outdoor education programs). SMILE is dedicated to bringing the STEM activities developed by informal science organizations around the country to the wider informal educator community, while encouraging that community to both use and contribute to SMILE's growing collection.

  • Engineering Adventures
    A free engineering curriculum developed especially for out-of-school time programs. The curricula units are focused on grades 3-5 and engage students to solve real-world programs through the engineering design process.

  • Design Squad

    A popular PBS Kids show and its corresponding website includes hands-on challenges, concept animations and videos that teach 9-12 year-olds about engineering design. Step-by-step instructions for challenges are available in both English and Spanish.  This site also features online educator training in the design process, along with resources on training others in leading engineering activities.

  • The Beyond the Bell Start-Up Guide is a step-by-step handbook for getting a program off the ground. From obtaining funding to conducting a needs assessment to taking your first steps as a new program, the guide provides all the resources, examples, and tips you need. Find out how to find funding sources, how to write a proposal, what you need to know about your community before you start, and more.

  • A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs (PDF)
    This publication provides a description of resources to support 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool programs. Many of the entries will also apply to before-school, summer, and community learning center programs.

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Denver Afterschool Alliance
Maxine Quintana