Table of Contents
William S. White
I. A Focus on Student Success
This section presents reports, analyses and commentaries on the importance of afterschool and summer learning programs for promoting academic achievement and school performance. Topics include homework, the Common Core State Standards, supporting English learners and students with special needs, dropout prevention and other issues key to promoting college and career readiness.
II. Expanding Skills and Horizons
This section focuses on leading edge issues in the field and ways that expanded learning opportunities can open the traditional boundaries of education to support learning anytime and everywhere through technology, credit flexibility and recovery, and other innovative approaches. From STEM to the arts to wellness to higher-order thinking to global competence, afterschool and summer learning programs promote an array of essential competencies for today and the future.
III. Recent Evidence of Impact
This section presents leading research and evaluation studies and best practice reports that demonstrate the power of expanded learning programs for promoting student success and building partnerships that benefit schools and communities. The articles together represent a compelling body of literature on program quality and improvement, data systems and analysis, and program sustainability, adaptability and scale.
IV. The Power of Community-School Partnerships in Expanding Learning
This section focuses on ways that collaborations between schools and community organizations promote student success, maximize financial, human and other resources, and build public will. Examples of partnerships between schools and afterschool and summer programs as well as community entities such as businesses, libraries and universities demonstrate that partners are key to supporting learning and development through exploration via the arts, sports, civic engagement and workplace experience, among other pathways.
V. Afterschool and Summer Programs as Catalysts for Engaging Families
This section presents the critical role of families in supporting children’s learning and development as well as building strong connections between afterschool and summer programs and schools. Articles focus on the research base that shows the importance of family engagement as well as best practices and strategies for meaningfully engaging parents, families and guardians of students from elementary through high school.
VI. A Growing Nationwide Infrastructure for Quality, Expansion and Partnerships
This section focuses on the support structures that scaffold and frame the continually growing field of expanded learning and connections to education and other key systems. The articles present evidence that intentional linkages between research, policy and practice along with the formation of networks and coalitions designed to build program quality, public awareness and funding streams are essential features of a mature field.
Conclusion: Leveraging the Power of Quality Afterschool and Summer Learning: An Important Strategy for Student Success Across America
Secretary Richard W. Riley and Terry K. Peterson