The National Center for Quality Afterschool

Helping local practitioners and state education agencies develop high-quality and balanced programs

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Articles of Interest

Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? If So, How Much is Best?

By Harris Cooper in AfterWords, January 2008

A poll conducted for the Associated Press earlier in 2006 found that about 57 percent of parents felt their child was assigned about the right amount of homework. Another 23 percent thought it was too little, 19 percent thought it was too much. But opinions cannot tell us whether homework works; only research can. My colleagues and I have conducted a combined analysis of dozens of homework studies to examine whether homework is beneficial and what amount of homework is appropriate for our children.

Afterschool Programs in Rural Areas: A Conversation With Claudette Morton

By Laura Shankland in AfterWords, July 2007

To learn more about afterschool programs in rural areas, we talked to Claudette Morton, a member of the SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool's steering committee.

“Key Ideas” for Mathematics Enrichment in Afterschool

By Laura Shankland in AfterWords, June 2007

“Long division is impossible!” If your afterschool program offers mathematics enrichment, you have undoubtedly heard comments like this one. While enticing a student who dislikes math to devote another hour to the subject in afterschool is hardly a task any instructor would enjoy, an afterschool program can be an ideal setting to help students become math lovers.

Using Technology to Advance Your Afterschool Program

By Laura Shankland in AfterWords, May 2007

Here’s something you already know: most kids love to use computers. If you are fortunate enough to have access to computers and other technology in your afterschool program, how can you ensure that you are making the most of your resources?

Collecting “Good” Data for Your Evaluation

By Laura Shankland in AfterWords, April 2007

What can you do to make sure you’re collecting “good,” or meaningful, data? As the current school year comes to a close and you begin to think about fall programming, it helps to remember that the same adage that applies to planning an evaluation goes for collecting the data: start early and get all of the players involved.

After Hours: Professional Development for Afterschool Staff

By Deborah Donnelly and Laura Shankland in SEDL Letter, April 2007, Volume XIX, Number 1

Learn more about the Afterschool Training Toolkit, a free online resource for afterschool practitioners. The toolkit is organized by six content areas—literacy, math, science, the arts, technology, and homework help—with the different member organizations of the National Center developing the content according to their expertise. The toolkit uses a theory-to-practice model, meaning it is based on research but shows people how to implement the practice.

From Compliance to Quality: How to Make Evaluation Work for Your Program

By Laura Shankland in AfterWords, March 2007

High-quality afterschool programs have clear program goals, regular evaluations to determine if they are meeting program goals, and reset their goals based on these evaluations. Find out how to ensure that you get the most out of a program evaluation.

Developing Professionally: Using the Afterschool Training Toolkit to Coach Your Staff to Success

By Deborah Donnelly in Afterschool Review, Fall 2006

The article discusses the merits of afterschool leaders using the Afterschool Training Toolkit, an online professional development resource, to build the capacity of the afterschool staff to develop high quality programming for academic enrichment through effective coaching and mentoring.

Time for Achievement: Afterschool and Out-of-School Time

SEDL Letter, May 2006, Volume XVIII, Number 1

Afterschool and out-of-school programs across the country are providing students with more than a place to hang out after school. Read about promising practices and new research findings related to afterschool programs.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.