The National Center for Quality Afterschool

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

About the Center

Afterschool Training Toolkit

Afterschool Training Toolkit Videos:
Short Videos of Promising Practices in Afterschool

The short videos are based on visits to afterschool programs across the country identified through a rigorous process based on data suggesting their afterschool academic practices are positively impacting student learning. The videos provide real-life examples of successful afterschool instruction, and they support the goals of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers by illustrating fun and engaging ways to embed academics in afterschool.

These videos are from a comprehensive Web site, The site is aimed at an audience of afterschool leaders at the national, slate, local, and individual program levels, and provides them with the resources needed to understand academic enrichment and to train staff effectively. The resources can also be used by individual afterschool staff who want to learn how to embed academics in afterschool activities in a way that is engaging, effective, and based on educational research.

Viewing Guide

This viewing guide is designed to help both trainers and individuals learn how to implement these practices. It offers a suggested workshop discussion guide, and has specific activities to do before, during, and after watching the videos.

Finding Your Way Around the Videos

Each of the 25 short videos exemplifies promising practices in one of six areas: arts, homework, literacy, math, science, and technology. No individual video is more than about 10 minutes in length. As you plan your professional development session, preview all the clips and select those that will best serve your goals in the lime available to you. More information about the practices, as well as lesson background for each of the videos is available on the Web site. The guide is organized around a professional development session format, but feel free to adapt it for your group, or for self-study.

Before Viewing

Ask your audience to think about the kinds of activities in their afterschool program(s). Next, present the following questions, asking participants to jot down their answers, and then discuss as a group:

  • What is the current approach to academic content in your program? Are you satisfied with this approach? If not, what would you like to change?
  • What resources do you already use?
  • How do you connect to and extend what students are learning during the school day?
  • How do you make learning fun in afterschool?
  • What are some of your biggest challenges?
  • What does your staff need, with respect to professional development? How could you provide it?

View the Videos

As the group prepares to watch the short videos, ask them to pay attention to the strategies they will see, and to consider the following set of questions. Participants should be encouraged to jot down notes as they watch. The videos are short, so you may wish to show them a second time. Have them consider:

  • How do afterschool staff engage students in learning?
  • What are students learning and getting out of each activity?
  • How do afterschool staff assess students' learning from this activity?
  • What do you wonder about, watching these videos? What do you find most striking?

After Viewing

After viewing the videos, ask the group to consider these questions and then discuss them as a group:

  • What ideas did you get from watching the short videos?
  • What content knowledge did the staff need to know or learn in order to help their students succeed with academics?
  • How can you connect to, and build on what students are learning during the school day?

Consider the Practice

After you have watched the video, visit the Afterschool Training Toolkit site at to learn more about the practice you watched. You may want to print relevant pages for your group in advance. Have participants read about the practice they watched and discuss the video example, watching again if necessary. Use the following questions to guide your discussion.

  • What elements of the practice do you see exemplified in the video?
  • One hallmark of successful academic enrichment in afterschool is that academic experiences are planned in advance and embedded in the activities. Do you see evidence of this? What is an example?
  • What is academic planning like in your program? How might you improve it, after reviewing this practice and watching this example?

Additional examples of the practice can be found on the toolkit site in the form of sample lessons.

This project was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright 2004-2008 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.

List of Videos








A DVD of these videos was a CINE Gold Eagle Award recipient 2007.

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.