National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning
A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs


This third edition of A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs 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. These resources meet three basic criteria:

  1. they are timely,
  2. they are readily available, and
  3. they are relatively inexpensive.

Approximately 75% of the entries are new or have been revised since the second edition was published.

Contents of the Guide

The National Center for Community Education Training Task Force for 21st Century Community Learning Centers addresses six interrelated areas for the successful operation of after-school programs in its training curricula. This guide uses the same six areas with the entries organized alphabetically within each section. A list of the topics and information covered in the sections follows.

Management—Includes resources on planning, organizing, and coordinating after-school programs. Information is provided to assist with strategic planning, leadership, staff development, fiscal management, advocacy, and sustainability of the program.

Communication—Includes resources on communication skills and strategies. Information on effective communication, marketing, public relations, and events planning is provided.

Programming—Includes resources on program development. Information is provided on behavior management, curriculum, mentoring, youth development, and parent and community involvement.

Integrating K–12 and After-School Programs—Includes resources on developing connections between K–12 education and after-school programs. These materials provide information on building relationships with school personnel and on extending learning opportunities in after-school programs.

Community Building/Collaboration—Includes resources on partnership development and the collaborative process. Included is information on building a sense of community, understanding collaboration, and developing a collaborative service-delivery system.

Evaluation—Includes resources on school accountability and after-school program outcomes. Information on methods of evaluation, data-collection procedures, standards, and testing is provided.

Note: In the print/PDF version of the 3rd edition of this guide, the entries are organized alphabetically within one of two sections: (1) programming and (2) organizational development.


The following three appendixes at the back of the guide provide additional information:

  • Appendix A - Web sites: provides relevant online resources.
  • Appendix B - Title Index: lists the resources alphabetically by title (entries beginning with A and The are listed under the second word in the title).
  • Appendix C - Author Index: lists alphabetically the resources by author or editor and page number.

This third edition of the A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs is as comprehensive as time and knowledge permitted. However, in this dynamic field of afterschool programming, new resources are frequently generated. Your assistance in identifying additional resources for future editions of this guide is appreciated. Please contact SEDL by e-mail at

Accessing and Using the Guide

The guide is available in three formats: (1) print, (2) as a portable document (PDF), and (3) as an online database.

Print Format

The diagram below identifies the contents of a typical entry.
A typical entry from the database includes the title, author, description of contents, resource format, copyright date, cost, online locaiton, and publisher's contact information.


A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs is available online as a PDF. You are welcome to download and copy the guide at no cost. Please include the title page and front matter and list SEDL as the publisher if you distribute copies.

Online Database Format

A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs is also available online as a searchable database.

Features of the Third Edition

Approximately 75% of the resources are new or revised.


This symbol identifies entries that are new to the third edition.


This symbol in the margin identifies entries that have been revised since the second edition of A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs was published.

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