Program start-up guides

Get off to a strong start using these guides for planning and establishing your program.

Act Now Program Guide

Starting an afterschool program is a rewarding but sometimes daunting task. This guide will outline the necessary components of an afterschool program and provide guidance on how to cultivate quality within your program.

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Beyond the Bell at American Institutes for Research

Beyond the Bell® is a suite of professional development services, products, and practical tools designed to help afterschool program leaders and staff members create and sustain high-quality, effective afterschool and expanded learning programs.

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Beyond School Bells

Resources include an 11-page Guidebook and a 19-page Program Starter Kit from Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.

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Iowa Afterschool Alliance: Afterschool in a Box Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to assist programs who are starting from the ground up, programs that are developing out-of-school time programming from an existing source, and for those who are well established but need some additional support or fresh ideas to re-engage and reconnect programming.

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Pathways to Developing Afterschool Programs in Rural Areas

This guide from Tennessee Afterschool Network will assist members of rural communities in asking the right questions and taking the first steps to

  • Assess the possible need for an afterschool program
  • Utilize strengths and existing resources to initiate development
  • Create a foundation that will lead to a sustainable, fluid program that meets the established needs
  • Plan for the future and growth of a new program

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Wallace Foundation: Change is Inevitable. Are Out-of-School Time Programs Ready for It?

The out-of-school time (OST) sector provides many opportunities for staff learning and improvement, including webinars, newsletters, and professional conferences. These opportunities also provide time and space for networking, generating new ideas, and potentially using those ideas to change existing operations, practices, and strategies. But sometimes the ideas just don’t take hold. Why is that? How could it be that the research- and evidence-based strategies that you just learned about didn’t work for your program? Two researchers explain readiness, why it matters, and how OST programs can build and measure it, utilizing the resource created by American Institutes for Research (AIR), the Ready Toolkit.

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