Prioritizing Partnerships and Embracing Change: The Growth and Development of the Denver Afterschool Alliance

The Denver Afterschool Alliance (DAA) is an established leader in the Denver community, representing afterschool professionals, children, youth and families to ensure equitable, quality opportunities for Denver’s youth.

In 2019, DAA engaged the Forum for Youth Investment (FYI) to develop a case study that traced the origins and development of DAA to generate a set of lessons from which other communities can benefit in their own efforts to coordinate approaches to improving afterschool and summer learning. Led by Priscilla M. Little, senior consultant with the Forum, the nine-month case study inquiry process included extensive internal and external document review, as well as in-depth interviews with past and present DAA leadership and key local and national stakeholders.

A brief is available based on the resulting case study. It distills the detailed discussion of DAA’s evolution and the lessons learned presented in the case study in order to provide an overview of the main takeaways from DAA’s story. In particular, the brief highlights the key approaches to system-building that have informed DAA’s growth and describes how DAA developed from an informal collaborative into a nationally recognized afterschool learning system by embracing risk and experimentation in order to continuously improve.