Program Quality News: October 2022


This Thursday, October 20, is Lights On Afterschool: a nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. Many of our partners across the country are planning to participate, from coordinating program visits and hosting live and virtual events in their communities to posting on social media with #LightbulbChallenge and #LightsOnAfterschool.

One way to shine a powerful light on afterschool this year is to take the Power of Us Workforce Survey. As a first-of-its-kind national study, youth-serving professionals and volunteers can make their voices heard and contribute to the effort to explore, define, and elevate the youth fields workforce and their essential work with young people. The data from the survey will help to inform policy, practice, and research to better support the workforce, while amplifying the stories and people who comprise the youth field. Take the survey today and share with your colleagues!

In addition to the survey, this list of last-minute event ideas from the Afterschool Alliance offers inspiration on how you can join in celebrations, and the new event ideas and activities database allows you to sort and pick something that works for your community and program.

Cheers to celebrating and shining Lights On Afterschool,

Kimberly H. Robinson, Ph.D. | (she, her, hers)
Executive Vice President, Youth Program Quality
The Forum for Youth Investment
David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

Grant Opportunity

The Wallace Foundation has announced a one-year grant opportunity that’s available to innovative partnerships focused on supporting adolescents who face systemic barriers such as poverty, homelessness, or disability. If you’re partnering with other entities to support adolescent development and learning outside of the traditional classroom, you may qualify for this new one-year funding opportunity with awards averaging $200K. Learn more and submit an expression of interest by 5:00 PM ET on November 4.


Mark your calendar

  • In honor of Lights On Afterschool, Think Together is hosting a live broadcast at 3:00 PM PT on October 20 featuring U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, who will be celebrating alongside an esteemed lineup of expanded learning champions at this virtual event.
  • Join the Afterschool Alliance, NASA, and Million Girls Moonshot for a virtual Lights On Afterschool event on October 20 at 4:20 PM ET, featuring a pre-recorded interaction at the International Space Station with astronaut Jessica Watkins and actress Keke Palmer!


Resources from the field

  • Listen to The Power of Summer Learning Partnerships, the second episode of The Wallace Foundation’s Summer Learning Podcast Series. This episode features guests Sergio Garcia, director of learning systems at Big Thought, and Jessica Gunderson, co-director of Partnership for Children & Youth, as they discuss the role that partnerships and intermediary organizations play in supporting afterschool and summer learning opportunities for young people.
  • A new report and case studies from the RAND Corporation and Wallace Foundation present lessons learned from the six school districts that participated in the Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative. With technical assistance provided by the Forum’s Weikart Center, the multiyear effort explored whether and how children can benefit from partnerships between schools and out-of-school time (OST) programs that were focused on building social and emotional skills. One insight? Committed leadership matters. Download the report and six case studies today.