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Strengthening Connections Between Schools and Afterschool Programs

Revised Edition
2006
Judith G. Caplan
Carol S. Calfee
Consultants

Learning takes place in various formats and designs. Afterschool programs are rich with educational opportunities. Programs can make what is learned during the traditional day vibrant and relevant to the lives of children. Comprehensive programs that are integrated into the regular school program and draw on resources within the community can yield positive outcomes for students and their families. Moreover, the process of integration can actually compound the positive results of afterschool programs.

High-quality afterschool programs seek to create connections with the curriculum and instruction offered by the school during traditional hours. However, they do not duplicate or repeat. When a child gains competence in sports, music, or gardening, the confidence and skills that come from these experiences transfer to academic skills. Positive experiences in recreational programs and the development of strong relationships with staff and peers may motivate a child to get excited about learning and to do better in school.

High-quality programs stress not only core skills—reading, writing, and mathematics—but also problem solving, communication, teamwork, perseverance, and conflict resolution. Sometimes the learning may be simple but have lifelong benefits, such as learning to shake hands and look people in the eye. Key to this integration is planning and strong relationships between the afterschool program management and the teachers and staff working with students between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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Strengthening Connections Between Schools and Afterschool Programs
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This work was originally produced in whole or in part by Learning Point Associates with funds from the U.S. Department of Education under contract number ED-01-CO-0011. The content does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Education, nor does mention or visual representation of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the federal government.

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