September 3, 2021
Kathryn Wheeler, Ed.D., is among 70 individuals and groups being recognized by Big Sister Boston for their enduring commitment to believing in girls.
Scholars and trainers from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) have been leaders in defining, shaping, and promoting out-of-school time (OST) quality for all. Here are examples of our impact on the field.
September 3, 2021
Kathryn Wheeler, Ed.D., is among 70 individuals and groups being recognized by Big Sister Boston for their enduring commitment to believing in girls.
September 1, 2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread lockdowns across the U.S. in March 2020, MA 21st Century Community Learning Centers found creative ways to continue supporting families. Here’s what we can learn from them.
August 2, 2021
Research has found important links between levels of youth engagement and student achievement and persistence in school. These 6 tips from NIOST can help programs boost youth engagement.
June 9, 2021
June is PRIDE season! Despite many positive changes in our country during the last year related to inclusion and equity, discrimination against LGBTQ people and others is still prevalent. It takes all of us working together everyday to ensure that LGBTQ youth and adults feel welcomed and supported in all of the out-of-school time places in which they spend their time. There are many resources for staff professional development available at: Facing History and Ourselves and GLSEN. Actor George Takei, best known for his role as Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek television series, noted that we should "live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity." Let's all be in an inclusive and welcoming state of mind this month and beyond!
May 17, 2021
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, an opportunity to bring awareness to the long history of Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to our country. This month is also a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the positive contributions two Asian American out-of-school time programs are making to their communities.
March 2, 2021
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) has always been focused on capacity building. Whether working with a state or city network, or a cohort of programs, NIOST helps build local capacity to serve youth in afterschool, summer, and other out-of-school time (OST) programs. One highly effective way NIOST does this is through communities of practice.
February 17, 2021
On February 11, 2021, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) hosted a webinar as part of the Afterschool Matters Dialogue series.
February 12, 2021
On Thursday, January 28, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time and Suffolk University’s Youth Equity & Sexuality Lab hosted a virtual workshop titled, “No Neutrality in the Face of Hate: How YOU Can Help Youth Resist Fascism.”
January 25, 2021
Join the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) for our next Afterschool Matters Dialogue, featuring out-of-school time and youth development professionals from around the country. Afterschool Matters Dialogues offer attendees the opportunity to learn about and discuss critical issues in the out-of-school time field. Programs feature presentations by National Afterschool Matters Fellows followed by a question and answer session with attendees.
January 19, 2021
By Kathryn A. Wheeler, NIOST Research Associate
There are at least three reasons why it’s important to encourage youth in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math): (1) we need more young people pursuing STEM careers to meet the workforce demand; (2) whether or not someone chooses a career in STEM, they need to be science literate in today’s society so they can make informed decisions about issues like health care, food, the environment, and technology; and (3) STEM activities are fun and engaging!
January 15, 2021
In this workshop hosted by NIOST and the Youth Equity & Sexuality Lab, four scholar-educators will present their paper from the Journal of Youth Development titled “Youth Practitioners Can Counter Fascism: What We Know and What We Need.”
December 7, 2020
What is the youth field profession and who works in it? Those are challenging questions. All of the following might fall underneath the umbrella of the youth fields: school- and community-based afterschool, summer camps and summer learning programs, residential programs, government-managed parks and recreation programs, creative youth development and sports-based programs, early childhood education and care, youth programs at public libraries and museums, faith-based youth programs, and workforce development. What about youth mental health, juvenile justice, social services, and foster care?
December 2, 2020
The fourth cohort of National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship kicked off a year-long journey of inquiry-based research and study this past October with funding from the Robert Bowne Foundation . The Fellowship, hosted by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College offers mid-career out-of-school time (OST) and youth development professionals the opportunity to become part of a professional learning community where they reflect on, study, and assess their work to improve its quality and impact.
November 23, 2020
On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) hosted a virtual webinar as part of the Afterschool Matters Dialogue series. The program featured two guest speakers who discussed their approaches to OST staff training.
October 29, 2020
On Monday, October 26, 2020, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) hosted a virtual webinar as a part of the Afterschool Matters Dialogue series. The program was moderated by Georgia Hall, Ph.D., director of NIOST and was on the topic of promoting social justice.
October 26, 2020
We are all working and learning through a challenging time! Many of the ways we actively and regularly participated in youth outcome and program quality data collection may not be achievable or realistic at this time. Yet, we know that understanding and measuring the impact of our work on youth outcomes and progress on continuous program improvement goals is still important. As with other tasks and priorities, data collection may need to shift or be altered during this unprecedented time. We’ve prepared some guidelines for data collection that take modifications and shifts in program design, including hybrid and virtual learning, into consideration.
October 23, 2020
A chapter in the new book Measure, Use, Improve! Data Use in Out-of-School Time is authored by leaders in system building at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST). The chapter chronicles how NIOST partnered with the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, the first frontier statewide afterschool network in the C.S. Mott 50 State Afterschool Network, to tackle the isolation experienced by out-of-school time (OST) program staff in Wyoming and build an OST quality improvement framework from the ground up.
October 13, 2020
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time will host two virtual programs featuring out-of-school time and youth development professionals from around the country. These Afterschool Matters Dialogues will offer attendees the opportunity to learn about and discuss critical issues in the out-of-school time field. Both programs will feature presentations by National Afterschool Matters Fellows followed by a question and answer session with attendees.
September 1, 2020
When out-of-school time (OST) programs shifted to virtual programming this spring and summer, it seemed like a dramatic change. But with several months of experience behind us, we have learned an elegantly simple lesson: best practices for OST programs haven’t changed.
July 2, 2020
School closures and quarantine have brought profound change to the delivery strategy for school day and out-of-school time (OST) programs. Yet, there has been amazing consistency from the OST workforce, who have leveraged their strengths to care for the social and emotional health of the children and youth served in their programs throughout the ongoing pandemic.
June 23, 2020
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special summer edition of its Afterschool Matters journal, featuring an interview with NIOST founder Micki Seligson, a nationally recognized leader in afterschool and in childcare policy and practice.
June 2, 2020
By NIOST DIrector and Senior Scientist Georgia Hall. As if quarantine, loss of parent jobs, food insecurity, and transition to homeschooling weren’t enough of a burden for our children, the ugly, persistent specter of racism raised itself again into widespread consciousness over the last week in multiple and heart-wrenching ways. And even birdwatching became a focal point, after a White woman falsely accused Christian Cooper, a Black man, of threatening her in Central Park while he was birdwatching, and his sister Melody Cooper posted the video to Twitter.
May 21, 2020
National Afterschool Matters Fellow Amy Franks, who works at a literacy support organization, reflects on changes brought by the pandemic and on the new ways she's finding to encourage reading at home.
May 14, 2020
Educators, out-of-school time professionals, teachers, and parents have dramatically adjusted their work during the pandemic, and part of this may mean letting go of some things. Yet NIOST Director Georgia Hall says "If we can hold onto one thing, let it be reading."
April 14, 2020
Next week marks the start of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week (April 20-24), and this year, we’re thinking about all of the ways we appreciate what afterschool and out-of-school-time (OST) professionals are doing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 19, 2020
During the uncertain days of social distancing ahead, families may find it challenging to offer learning and social opportunities for their children. Here are some ideas from our own out-of-school-time (OST) toolbox along with some additional resources that may help alleviate some of the stress.
March 16, 2020
Out-of-school-time (OST) professionals place great importance on a passion for their work, building relationships with children, and fostering their positive, healthy development, according to a new study by NIOST researchers. Yet financial instability and a lack of competitive pay may be hindering workers’ satisfaction and longevity in the field.
March 9, 2020
NIOST announces the release of a free guide for those who coach out-of-school time programs. The guide helps coaches build their expertise to help any organization develop and implement a continuous quality improvement plan.
March 4, 2020
NIOST looks forward to connecting with convention attendees at NAA20 Reimagined - Virtual Convention! Between April 19 and May 2, Part 2 of the convention takes place. Visit our virtual booth in the Learning Expo to learn more about our products and services, get our giveaways, and schedule an appointment to discuss your specific needs.
Be sure to catch Dr. Georgia Hall, NIOST Director and Sr. Research Scientist, in her pre-recorded Spark Session: "Read Up/Write Up/Talk Up: Building Literacy Rich Environments in OST" (found in Level 3). National Afterschool Matters fellows Brad Lademann and Sonia Toledo are also presenting workshops.
February 13, 2020
NIOST designed the recently released version of its APAS suite of tools to more fully reflect equity, inclusion, and diversity in the experiences of youth, families, and the out-of-school-time (OST) workforce. We also have a number of papers to share from our journal, Afterschool Matters, on these important topics.
January 22, 2020
NIOST announces the release of the Fall 2019 revision of its APAS suite of evaluation tools, which include language changes and specific examples that more fully reflect equity, inclusion, and diversity in the experiences of youth, families, and the OST workforce.
November 19, 2019
Growing up, says National Afterschool Matters Fellow Keith F. Miller Jr., he felt “the trauma of a young boy buckling under the weight of poverty and a crippling fear of failure.” In a piece written as part of his fellowship, he shares how his experience with an educational system steeped in systemic racism shaped him and led him to his current path.
October 24, 2019
In NIOST's home state of Massachusetts, it's the second annual STEM Week, with the theme of "See Yourself in STEM." Here are some ways out-of-school time (OST) programs around the country are helping students do just that, as evidenced by these articles in our Afterschool Matters journal.
September 20, 2019
Today marks the first of two Global Climate Strikes organized by young activists this week to draw attention to the climate crisis and call for a move to renewable energy. Out-of-school-time (OST) programs have long promoted student learning that encourages awareness, critical thinking, and innovative solutions around energy and the environment. Take a look at two examples from our Afterschool Matters journal.
September 17, 2019
Some of the most experienced and diversely talented professionals in the out-of-school time (OST) field will next week kick off a year-long fellowship to hone their leadership, research, and critical thinking skills. The third cohort of National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellows includes 16 members from 13 states across the U.S., who bring a range of experience in nonprofit and public OST settings.
September 5, 2019
NIOST staff love to read, so we’re sharing a few books from our summer reading that have a connection to out-of-school-time (OST) themes such as professional development or OST experiences.
August 28, 2019
This month, the second cohort of National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellows reaches the end of its tenure as the third cohort prepares to start. Take a look at some of the work published by our first two cohorts of out-of-school-time (OST) professionals during the course of their fellowships, covering professional development, youth development, and how to design engaging OST programs.
August 15, 2019
As students around the U.S. prepare to head back to school in the coming weeks, we wanted to share some papers from our Afterschool Matters journal that look at the ways that schools and out-of-school-time programs can be effective partners in serving youth.
July 8, 2019
This week marks National Summer Learning Week, so we're highlighting some papers from our Afterschool Matters journal that showcase the importance of summer learning.
June 19, 2019
Summer learning loss, the idea that during the summer, students forget months of what they learn during the school year, with low-income students falling even further behind--has for many years been a driving force behind the implementation of comprehensive summer learning programs that blend academic and enrichment learning experiences.
June 5, 2019
Summer is approaching fast, so we're happy to share two pieces from our National Afterschool Matters fellows on creating engaging summer programs.
May 16, 2019
Ellen Gannett, NIOST senior strategist and former director, is featured in a new documentary, The History of Afterschool in America.
May 14, 2019
UPDATE: This position has been filled as of June 10, 2019.
NIOST is hiring! We're seeking a training associate to join our team at Wellesley College and help us increase quality for all in out-of-school time!
May 13, 2019
April 22, 2019
We at NIOST are delighted to celebrate Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week this week and to offer an extra special "thank you" to all of the out-of-school-time (OST) professionals making a difference in the lives of children across the nation, including our Afterschool Matters Fellows.
April 17, 2019
Ellen Gannett, NIOST senior strategist and former director, was recently honored for her decades of leadership in the field of out-of-school time. Watch highlights of what some of her colleagues had to say about her--and what she herself said about her many years in the field--during the special Celebration of Leadership Reception at the National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention in New York City, March 18, 2019.
April 16, 2019
Dr. Katie Bouman has been receiving recognition recently for her key contributions to the team that gave us the world's first image of a black hole. We at NIOST are proud of the work being done in out-of-school-time (OST) programs to support girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, as evidenced by these articles in our Afterschool Matters journal.
March 6, 2019
NIOST is going to the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Annual Convention March 15 to 18 in New York City! Several NIOST staff members and a number of our National Afterschool Matters fellows will be presenting workshops; NIOST Senior Strategist and former Director Director Ellen Gannett will also be given a special Leadership Award.
March 5, 2019
NIOST, as a founding member of the Healthy Out-of-School-Time (HOST) Coalition, is proud to mark National School Breakfast Week this week, a celebration launched 30 years ago to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children.
February 14, 2019
Out-of-school-time (OST), education, and youth development professionals in mid-career are invited to apply for the National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship, a one-year leadership development program that better positions them to inform and contribute to the quality of OST programs, practice, and the broader field.
February 13, 2019
February 5, 2019
As part of our new series, “Get to Know NIOST,” Kathryn A. Wheeler, a research associate at NIOST, recently took some time to answer questions about her work and the idea of quality in out-of-school time.
January 8, 2019
NIOST researchers recently collected data through a workforce survey to better understand the experiences of out-of-school time (OST) workers and their careers. We will present preliminary findings at the Wellesley Centers for Women Lunchtime Seminar Series on February 28.
December 19, 2018
This is a season of giving and gratitude, so here are some of the things we’re grateful for in out-of-school time (OST) – and a reminder of how much of an impact gratitude can have in OST and in the lives of children and youth.
December 12, 2018
We are seeking articles for future issues of Afterschool Matters, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in afterschool education. Published by the National Institute on Out-of-School-Time (NIOST) with legacy support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, Afterschool Matters serves practitioners who work with youth in out-of-school time (OST) programs, as well as researchers and policymakers in youth development.
November 28, 2018
Carla O’Donnell-Rizzo, director of school-based programs at Completely KIDS, and one of the 2017-19 National Afterschool Matters Fellows, writes on the Completely KIDS blog about her research on why it is so hard to hire and retain out-of-school-time (OST) professionals.
November 23, 2018
The newest issue of Afterschool Matters, the national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in the field of afterschool education, reflects on the field’s ability to help provide students with experiences outside of the classroom that give them opportunities to stretch their skills, grow friendships, and challenge their limits.
November 21, 2018
As part of our new series, “Get to Know NIOST: Working Towards Quality for All,” Kathy Schleyer, Director of Training and Quality Improvement at NIOST, recently took some time to answer questions about her work and the idea of quality in out-of-school time.
October 12, 2018
The National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship recently held its second retreat for the latest cohort of NASM Fellows, some of the most experienced and diversely talented professionals in the out-of-school time field.
September 27, 2018
We're excited about a new book on social and emotional learning (SEL) in out-of-school time -- and how NIOST tools have been shown to effectively assess youths' SEL skills.
September 20, 2018
September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month. As a co-founder of the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition (HOST), NIOST helped develop the developed the National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards that recommend a fruit or vegetable at every snack or meal. We’re therefore pleased to share these fun fruit and veggie ideas from NIOST Research Associate Elizabeth Starr, who’s tested them all with her own kids!
September 6, 2018
State primary elections are wrapping up and election season isn't far behind. Regardless of political beliefs, out-of-school-time programs are helping the next generation of voters become informed and engaged citizens, as research from Afterschool Matters has shown.
August 29, 2018
As children around the U.S. head back to school, we're highlighting a few articles from Afterschool Matters that show the strong connection between out-of-school-time programs and in-school (and in-life) success.
August 24, 2018
By Judy Chin, NIOST Project Assistant
It is 8:30am on a Wednesday morning, an hour into this pre-calculus summer preparatory class. There is a buzz and excitement going on inside this particular classroom that can be heard from the other side of the door. Not the behavior I was expecting from rising 11th and 12th graders this early on a summer morning in late July as I visit this program as part of their continuous quality improvement process.
August 22, 2018
How can we ensure that students have high-quality learning experiences during afterschool programs? We check the data, of course. To make this possible, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time co-developed the APT (Assessment of Program Practices Tool) -- a self-assessment observation tool that afterschool programs can use to identify where their program stacks up when it comes to organization, learning, skill building, and other key aspects that are tied to positive youth outcomes. But developing the tool was just the first step.
August 13, 2018
By Elizabeth Starr, NIOST Research Associate
About 20 tweens pile into the unassuming studio space of their ballet school in mid-July. There are no frills here. The waiting area is small and a bit disheveled; the cinderblock building has seen its share of life. But look closer: there’s magic inside.
July 16, 2018
Most afterschool programs in the U.S. offer fruits and vegetables to children, and doing so is associated with membership in the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) and awareness of its Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards, according to a paper co-authored by NIOST researchers.
June 26, 2018
The National AfterSchool Association (NAA), the lead organization for the advancement of the afterschool professional, has selected the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) as one of NAA’s 2018 Most Influential in Research and Evaluation. Honorees are distinguished for their contributions to research and evaluation on youth and adolescent development.
“NIOST has been a leader in defining, shaping, and promoting out-of-school time as a distinct professional field with evidence-based quality standards for 39 years,” said Georgia Hall, director of NIOST. “We have had the pleasure of not only conducting large and investigator-initiated research, we’ve partnered with on-the-ground program staff to help them measure quality outcomes for all, assess the effectiveness of policies and practices, benchmark against best practices, and develop in-house evaluation skills. We’re proud of this work and the recognition by the National AfterSchool Association.”
June 21, 2018
Georgia Hall contributed an article to the Women Change Worlds blog on June 21, 2018. She wrote:
"As a country we seem to be moving far away from the nurturing and sustaining activity of the settlement houses of our past. The first settlement house, established in New York City’s Lower East Side – Neighborhood Guild – was founded by Stanton Coit, and just a few years later came Hull House in Chicago, materializing through the passionate vision of Jane Addams.
June 13, 2018
Summer isn’t just about basketball hoops, sprinkler parks, and popsicles. It’s an ideal time to help adolescents and children catch up on building their reading, writing, and math skills.
“Summer experiences and out-of-school time should be embraced as opportunities to not only help put children on more equal footing when they return to the classroom, but to empower youth so that they return with improved self-esteem and have more positive experiences within the school community,” reports Georgia Hall, Ph.D., director and senior research scientist of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST).
May 31, 2018
NIOST applauds the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) for its new Afterschool Tech Toolkit, which aims to help integrate technology in afterschool programs and to ensure equitable access to digital learning opportunities, especially in underserved communities. Research in NIOST's Afterschool Matters journal has long shown the importance of out-of-school-time (OST) programs in promoting technology and STEM learning, and offers further ideas for effective, equitable programming.
April 30, 2018
Wellesley College, home of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, has a significant connection to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.
April 25, 2018
Spring 2018 Afterschool Matters Journal Now Available: April 24, 2018
April 24, 2018
During Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) celebrates the professionals who enhance our youths' healthy development in out-of-school time programs. Learn why in this new video.
April 11, 2018
Going to the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in New York this week? Catch our session on "Identifying Cultural Biases: Reflections From Developing Video-Based Training for the After-School Program Practices Tool."
March 29, 2018
This coming weekend is March Madness, the collegiate basketball championships, a good time to consider the social, policy, and bureaucratic issues that affect women in NCAA basketball. Watch researchers from NIOST and colleagues from the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and Wellesley College, discuss wins, losses, and fouls in a recent lunchtime seminar.
March 27, 2018
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time applauds Congress' passage last week of funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) and other out-of-school-time (OST) programs for fiscal year 2018.
March 16, 2018
NIOST's research-based and field-tested tools to assess out-of-school-time program quality and youth outcomes now have new ways to measure social emotional learning (SEL)!
March 15, 2018
NIOST research scientists and trainers will be presenting at next week's National AfterSchool Association Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Come and see us!
March 7, 2018
March 1, 2018
In the hit movie Black Panther, the fictional Wakandans of Africa establish a center in Oakland, California, to be run by two women, one of whom is a scientific genius responsible in large part for the Wakandans' technological advancements. One might assume that STEM learning, particularly for girls, will form a big part of the program at the center. In real-life Oakland, however, the afterschool STEM program Techbridge is already having a positive impact on girls' lives through equity-oriented "making" activities, as this article from a recent Afterschool Matters journal shows.
February 16, 2018
We need to raise the bar for afterschool leaders, without losing the heart of what afterschool can offer, says former NIOST Director Ellen Gannett.
December 13, 2017
For Immediate Release: December 14, 2017
November 27, 2017
The fall 2017 Afterschool Matters Journal, now available, focuses on common goals of afterschool practitioners.
October 25, 2017
NASM launched its second national cohort of fellows in late September 2017, bringing together 25 out-of-school-time (OST) and youth development professionals.
October 10, 2017
The Spring 2017 issue of Afterschool Matters is now available, with articles focused on STEM, care work, and teen agency.
October 1, 2017
ASM Journal Editor Georgia Hall is reminded by the newest cohort of NASM Fellows of how much OST practitioners have in common.
October 1, 2017
Deadline for article submissions is Jan 10th for the Fall 2018 issue.
September 13, 2017
This media-based professional development intervention is available for free viewing and download.
September 13, 2017
Recent report highlights helpful lessons learned for continuous quality improvement systems.
September 13, 2017
NIOST is a Most Influential in Health & Wellness honoree from the National Afterschool Association.
September 13, 2017
Children who take part in BOKS influence their family attitude and behaviors towards physical activity and healthy eating.
April 19, 2017
Out-of-school time, education, and youth development professionals are invited to apply for the National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship, a two-year leadership development program.
October 21, 2016
A new, free professional development resource, After School Gets Moving, offers a media-based professional development intervention for afterschool practitioners.
October 10, 2016
The Contributors to the Fall 2016 issue of Afterschool Matters share strategies for making a lasting impact on the field: by validating instruments that measure program quality, by creating infrastructure to support learning in specialized areas, by training OST staff in professional learning communities, and by developing school-afterschool partnerships that can foster shared vision.
June 5, 2016
NIOST Director Ellen Gannett spoke with Youth Today about the professionalization of the after-school field and what it will take to unify its fragmented sectors.
May 3, 2016Need to find out more about the outcomes of your afterschool program? NIOST's Assessment of Program Practices Tool (APT) can help--and APT training is now online.
April 20, 2016
The Spring 2016 issue of Afterschool Matters is now available. ASM is a national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship and consciousness in the field of afterschool education.
January 5, 2016
WELLESLEY, MA – The newest edition of Afterschool Matters, the national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in the field of afterschool education, is focused on inventive programs that aim to engage youth and improve afterschool offerings to ultimately build better futures for young people and support their positive development.