One of our guiding principles is to bridge research into practice. We do this by translating data into actionable resources for out-of-school time (OST) professionals. The following articles explore best practices, workforce development, program quality, equity and inclusion, and many other topics that are important to youth work fields.
For even more resources, browse our publications or articles from Afterschool Matters, our peer-reviewed journal that highlights the work of OST researchers and practitioners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summer is approaching fast, so we're happy to share two pieces from our National Afterschool Matters fellows on creating engaging summer programs.
This webinar from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) highlights research that was published in the Afterschool Matters Journal to address institutional discrimination and the ways in which out-of-school time (OST) programs can be more inclusive in their practices. The video is intended to assist OST professionals in creating environments that are conducive for all participants both at the individual and program-levels.
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.
This webinar from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) highlights papers published in the Afterschool Matters Journal to show how out-of-school time (OST) providers are incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) into their programming and working to engage traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM.
Out-of-School Time (OST) programs require a highly trained staff. This webinar from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) highlights research that was published in the Afterschool Matters Journal focused on professional development and the ways it provides the knowledge, tools, training, and support that OST professionals need.
This webinar from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) highlights research that was published in the Afterschool Matters Journal about incorporating the arts in afterschool education. Research suggests that programming centered around the arts can positively affect academic achievement and the social and emotional development of children and youth.
The video is intended to inform OST professionals about how best to include visual arts, theater, dance, and community-based arts into afterschool programming.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Spring 2018 Afterschool Matters Journal Now Available: 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.
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)!
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 Mattersjournal shows.
We need to raise the bar for afterschool leaders, without losing the heart of what afterschool can offer, says former NIOST Director Ellen Gannett.
The fall 2017 Afterschool Matters Journal, now available, focuses on common goals of afterschool practitioners.
The Spring 2017 issue of Afterschool Matters is now available, with articles focused on STEM, care work, and teen agency.
Children who take part in BOKS influence their family attitude and behaviors towards physical activity and healthy eating.
Recent report highlights helpful lessons learned for continuous quality improvement systems.
This media-based professional development intervention is available for free viewing and download.
A new, free professional development resource, After School Gets Moving, offers a media-based professional development intervention for afterschool practitioners.
December 11, 2015
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.
Wallace Foundation Releases Core Competencies
"The Wallace Foundation has made available the Strong Directors/Skilled Staff: Guide to Using the Core Competencies that NIOST put together for the New York Department of Youth and Community Development. This handbook outlines key skills - "core competencies" - needed by after-school program directors and those they supervise. It also offers guidance and tools on how to develop the skills, including questionnaires that managers and youth workers can use to determine their strengths and weaknesses." Read more here.
Published with permission from BOSTnet
by Susan Vinovrski
December 2012 issue of BUZZ
A Commentary by Ellen Gannett, M.Ed.
Director, National Institute on Out-of-School Time at the Wellesley Centers for Women