Connecting Schools and Afterschools
United Way’s Connecting Schools and Afterschools Initiative aims to improve outcomes for children and youth by fostering relationships among schools and afterschool programs.
The initiative is grounded in findings from the 2005 Massachusetts After-School Research Study (MARS), which found that afterschool programs with stronger connections to schools had more engaging, challenging activities, higher staff engagement, and higher quality homework assistance.
Recognizing that children and youth need a continuum of support to reach their full potential, Connecting Schools and Afterschools brings together two of a child's most influential resources beyond their parents—their school teachers and their after-school program staff.
This initiative strengthens relationships between school staff and out-of-school program staff by working on projects to enhance communication systems, facilitate joint decision making, increase curricular alignment, and share information about students and learning. With everyone on the same page supporting youth, young people can excel.
Connecting Schools and Afterschools in action
Last year, 25 afterschool program sites throughout Greater Boston, Cambridge, Malden, Roxbury, Salem and the South Shore, worked on projects to enhance communication systems, facilitate joint decision making, increase curricular alignment, and share information about students and learning.
The Mission Enrichment Program at Sociedad Latina, helped students structure and prioritize their school workload by creating daily homework charts. These charts have helped students keep their assignments organized, accomplish their academic goals, and examine the subjects in which they would need extra help.
Afterschool program staff at the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, participated in a classroom visit program to learn the tools and techniques used by the school teachers to better support the children in their programs.