Outdoor Play and Recess

Outdoor Play and Recess21st CCLC


Children’s Contact with the Outdoors and Nature: A Focus on Educators and Educational Settings
This section reviews research focused on the physical, mental and social benefits that contact with the outdoors and nature provides to children.

Health Benefits to Children From Contact with the Outdoors & Nature
These articles summarize literature related to outdoor and nature contact and children’s health and well-being.

NJSACC Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State Activities and Resource Guide
This guide includes activities related to nature, animals, trees and leaves, outdoor play adventures, gardening, weather exploration, art, and being green in addition to fun facts.


Fitness Fun Forever
This website includes teaching tips and activities to promote physical activities with students.

Kids Gardening
This website provides ideas and resources for teachers and parents to promote gardening with children.

National Kite Month
This website provides information on building and flying kites.

Peaceful Playgrounds
This website offers resources and information regarding playgrounds, including supervisor training, supervision, examples of rules, benefits of recess before lunch and 60 alternatives to withholding recess.

Outdoor Play and Recess 2017-07-19T14:21:31+00:00


Homework21st CCLC


SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit
This section of the SEDL toolkit address the practice of homework help, how to implement it after school, including a checklist, resources and support materials.

Y4Y Training to Go: Effective Homework Time
Are you looking for resources to help you plan professional development for your staff on the topic of Effective Homework Time? If so, visit the Y4Y website for resources including a one-hour training powerpoint and homework help resources.

Homework 2017-07-19T14:21:30+00:00


Literacy21st CCLC


Leveraging Afterschool for English Learner Success
This document compiles resources pertaining specifically to the needs of afterschool programs to support English learners.


Five Ways to Build Students’ Vocabulary


American Library Association
Consider your librarian as your teaching partner in the afterschool and summer program. Connect your students to your school and community library.
September is Library Card Sign-Up  Month. Visit the American Library Association website for 60 Ways to Use your Library Card and other useful resources.

Colorin Colorado!
Includes links to resources for families of ELL students interested in supporting young readers.

This site offers fun, educational activities for reading, writing and storytelling- dedicated to helping kids of all abilities.

Flat Stanley Project
By participating in a Flat Stanley project, children can enhance their literacy skills, make new friends and learn more about the world.

Guys Read
Welcome to Guys Read, a web-based literacy program for boys founded by author and First National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka.. Our mission is to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers

Ink Think Tank
The Ink Think Tank database was created by 22 children’s book authors who have connected their nonfiction works to curriculum standards.

International Children’s Digital Library
This website offers a collection of thousands of children’s books available free online from countries all around the globe in native languages and in English.

International Reading Association: Read, Write, Think
Parent and afterschool resources for students kindergarten through grade 12. From fun activities to suggested books, we’ve got your out-of-school time covered.

Jack Prelutsky
Jack Prelutsky’s website allows visitors to enjoy his poems, read letters from students, and learn about the author and parents/educators can find home activities, classroom activities and a booklist.

Letter P.A.L.S.
Letter P.A.L.S. is perfect as an After-School Literacy Initiative to help at-risk readers. The Pet Shop Pen Pals are a special group of pets who love to write letters to children and tell them all about the cool adventures they go on so students can practice their reading skills. The 2013-2014 program runs from October 16, 2013, to April 30, 2014, and students can sign up anytime during October through April.

National Council of Teachers of English
This website, with sections for elementary, middle, secondary and college, offers resources and professional development related to English studies, literacy and language arts.

National Council of Teachers of English
How to Help Your Child Become a Better Writer
This position statement offers suggestions for helping a child become a better writer, both at home and at school.

National Writing Project
The National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation’s educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners. This website features research and best practices for teaching writing.

National Education Association: Read Across America
This website offers background information, event planning ideas, activities and resources for Read Across America.

One Size Does Not Fit All
This article from Teacher Magazine offers ways to make reading assignments more engaging for all levels of students.

Read Aloud Nebraska (Links and Materials)
Promoting healthy, successful children and families through reading aloud; Fostering school and community efforts that develop lifelong readers.

Award-winning author James Patterson, who has championed books and reading, has created this website for parents and educators to help make children lifelong readers.

Reading is Fundamental
This website includes articles, advice and booklists as well as a section for parents that has tips and activity ideas to help motivate children to read.

SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit
This section of the toolkit addresses how to integrate speaking, listening, reading, and writing after school, and offers resources for planning, incorporating real world activities, assessing programs, training staff and resources for key practices.

Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstien’s website gives visitors the option to play games, write poems, print out free bookmarks and poetry kits and download screensavers, audio tracks and wallpaper.

Youth Communication
This website includes a database of stories written by youth for youth, as well information about after school curriculum.


Leading an Afterschool Writing Club
Deb Coyle, Lincoln Public Schools and Nebraska Writing Project
Originally aired Monday, December 2, 2013
After school and summer are the perfect times to support writers and at the same time, engage families in your afterschool program. Join Deb Coyle, Nebraska Writing Project I Love to Write workshop leader and writing club expert, to learn the basics of starting an Afterschool Writing Club for your students and family members including philosophy, framework, and resources.
Literature Resources for After School Writers Circles

Literacy 2017-08-17T21:48:21+00:00


Health21st CCLC


99 Ways to Make Your After-School Program Even Healthier
This toolkit offers ways to promote healthy eating, provide time for physical activity, incorporate culture, make staff development a priority, provide youth with positive role models, engage youth in leadership roles, get family involved, use the community as a resource and more.

California After School Physical Activity Guidelines
The intent of the California After School Physical Activity Guidelines is to create high-quality physical activity programs that expand learning opportunities of the regular school day.

Outdoor Family Fun Guide
This guide provides activities and ideas to incorporate fresh air into the family’s busy routine.


Action for Healthy Kids
Action for Healthy Kids addresses the epidemic of overweight, undernourished and sedentary youth by focusing on change in schools, offering resources for schools and afterschool programs.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Alliance for a Healthier Generation provides resources to build a healthier environment at home, in business, at school and out of school time with support, guidelines and tools.

This website offers resources that after-school professionals can use in encouraging children and youth to eat right and be active.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Healthy Youth promotes the health and well-being of children to help them become health adults, and this section of their website addresses the school’s role in promoting health education.

Kids Health
This website offers ideas for interactive learning focused on a health and fitness emphasis for parents, children and teens.

Let’s Move
Let’s Move has information on the goals to solve the childhood obesity epidemic, with links on healthy choices, healthier schools, physical activity and access to affordable healthy food.

Middle Schools See Culture of Health Pays Off in Nationwide Study
This article addresses changes middle schools can make to improve the health and wellness of students.

P.E.links4u provides articles on exercise, physical activity, sports, games and activities.

United States Department of Health and Human Services, Physical Activity Guidelines for America
Chapter 3: Active Children and Adolescents provides physical activity guidelines for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17, and focuses on physical activity beyond baseline activity.

Health 2017-07-19T14:21:30+00:00

Character Education

Character Education21st CCLC


The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
This website provides ideas for random acts of kindness, inspirational stories and resources such as programs, activities and lesson plans.

Wings for Kids
This website promotes developing social and emotional intelligence through after school programs and provides social skills activities, research and resources.

Character Education 2017-07-19T14:21:30+00:00


Engineering21st CCLC


Design Squad Nation
The Design Squad Nation website is an online community that grew out of the Design Squad television series that aired on PBS Kids. The site targets kids ages 8 and older and features creative activities, engaging video, interactive games, and exciting contests. Use Design Squad Nation activities, animation, video profiles, and episodes in classrooms and afterschool programs, in libraries and museums, at events and at home.

Engineering 2017-07-19T14:21:30+00:00

Global Literacy

Global Literacy21st CCLC


The Power of Afterschool and the Future of Learning: A Nebraska Afterschool Conference
September 28, 2012
Omaha/LaVista Embassy Suites Conference Center
Let’s Go Global
Global Competency refers to the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to live and work effectively in the new global environment. This sectional will cover fun ways to incorporate global learning into your afterschool program through a variety of hands-on activities.
Sarah Sutton, Program Support, 21st CCLC
Let’s Go Global.pdf
Online Global Resources.pdf


Building Bridges A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding
This book is designed for adaption by teachers in grades 6-12 and provides lessons to help students better understand culture, how it has shaped them, the perspective of other cultures with respect for those who are different, and an increased awareness of the value and practicality of social service.

Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World
This publication is intended for educators, administrators, parents and other stakeholders interested in preparing youth for the 21st century, introducing a conceptual framework for global competence.

Online Global Resources
The Power of Afterschool and the Future of Learning: A Nebraska Afterschool Conference
La Vista Embassy Suites
September 28, 2012


Asia Society
This website promotes Asia Society’s mission to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression and generate new ideas across the field of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.

Asian Society – Expanded Learning Toolkit
Afterschool and summer learning programs across the country have found that adopting a global learning framework can help build program quality and youth engagement. Asia Society created this website that features a range of materials that will help school leaders, afterschool program directors, trainers, and line staff integrate global learning into out-of-school time.

Asia Kids Society
This website is linked to Asia Society’s main page, and includes sections for children (Stories, Arts, Languages, Games) and educational resources for teachers, parents and afterschool providers.

Central Intelligence Agency: The World Factbook
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

Global Competence Matrix
Asia Society and Council of Chief State School Officers
This one-page matrix outlines a set of outcomes of what students need to know and be able to do to be globally competent youth. Globally competent youth can investigate the world beyond their immediate environment; recognize perspectives, others’ and their own; communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences; and take action to improve conditions.

European Geography Games
Students at all levels can utilize this website to learn more about the European Geographic Regions, Europe’s countries, capitals, and landscape.

National Geographic Kids
This website offers children’s games, activities, stories and videos about people, places and animals from different countries.

Smithsonian Education: Educators
This website is designed to access lesson plans and resources aligned to state standards (can be searched by state, grade and subject) related to art and design, science and technology, history and culture and language arts.

This website contains a variety of discipline-specific, standards based educational resources for educators, students, parents and afterschool providers.

World Affairs Council
The Global Classroom section connects teachers and students with international resources, ideas, and people and offers lesson plans related to world politics, history, geography and economics.


Going Global
Mardi North, Nebraska Department of Education and Sarah Sutton,
former 21st CCLC Project Director
Global competency refers to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to live and work effectively in the new global environment. This webinar introduces strategies and resources that can be used for incorporating global learning into your afterschool program.

Global Literacy 2017-07-19T14:21:30+00:00


Arts21st CCLC


Americans for the Arts YouthARTS
This website gives detailed information on how to plan, run, provide training and evaluate arts programs for at-risk youth.

This PBS website includes sections on lesson plans, activities, books and resources for parents and teachers, as well as resources for children.

Coming Up Taller
This website offers information about Coming Up Taller Awards, Humanities Programs, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, National Book Festival, The National Endowment for the Humanities and The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Make Beliefs Comix!
This website provides resources for teachers and allows students to create their own three-panel comic strips in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Latin.

Nebraska Arts Council
This website of the Nebraska Arts Council, whose mission is to promote, cultivate and sustain the arts for the people of Nebraska, provides grants and services to artists, organizations and communities.

SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit (Arts)
This toolkit addresses dance, music, theater and visual arts and includes sections on arts practices, support materials, key terms and a literature review.

Songs for Teaching- Using Music to Promote Learning
This website offers multicultural instrument building instructions for families.

Arts 2017-07-19T14:21:30+00:00

General Programming


Afterschool Alliance Lights On
Afterschool Alliance promotes the celebration of Lights On each October and offers highlights from previous events as well as ideas and resources to plan future events. 

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
This website includes over 1600 federal teaching and learning resources, organized by subjects including history, language arts, math, science and others. 

PBS offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. On-line broadband access and digital media are dramatically changing the opportunities available to the nation’s educators. Our recent national educator survey (Grunwald, 2009) indicates that more teachers than ever before are turning to digital media resources to help their students understand concepts, practice new skills and engage in exciting, authentic learning experiences.

SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit
This website offers research-based practices, sample lessons, video examples and resources in the areas of literacy, math, science, arts, technology and homework to support academic enrichment in afterschool.

You for Youth
This website, developed by the U.S. Department of Education, will help you connect and share resources with your colleagues, provide professional development and technical assistance opportunities, and offer tools for improving your afterschool program practices.

You for Youth: Aligning to the School Day
This website, developed by the U.S. Department of Education, will help you connect and share resources with your colleagues, provide professional development and technical assistance opportunities, and offer tools for improving your afterschool program practices.

General Programming 2017-08-22T19:09:29+00:00

Aligning School Day and Afterschool

Aligning School Day and Afterschool21st CCLC


Afterschool Training Toolkit
Developed by SEDL, National Center for Quality Afterschool, this website is a collection of research-based practices, sample lessons, video examples, and resources to support academic enrichment in afterschool.

Beyond the Bell: A Toolkit for Creating Effective Afterschool Programs
Beyond the Bell is a suite of products designed by Learning Point Associates to help afterschool directors sustain high-quality, effective afterschool programs. The suite provides resources and training for afterschool staff that are practical, easy-to-use, and grounded in research and experience.

Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs
This guide is intended to share the insights of SEDL’s National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning (the National Partnership) as well as information about both the academic and the organizational and management practices that successful afterschool programs use. This tool is a structured way to organize and manage the implementation of any new or enhanced afterschool practice.
See Linking to the School Day, pages 36-39.

Aligning School Day and Afterschool 2017-07-19T14:21:30+00:00
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