Afterschool Programs

Helpful Resources for Starting an Afterschool Program

Afterschool programs keep students safe and provide students with a place to learn, develop skills and build relationships with professional staff and fellow students. Afterschool programs give students the opportunity to also explore other interests, hobbies and engage in fun activities. Students have additional time to learn and grow outside of the school day. These additional opportunities help support academic achievement and social development. They also provide families and communities with an additional way to connect with students and get involved in their education.

This website is designed to assist schools and communities in the creation of their afterschool program. This website includes ideas, tips and additional resources to assist with the planning process from the beginning stages of development to the final product: a safe, fun learning environment for students and families.

If you are a current grantee of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, you can find additional resources under the My 21 CCLC tab.


Research/Promising Practices

Afterschool Alliance
The research on afterschool programs is vast and continues to grow, with more than 15 years’ worth of evaluations and data on afterschool program participation spanning a decade. (posted 6.8.2017)

Overview of Three Teacher Evaluation Approaches: CLASS, Danielson, Marzano / Dr. Jolene Johnson, UNMC
This document provides an overview of three teacher evaluation approaches: Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), Pianta; The Framework for Teacher Evaluation Instrument, Danielson; and the Marzano Art and Science of Teaching Framework, Marzano. In addition, this report compares domains and dimensions across the three frameworks and summarizes current usage of the different evaluation frameworks across several student populations.

Expanding minds and Opportunities
Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success

A compendium of studies, reports, and commentaries by 100+ professionals and policy leaders on the best practices, impact, and future of expanded learning opportunities.
Terri K. Peterson, PdD. Executive Editor – February 2013
( Within the compendium, individual articles may be downloaded without cost.)

Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success
Harvard Family Research Project (January 2013)

Principles of Effective Expanded Learning Programs: A Vision Built on the Afterschool Approach
Afterschool Alliance (January 2012)

What Works in Out-of-School Programs for African American and Latino Children
African American and Latino/Hispanic children and adolescents often face challenges that differ from each other and from other groups of children in the U.S. Although a number of out-of-school time programs serving African American and Latino children have been implemented, data on which approaches work among these groups are scarce. Two new Child Trends syntheses fill this gap by reviewing rigorous evaluations of out-of-school programs to identify programs that work, as well as those that do not, and the intervention strategies that contribute to program success. The programs targeted outcome areas such as reproductive health, substance use, and physical health and nutrition.
Child Trends Research Center (February 23, 2011)

Partnerships for Learning: Resource Guide to Building School-OST Program Partnerships
An annotated bibliography of evaluations, reports, and case studies of school–OST program partnerships.
Harvard Family Research Project (March 2010) Research Report

After School Programs in the 21st Century: Their Potential and What it Takes to Achieve It
This research brief draws on seminal research and evaluation studies to address two primary questions: (a) Does participation in after school programs make a difference, and, if so (b) what conditions appear to be necessary to achieve positive results? The brief concludes with a set of questions to spur conversation about the evolving role of after school in efforts to expand time and opportunities for children and youth in the 21st century.
Priscilla M.D. Little, Christopher Wimer, Heather B. Weiss, Harvard Family Research Project (February 2008) Research Report

Research Update 1: Highlights from the OST Database
This Research Update synthesizes findings from the profiles of 15 research and evaluation reports added to the Out-of-School Time Program Research and Evaluation Database in December 2006. It highlights strategies for assessing program processes as well as key outcomes and features of programs that promote positive outcomes.
Chris Wimer (April 2007) Research Report

A Review of Out-of-School Time Program Quasi-Experimental and Experimental Evaluation Results
This Snapshot provides an overview of what the quasi-experimental and experimental evaluations in the HFRP’s OST Database reveal about the impact of out-of-school time programs on an array of academic, prevention, and youth development outcomes. It also includes a resource list of other out-of-school time evaluation reviews and related evaluation information.
Priscilla M. D. Little, Erin Harris (July 2003) Research Report

Supporting Student Outcomes Through Expanded Learning Opportunities
This paper looks at the role of after school and summer learning programs in supporting student success. The paper explores how to bridge the divide between out-of-school time programs and schools by offering research-derived principles for effective expanded learning partnerships. It was commissioned by Learning Point Associates and the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS) as part of a report on school reform and expanded learning.
Priscilla M. Little (February 11, 2009) Research Report

Year-Round Learning: Linking School, Afterschool, and Summer Learning to Support Student Success
There is growing national discussion about the need to create a more expansive definition of learning to include all the ways that youth can access educational opportunities—not just through the traditional school model, but also through afterschool activities, time spent with the family, and increasingly, through interaction with digital media. This brief introduces and analyzes one approach to expanded learning that provides students—often in distressed areas—with access to quality learning environments across the year.
Sarah Deschenes, Helen Janc Malone (June 2011) Research Report

21st CCLC-Funded Afterschool Programs
Harvard Family Research Project (November 2010)

Professional Development

These professional development resources are intended to provide 21st Century Community 21st CCLCLearning Center (21st CCLC) project directors, site coordinators, and staff with information focused on the three 21st CCLC program goals:

  1. Improve overall student success and learning performance in one or more academic areas through academic support and enrichment activities,
  2. Increase student social benefits and positive behavioral changes, and
  3. Increase active and meaningful family and community engagement in supporting students’ education.

Explore this site to view relevant websites, webinars, and other resources available for professional growth of all 21st CCLC program staff.

If you have questions regarding the resources provided on this site, please contact:
Kim Larson
21st Century Community Learning Centers Program
Coordinator of Professional Development

Program Evaluation

The purpose of evaluation is to study the quality and effectiveness of a project, while also highlighting strengths and accomplishments toward program goals. The ultimate benefit of evaluation is to provide information and direction to site supervisors, directors, administrators and teachers for program improvement.

Statewide Reports


Archived Reports

Required Tables & Forms for a First-Time Grant Proposal

Required Tables & Forms for a First-Time Grant Proposal

All required tables and forms for a First-Time Grant proposal are available below. Contact Jan Handa at to receive required forms to be used for a Continuation Grant proposal.  All tables and selected forms are available in Microsoft Word (WORD) format. Selected forms are also available in PDF format. The PDF forms perform mathematical calculations where numerical information is requested. The PDF forms may be completed and printed through the web site, but cannot be submitted electronically. The PDF forms cannot be saved electronically. The WORD forms may be saved to your personal computer; however, they cannot perform calculations.

Grant Application

The Nebraska Department of Education is pleased to announce the 2018 competition for the Nebraska 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program, which is authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended.  The postmark deadine for the 2018 grant competition is February 1, 2018.

Two types of 21st CCLC grants are available—(1) First-Time Grants for applicants proposing to serve eligible school building populations that have never been served by a 21st CCLC grant, and (2) Continuation Grants for applicants that have successfully implemented 21st CCLC programming for five years proposing to continue to provide a quality 21st CCLC program to those same eligible school building populations.

These grants support the establishment of community learning centers offering expanded learning opportunities in out-of-school time. The goals for the centers are to:

  • improve overall student success and learning performance in one or more academic areas, through academic support and enrichment activities
  • increase student social benefits and positive behavioral changes
  • increase active and meaningful family and community engagement in supporting students’ education

A technical assistance grant writing workshop for First-Time grant applicants was conducted October 23, 2017. The PowerPoint slide deck from this workshop is posted below.  For grant application information or questions, contact Jan Handa,, 402-471-0876.

2018 Application for a First-Time Grant (Deadline 02/01/18)

2018 Application for a Continuation Grant (Deadline 02/01/18)

2018 Technical Assistance for Applicants

PowerPoint for 10/23/17 First-Time Grant Writing Workshop

Required Tables & Forms

Prescreened External Organizations

Non-Regulatory Guidance

2018 Grant Process Timeline


The Nebraska 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program provides funds and program support to projects working in partnership with their communities and school buildings in which at least 40% of the student population is eligible for free or reduced lunch. These projects provide expanded learning and enrichment opportunities for school-age students and their families outside regular school hours.

2016-17 Snapshot of Nebraska 21st CCLC Program

Current Grantees (Funded 2016)


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