“A system is defined as a group of related parts that move or work together. Communities across the country are working to coordinate the range of programs providing young people with opportunities outside of the school day through building afterschool systems.
With support from The Wallace Foundation, the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) has been coordinating a number of learning experiences for cities aimed at increasing opportunities to share best practices and providing access to best practices and national trends. Initially, 57 cities convened in Baltimore, MD in February 2013 for the ‘Better Together: Building Local Systems to Improve Afterschool’ conference. In the 18 months following the conference, AYPF with assistance from a number of other national organizations, has provided additional information and support to the cities as they work to build and strengthen their afterschool systems.
It is clear from [AYPF’s] work with many of these cities that they have benefited from the plethora of resources developed by national organizations. To aid communities in locating available national resources, AYPF has compiled this directory to share an understanding of the range and type of resources available to assist local afterschool system building. [AYPF recognizes] it is difficult to know and stay on top of the ever-evolving list of national organizations and their supports, thus [AYPF has] attempted to bring together the leading tools, information, and resources to support their efforts” (p.3).(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)
Major Findings & Recommendations
“In collaboration with a number of partners, AYPF sought input on organizations within the afterschool and youth development sector that would have relevant and valuable resources for communities looking to build afterschool systems. Initially [AYPF] cast [the] search as wide as possible, and to hone [the] search, [AYPF] created the following criteria for inclusion” (p.3). “Organizations must: • Serve a national audience. • Provide free resources or tools to local afterschool system builders that either support system-building work or advance understanding of the value of a coordinated approach. • Please note some the organizations included do provide fee-for-service activities in addition to their free resources. Fee-based services will be noted accordingly. • Offer resources or tools that fall within one of our predetermined categories, as described below. AYPF drafted the entries and provided the included organizations the opportunity to review and provide feedback, both on their individual entry as well as others for inclusion in the directory. Again, please note we have chosen to distribute a draft version of our directory for comment and feedback until Friday, November 14th. After this date, we intend to finalize the directory and will continue to distribute electronically” (p.4). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)