After the Bell: The Power of After School & Summer Programs

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The time children and adolescents spend outside the classroom can be just as important to their overall academic, emotional, and psychosocial development as time spent inside the classroom. Out-of-school time (OST) is an emerging field in education that encompasses the creation, execution, and analysis of afterschool and summer learning opportunities. In the U.S., more than 10 million young people participate in some sort of OST program.

The OST field has grown considerably over the last two decades. Today, we have the frameworks, practice- and research-based knowledge and tools, and burgeoning paths to advance the field across multiple dimensions: demographic, stakeholder groups, contexts, systems and sectors, and disciplines. The hallmark of the OST field has been the ability to remain adaptable to change in a way that complements the field and supports all children and young people in diverse ways.


Helen Janc Malone, Ed.D.
Director of Instructional Advancement and Education Policy; National Director, Education Policy Fellowship Program, Institute for Educational Leadership

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