How young people spend time outside of the classroom has a tremendous impact on what they achieve in school and in life. Quality afterschool (sometimes also called expanded learning opportunities) extends learning and youth development beyond the school bell by engaging young people in fun, creative, and enriching opportunities to expand learning and develop new interests.
Our work in the afterschool and expanded learning field supports the creation, evaluation, maintenance, and improvement of high-quality afterschool and expanded learning programs in a variety of ways.
AIR works with education agencies, schools and districts, foundations, national youth-serving organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure young people’s afterschool experience fosters positive growth and development. In particular, we:
- conduct rigorous research on program quality, youth engagement, and program impact;
- monitor and conduct multi-method evaluations at state and local levels to understand the quality and effectiveness of afterschool and expanded learning programs and use that to drive improvement;
- deliver professional development, consultation, training, coaching, and ongoing support through presentations, trainings and technical assistance, and the broad dissemination of coaching models to help program leaders and staff create, improve, and maintain excellent programs; and
- provide state and national leadership in promoting policies that will create broader access to and support for high-quality afterschool and expanded learning programs.