You are here

General Out-of-School Time Resources

21st century community learning centers

Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program

Title IV, Part B, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)



The General OST Resources webpage allows users to access content, webinars, and other online professional development resources to help support the ongoing education of OST staff on various topics such as:

      Career and Technical Education

      • Supporting Career Readiness in Out-of-School Time (OST) Programs Webinar - Academic and Career Planning doesn't stop when the school bell rings. In many ways, it is the time students spend out of the classroom that can provide some of the richest career readiness experiences! During the first half of this one-hour recorded workshop, program leaders working with youth from grades K-12 will learn about career readiness initiatives in Wisconsin and suggested program activities for all ages.
      • Using Xello to Support Career Readiness in After-School Programs WebinarView this webinar to learn more about Xello, the program Wisconsin students use to help create their Academic and Career Plans (ACP). Doing the recorded webinar, participants will learn about the basics of the program, as well as how to support or get involved in the ACP process. Head to to learn more!

      Evaluation Resources

      • Harvard Family Research Project
        The Harvard Family Research Project provides resources to improve evaluation for practitioners, policymakers, funders, researchers, and evaluators in the after-school field.


      • You for Youth (Y4Y) provides online professional learning and technical assistance specifically for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) granted programs. However, the content and resources apply broadly to many out-of-school time programs. Funded by the US Department of Education, the Y4Y site provides learning opportunities for program staff at every level and in multiple areas of interest. The site is frequently updated with new content and resources. Content on the site includes courses and resources on: STEM, Family Engagement, College and Career Readiness, Community Partnerships, Summer Learning, Civic Engagement, Trauma Informed Care, and much more. All 21st CCLC grantees are encouraged to register at the site to receive regular updates on available trainings and events.
      • US Department of Education - The US Department of Education provides resources, links, and guidelines specific to the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant program.
      • The National Afterschool Association (NAA) offers after-school specific professional development opportunities, including blog posts, interviews, and content-specific toolkits that can be downloaded. New content is posted weekly and can be accessed at the NAA Professional Development website
      • The Afterschool Alliance is a national organization that advocates for out-of-school time programs. Check out their list of archived webinars that touch on a wide range of topics, including SEL, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), adolescent development, and youth voice. See the Afterschool Webinars website for more information
      • Badgerlink offers 21st CCLCs access to 68 separate resources, including full text and multimedia content you can use to create activities for use in after-school programs. The resources are searchable by grade or reading level, cover STEM subjects, test preparation and practice tests, and royalty-free music, video, and images perfect for school projects. Explore all of BadgerLink here.
      • April 19-23, 2021 hallmarked the first Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Out-of-School Time (OST) Professionals Appreciation Week. This week underscored the tremendous impact of OST staff throughout Wisconsin, every day, all year round, to make a difference for students, families, and communities. State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor shared a video expressing her gratitude and uplifting those who have done so much for students and families, from providing safe spaces, delivering programming resources, to distributing meals. In the video, Stanford Taylor applauds the professionals working in out-of-school time programs for their creativity and ability to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic to support students and families. See the DPI "Thank You" to Out-of-School Time Professionals Video


      Partnerships & Family Engagement

      • Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and LEA/SEA Toolkits
        According to the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice (1998), one of the key elements of a high-quality after-school program is an effective partnership between community-based organizations (CBOs) and schools. The CBOs and Local Education Agency/State Education Agency toolkits provide research supporting the need for school-CBO partnerships; successful strategies for creating and sustaining partnerships; and checklists and tools. This website provides links to these tool kits, as well as to information about research, strategies for success, and checklists.
      • Partnership for Family Involvement in Education
        This website provides information about the Partnership, including how to join, a list of members, examples of activities, a comprehensive listing of U.S. Department of Education publications on family and community involvement, including after-school programs, and other resources.

      Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

      • How to Smile
        Designed by a group of science museums, this website is a clearing house for educational materials related to science and mathematics specifically for working with school-age youth outside of the classroom setting. Educators can both use and contribute to the online collection.
      • Engineering is Elementary
        The EiE is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy and is designed for students in grades 1-8 to develop engineering and technology literacy. A variety of lessons are available for preview and purchase via the website, as well as supportive professional development and educational research.
      • After-School Programs Promote Achievement
        This study concludes after-school and summer programs have a small, though statistically significant positive impact on student achievement in reading and mathematics, finds a recent study by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning. They analyzed 56 studies meeting high standards for rigor in exploring the impact of out-of-school time strategies. Researchers found reading gains for students in kindergarten through second grade, and math gains for high school students. One-on-one tutoring brought the greatest reading gains. Read the brief summary here, or the full report here.

      Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

      • On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, presenters from Sanford Harmony, a nationally-recognized SEL program, provided a training for granteeson SEL practices and supports for the upcoming school year. Webinar attendees learned about Sanford Harmony's CASEL-Select curriculum and app (Sanford Harmony Game Room) and walked away with tangible resources, best practices, and skills to support students and families. The goal of this webinar was to help grantees build strong relationships with student communities, whether virtual or in-person. Download the presentation slides here.
      • Learn more about SEL in out-of-school time (OST) programs by visiting DPI's OST SEL webpage

      Staff Development and Using Technology

      For questions about this information, contact Alison Wineberg (608) 267-3751