Research & Resources

Welcome to the Research and Resources page. Below you will find access to our physical Resource library, a wide array of virtual resources, as well as links to publications that provide current research, trends, and thinking in the after school field.

Resource Library

The Connecticut After School Network is continuously scouring the field for new resources and methods for making your job easier and your program quality sustainable. The Resource Library holds physical resources (hard-copy) that can be sent to your program (and returned via pre-paid envelope). 

  • Connecticut After School Network Member Resource Library Catalog (PDF)

Funding Sources

Deadline, Quarterly: June 30, September 30, December 31, and March 31
Award: Varies
Classics for Kids Foundation aims to bridge the funding gap and enhance school music programs by providing matching grants for beautiful new stringed instruments.
More information ➜

Deadline: Rolling
Award: Varies, Average Grant is $25,000
The Foundation’s primary interests within education include programs that focus on formal K–12 education (particularly mathematics, science, and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education.
More information ➜

Deadline: Rolling
Award: $200–$10,000
The Wish You Well Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations that promote family literacy in the United States. The focus of the foundation’s grantmaking is on the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs.
More information ➜

Deadline: Rolling
Award: Up to $75,000
The foundation seeks to support imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative projects. Funds are provided for youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment.
More information ➜

Deadline: Rolling
Award: $1,000–$5,000
Finish Line Youth Foundation focuses funding on organizations that provide opportunities for youth participation in the following areas: (1) Youth athletic programs — Community-based programs addressing active lifestyle and team building skills; (2) Camps — Established camps with an emphasis on sports and active lifestyle, especially programs serving disadvantaged and special needs kids.
More information ➜

Deadline: Rolling
Award: Varies
The ESA Foundation is dedicated to supporting positive programs and opportunities that make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. The Foundation seeks to harness the collective power of the interactive entertainment industry to create positive social impact in our communities. The Foundation supports geographically diverse projects and programs that benefit American boys and girls of all races and religions.
More information ➜

Funding Ideas and Tips

Finding resources for your program can be tough. Here are some tips on how to steer your approach to getting funding:

To create a program that works, your sustainability plan should be specific. What role will parent fees play? Where will you seek funds? How can you use in-kind resources? Who are your logical partners? Who will approach donors and/or write proposals? How can you take the long view to stay in business? Check out strongnonprofits.org for some great tools to help with this.

Start from your mission statement and strategic plan. Allocate adequate time to meet with stakeholders, review data and do some thinking about a plan to sustain (and possibly grow) your program. Sources related to planning for sustainability and finding funds may be found here, under “Funding & Sustainability”.

Research is required to identify your most likely funding sources. Some grant sources are listed to the left, but there are thousands more. Find your local Foundations Center repository and plan to spend some time identifying prospective funders.

Plan to evaluate. Few programs get funded without showing that they are serving a real need and are able to perform. Expansion and even continuation is usually impossible without evidence of quality. Organize data you already have (waiting list numbers, etc.) and community interest as well as the value of what you are already delivering. Use data from the school district, Connecticut State Department of Education, and organizations like the United Way to help establish need.

If you want out-of-school time programming that is high quality and you need to know how to budget for it, this website can help. This online calculator lets you determine the costs of a variety of options for high-quality out-of-school time programs. With other resources on this site, it can help you make informed decisions so you can plan for programming in which children flourish.

Looking for a small grant to fund a special project? Check out our November 2011 webinar for specific how-tos and resources.

Additional training can be helpful in improving your skills raising money. Check out trainings by the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits, nonprofit resource libraries, or the free, on-line GrantSpace.org are all good places to start. The Connecticut After School Network’s Resource Library (a free resource for professional members) has numerous resources to help improve your sustainability skills. Contact us to find out more. Consider hiring a grant writer, or finding a volunteer editor to review your grants. Everyone can benefit from an outside perspective on how to tell their story in a more compelling way.

Other Resources

International Reading Association
Literacy Strategies Guide
National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition
Reading is Fundamental
Mizzen by Mott App
Campaign for Grade Level Reading Resources
Summer Activity Guides – activities can be geared for in-person or virtual instruction and are applicable for summer and beyond! 
Remote and Distance Activity Brainstorm
UNH Digital Adventures 
New Jersey Virtual Afterschool Resource Guide
Creative Minds for OST
Build a (Better) Global Afterschool Program
Expanding Horizons: Building Global Literacy in Afterschool Programs Guidebook
Connecticut World Affairs Council Model United Nations
Kids Care
National Youth Leadership Council
Learning by Doing: Students Take Greening to the Community, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (PDF)
Service learning articles from Edutopia.org
Example from Rhode Island
Social and Emotional Learning for Connecticut
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning 

National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development 
Supporting SEL through high quality After School Programs by AIR 
The In-School and After School SEL Connection by AIR (PDF)
Research Based SEL programs for Out of School Time: 

Wallace Foundation Report on Social Emotional Learning in Out of School Time Settings
CT State Department of Education STEM Modules for Middle and High School After School Programs
Afterschool Alliance STEM PD’s
Exploratorium Digital After School Library
eSchool News
NASA Afterschool Universe
JASON Learning
Immersion Learning
STEM Gems
Click 2 Science

NAA Professional Development page
NIOST Professional Development page
AIR Professional Development page 
4-H Afterschool
National AfterSchool Association Core Competencies for After School Trainers (PDF)
National AfterSchool Association Code of Ethics (PDF)
Boost Cafe

CT After School Quality Self-Assessment Tool (PDF)
History of After School (Video)
A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs, 3rd Ed. (PDF)
ABC…123: Starting your Afterschool Program (PDF)
Smart-E San Carlos example
Heathcote PTA example
Washington Family Center Parents Manual example (DOC)

The Value of High Quality After School Programs Fact Sheet (PDF)
Connecticut After School Fact Sheet (PDF)
The Achievement Gap is Real (PDF)
Afterschool Programs that Follow Evidence-Based Practices to Promote Social and Emotional Development Are Effective (Durlak & Weissberg, 2013) (PDF)
Infographic: High Quality Afterschool Programs Accelerate Student Achievement (PDF)
Expanding Minds and Opportunities Compendium (Peterson, 2013)
ExtendED Notes (Formerly known as School Age Notes)
A New Day for Learning (PDF)
Creating Quality School-Age Child Care Space (PDF)
Child Care and Early Education Research Connections
Harvard Family Research Project
National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST)
Bringing Universities into the Mix: New Opportunities for Enhancing Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs (PDF)
Building a Culture of Attendance: Schools and Afterschool Programs Together Can and Should Make a Difference! (PDF)
Topical Research and Resources (Vermont Afterschool)
THINK Together Alignment Research (PDF)
RAND Out of School Time website
CDC Out of School Time website

Data Quality Campaign’s Data + OST Partnership = Success Infographic
Communities In Schools
National Network of Partnership Schools
Connecting School and Afterschool: 15 Ways to Improve Partnership (PDF)
Wallace Foundation’s Strengthening Partnerships (PDF)
Creating Holistic Partnerships Between School and Afterschool