Afterschool Programs Prepare Youth for the 21st Century

Afterschool Issue Briefs for Advocacy & Messaging

Heading to the future

Asia Society convened a working group with the Statewide Afterschool Networks in Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Washington to create several issue briefs that make the case that afterschool programs prepare youth to fully participate in our increasingly interconnected society and global economy by providing opportunities that develop academic and 21st-century skills.

Each one-page issue brief focuses on a specific program area, such as workforce development or literacy. The issue briefs include a statement of need that explains why the program area is a necessity in afterschool programming and a summary of relevant research organized into a logical progression of talking points to explain how afterschool programs address those needs. Individual issue briefs may also include program examples, quotes, a call to action, recommendations, or resources.

While each issue brief was created for a specific audience and to address priority topics relevant to that individual statewide afterschool network, they can be adapted and utilized for a variety of purposes, audiences, and contexts. These issue briefs represent only a few of all possible content areas that afterschool programs can provide to prepare youth for college, career, and life in a global 21st century. These issue briefs come with a Creative Commons license, so others can freely use and adapt them for their specific purposes.

Ways to Use The Issue Briefs

  • Use all the issue briefs to create a packet that makes the case that afterschool programs prepare youth for the 21st century.
  • Use the issue briefs as internal documents for reference when crafting testimonials and speeches; writing program newsletters, funding proposals, tweets, op-eds, or draft bill language; preparing regional, network, or staff meeting agendas; developing panel questions or trainings; or as external documents for posting on websites and handing out at advocacy events or meetings with stakeholders.
  • Use the issues briefs (or adapted versions) when raising awareness about the need for afterschool programs generally or your program specifically, such as during advocacy days with policymakers; letter or call-in campaigns; site visits from legislators, potential school, business and community partners, funders, and parents.
  • Extract key data, research, talking points, and program examples from one or more issue brief into one new document relevant for local needs and contexts.
  • Adapt the issue briefs by adding additional research, talking points, program examples, “calls to action,” recommendations, and quotes from local afterschool champions, youth, or parents that highlight the need for and impact of afterschool programs in your context.
  • Use one or more issue brief as a model for organizing and branding your own issue brief focusing on a different program area or addressing a need relevant to your local context.

Issue Briefs in the Series

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Heather Loewecke

Asia Society
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New York, NY 10021

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