Our ultimate vision at Dallas Afterschool is for every family to have access to the quality afterschool and summer programs they want for their children. We were formed in 2007 in response to the study “Today’s Children: Tomorrow’s Communities, 2006 After-School Program Assessment,” which found that there was no unifying agency to facilitate communication, learning or information exchange between afterschool care agencies in Dallas County.
We know that on average, low income students experience up to 6,000 fewer hours learning than their middle class peers, creating an overwhelming achievement gap that is difficult to close during traditional school hours alone. In a city with the highest level of childhood poverty of any community over 1 million people, we need quality afterschool programs to address this achievement and opportunity gap between the hours of 3-6pm.Working with afterschool staff members at over 125 sites throughout Dallas County, we assess, inform, support and improve programs serving K-12 grade students through our Program Quality Initiative, Research and Evaluation, and most recently, the After the Bell Alliance.
What We Do
Dallas Afterschool does not serve children directly. Instead, we inform, train, support and evaluate afterschool sites that serve low-income youth in our community. Our goal is to help local afterschool sites achieve national quality standards for the benefit of the children they serve.
Why We Do It
Research proves that only high quality afterschool programs create positive student outcomes. Students who attend low-quality or average-quality programs show no difference in academic, social or emotional outcomes than students who attend no program at all. (ChildTrends, August 2010.)
How We Do It
Our Program Quality Initiative defines a path for quality improvement by advancing sites from their current level of quality through a series of benchmarked increments (“tiers”) of quality performance, to eventually be in a position to achieve a Certificate of Program Quality. We provide myriad services to help afterschool and summer sites improve the quality of their staff and programs, including: AQuA, a web-based best practices tool; Quality Advisors to provide onsite staff coaching; training workshops; student curriculum; program supplies; and trained volunteers and AmeriCorps VISTA members.
Whom We Support
Our primary focus is free or low-cost sites serving low-income children in Dallas County. We currently support 140 afterschool sites that collectively serve more than 9,000 low-income K - 12th grade students. Afterschool or summer sites interested in working with us are invited to submit an Interest Form.
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Don't Let Afterschool be an Afterthought
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