The mission of Dallas Afterschool is to improve the quality and availability of afterschool and summer programs in our community.
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 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.) Our local research with Southern Methodist University has shown that children in Dallas Afterschool programs have much higher standardized test scores in reading and math in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th grade.
How We Do It
Our Program Quality Initiative defines a path for quality improvement by advancing sites from their current level of quality to the highest level of nationally recognized excellence against 116 research-based best practices. Programs that show mastery in all of these 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 180 afterschool sites that collectively serve more than 14,000 low-income K - 12th grade students. Afterschool or summer sites interested in working with us are invited to submit an Interest Form.