What We Do
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. Dallas Afterschool promotes, expands and improves afterschool and summer programs in low-income neighborhoods in our community through our Program Quality Initiative and most recently, the After the Bell Alliance.
Program Quality Initiative
Research indicates that quality afterschool programs can increase academic scores, social-emotional skills, and attendance in school, as well as reducing negative behaviors. Dallas Afterschool works with 30 different nonprofits and over 120 afterschool and summer program sites annually to provide coaching, training and resources through our Program Quality Initiative to ensure that programs are more likely to observe positive outcomes for students.
Throughout the Program Quality Initiative process, afterschool program sites work to address 116 national best practices for high quality out of school time programming alongside a Dallas Afterschool Quality Advisor. These best practices are grouped into 10 Elements that serve as the primary indicators of a high quality program. Sites that master all ten elements are recognized as “Certified” and considered High Quality by Dallas Afterschool.
After the Bell Alliance
Two of every five, or 40%, of children grow up in poverty in Dallas County. Currently, there is only enough free out of school time capacity to serve 4% of ALL children - so the vast majority of kids with the greatest need for academic and social/emotional support do not have access to quality afterschool care. Further, parents who desire to work and create a better life for their children are left to make a choice between full-time employment and the guarantee of safety for their children between the hours of 3-6pm. The After the Bell Alliance will address this systemic issue by advocating for systems change at the city, state, and federal levels to increase available capacity for children in under-resourced communities.