Out-of-School Time (OST) programs provide quality services to school-aged youth through formal and structured opportunities. OST program goals and content can vary considerably, but most programs seek to engage youth and provide learning, enrichment, and leadership opportunities to support youth academic success and overall development. United Ways are positioned to be able to play a key role in the development, implementation, and sustainability of OST programs. In this toolkit, you will find a variety of resources and tools for your United Way to use to develop or strengthen OST efforts in your local communities.
The Engagement section discusses how United Ways can engage community members to develop shared aspirations for children and youth and can demonstrate the role OST plays in helping communities reach these goals. It provides insight into:
TheAdvocacy part of the toolkit goes into how your United Way can use your positioning your local community as well as data on the positive impact OST programs have on children and youth to advocate for OST support and improvement. It discusses:
The Coalitions section discusses how to United Ways can develop an OST coalition as an effective strategy for engaging institutions and individuals to create a shared vision for out-of-school time. This section includes:
The Quality part of the toolkit discusses the necessity for OST programs to not just exist, but to be held to quality standards, in order to truly have a positive impact on children and youth. The Quality section includes:
The Data section focuses on how United Ways can help ensure that out-of-school time strategies are based on research, and how to evaluate program results and strategically communicate an OST coalition's efforts to strengthen outcomes for OST program participants. This section includes:
The Action-Agenda portion of this toolkit explains how United Ways, working as part of broader coalitions, can use expert and public knowledge to develop a focused action agenda for out-of-school time. This section discusses:
The Funding section discusses how United Ways can add considerable expertise to the coalition's sustainability strategies and joint planning efforts by developing multi-year plans to raise funds from a diverse group of investors to support out-of-school time strategies. It includes:
The Research section explains the importance of your United Way staying updated on the latest research in the field so that you can articulate the relevance and the need for out-of-school time efforts to potential donors, coalition members, and key actors. This section includes:
The Toolssection provides a list of resources and tools that your organization can use to strengthen OST programs in your community. It is divided into the same sections as this Toolkit, and it includes only the resources that act as tools, not all of the research reports and program examples included in the Additional Resources and United Way Examples pages.
Have a resource you want to share? See something you've created fitting well in the Toolkit?
Email your Out-of-School Time reports, publications, best practices, case studies, blog articles, videos, media mentions, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you if we are featuring your resource in the OST Toolkit.