Center for Collaborative Solutions

In 2007, the Center for Collaborative Solutions published its second Exemplary Practices guide for afterschool programs:  Developing Exemplary Practices in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Food Security in Afterschool Programs (PDF). This guide is designed to assist afterschool program leaders and their partners help children and their families (as well as afterschool staff) make healthy choices, change their environments and combat the obesity epidemic facing our children and youth today in a systematic and effective way.

This guide outlines six exemplary practices and indicator rubrics that programs can use to assess how they are doing in each of the six practice areas and to help them focus their attention on the areas they want to improve. The indicators also help programs measure their improvement over time. The practices include:

  • Creating a powerful vision that motivates programs to act more intentionally;
  • Integrating nutrition and physical activity with youth development principles;
  • Providing exciting and meaningful learning experiences that integrate nutrition and physical activity into core activities;
  • Working closely with the community, families and the school as full partners;
  • Improving food security (addressing hunger and inadequate nutrition); and
  • Developing diversified funding to sustain a quality program over time.

The six practices were developed by CCS after initial research, focus group discussions, and consultation with a statewide stakeholder advisory group of nutrition, physical activity, afterschool, education and other experts. Then a learning community of 11 afterschool programs, selected for their strong nutrition and physical activity focus, used the practices. Representatives from these afterschool programs have been meeting together over the past three years to strengthen their programs by learning from each other and other experts in the field. The meetings also provided an opportunity to revise and improve the exemplary practices. With their input and the feedback from the stakeholder advisory group, CCS finalized the guide, which is now posted on this website and can be downloaded in its entirety. Our stakeholder advisory group continues to advise us on this project.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the new Exemplary Practices Guide, please contact Kathy B. Lewis at CCS ( or [916] 567-9911).