Center for Collaborative Solutions

Based on the 14 Exemplary Practices detailed in
A Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Afterschool Programs

By Andria Fletcher Ph.D., CCS, and Sam Piha, L.C.S.W. with Reba Rose, M.A., CNYD

In an era of high stakes school reform and comprehensive budget cuts, the purpose and potential of afterschool programs are being redefined. Programs are increasingly expected to provide children and young people with a safe, positive learning environment—and do much more. Although there are differences that reflect local needs and interests, we’ve learned that high quality, sustainable programs share several things in common and that these provide vital keys to success.

Over the past several years, our nationally acclaimed teams have helped more than 3,000 school-based and school-linked programs become increasingly successful. Based on what we’ve learned, we have created an approach that enables organizations to effectively support the development of high quality, sustainable programs – with results that are well-documented and exciting – and clearly replicable in diverse environments.

Our approach goes beyond training and workshops to building the capacity of programs to move from promising to exemplary levels and has supported the development of outstanding programs, led to millions of dollars in new revenue for cities and resulted in positive changes in the lives of tens of thousands of children, young people and their families. Our approach includes:

  • Creating learning communities within and among programs that expand and deepen understanding of exemplary practices in afterschool program development – meeting regularly over a nine-month period.
  • Translating exemplary practices into strategies and activities that can be fully integrated into their programs.
  • Facilitating a process of self-assessment followed by action-planning to guide program improvement efforts.
  • Supporting the implementation of action plans through coaching, mentorship and related forms of guide-by-the-side support, including distance learning strategies, and
  • Ensuring that leadership teams acquire the knowledge, tools and confidence they need to become highly skilled in measuring and managing their progress along the way.

As a member of a Learning Community, you’ll gain a much greater understanding of what exemplary practices really mean, why they are so vital to your program’s success and how you can implement them. The framework we’ve developed is based on years of practical, hands-on experience and rooted in reality – it works!

Because one of the greatest challenges programs face is transforming ideas into everyday operations, on-site coaching and mentorship support are provided to you and your staff over the course of the nine month period. Members of our team also stay in close contact through telephone conversations, e-mail communications and e-coaching systems.

Capacity building takes time and is well worth the effort! We’re committed to providing you with the best possible support in a way that offers the highest level of assurance that a strong foundation for achieving the results you want are realized. Our approach is comprehensive, strategic and intentional. It has strengthened the capacity of programs to become exemplary in a powerful and cost-effective way – and it can do the same for you!

Learning Community Packages are tailored to meet the specific interests of participating programs and vary in cost. For more information, please contact CCS. To learn more about the Guide, which the Learning Community Packages are based on, and how to order it, please download the Guide Flyer—Order Form (PDF) or contact CCS.