Weaving social-emotional tools into classroom lessons and activities may help to support students both emotionally and academically as the 2021-22 school year begins, helping them better absorb and process the learning taking place in the classroom. These tools can be woven into lessons across the board, from health and wellness to art.

Across the country, schools have been teaming up with community-based afterschool and summer program providers to support students during the pandemic. With new support from the American Rescue Plan, schools have an opportunity to leverage support from afterschool and summer programs to help students reengage, reconnect, and recover. Learn more about how you can take action today to make the most of this opportunity.

The guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial bring a sense of relief and justice for many across the nation. In this moment of racial reckoning, the Chauvin verdicts must not stop the quest for racial justice. Four actions for educators to take: 1) discuss the George Floyd murder and the Chauvin trial in your classrooms, 2) talk about race meaningfully, 3) lead as an education leader, and 4) recognize that silence is complicity.

The lack of systemic support at city and state levels has come at a great cost. According to a November survey by Afterschool Alliance, the number of students with access to afterschool programs had been cut in half since the start of the pandemic. Of those who do take part in such programs, children from more affluent families are more likely to be enrolled in programs that are operating in person than are their lower-income peers, whose participation tends to be limited to online models.

For the next five years, Raytheon Technologies, which specializes in aerospace and defense, will contribute nearly $8 million to support scholarships, internships and mentoring for high school students of color participating in the Kapor Center’s SMASH (Summer Math and Science Honor Academy) program. Raytheon will also provide 10 SMASH students each year with $40,000 engineering and computer science scholarships for college.

This brief synthesizes findings from nearly two dozen evaluations, — including randomized and quasi-experimental studies — that demonstrate the evidence base behind afterschool and summer programs.

Support academic growth and engagement in learning, foster key foundational skills and boost student well-being, and set young people up to thrive post high school — just a small sampling of evaluations that highlights the range of ways in which afterschool and summer programs are essential to help students reengage in learning and emerge from the pandemic strong, resilient, and hopeful.

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