ACTIONS UNITED WAYS CAN TAKE
What Actions Can UNITED WAYS, AS PART OF Coalitions, Take to StrengTHen OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME Systems?
- Lead the development of a shared vision for out-of-school time in the community.
- Use a shared vision as a basis to develop a concrete out-of-school time action plan that outlines the strategies and actions the group will undertake to reach shared goals, and how you will hold yourselves and each other accountable.
- Improve local program quality at scale by: creating and jointly implementing program standards; identifying and/or developing professional development opportunities for staff to participate in across multiple funding streams; disseminating best practices; and investing in program improvement initiatives.
- Build public awareness and demand for high-quality out-of-school time.
- Establish data sharing agreements between programs and with local schools; create shared data portals to facilitate data collection efforts (see also “Using Data to Support and Strengthen Out-of-School Time Initiatives”).
- Map the availability of existing programs and identify gaps in opportunities.
- Work on alignment and coordination across programs.
- Jointly advocate for sustained or increased, federal, state and local investments in high-quality out-of-school time.
- Focus firmly on outcomes and document results - it is not about the programs – but the impact they have on young people. Program evaluations are costly and time-consuming, so coalitions can alleviate this burden on individual programs by investing in a common evaluation.