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Our Work

By advocating for policies that strengthen afterschool programming and helping local programs build their capacity to provide high-quality activities and experiences to youth, the Iowa Afterschool Alliance supports afterschool programs at both a systemic and individual level.

Our Work

To fulfill our mission, the IAA works with supporters and program providers to advocate for afterschool-friendly policies, develop strong partnerships locally and statewide, and improve programming at the point-of-service. 


Some major activities of the IAA include:

  • Development of a Resource Network statewide to assist programs to improve access and quality through training, technical assistance, and mentoring.

  • Support of the Iowa 21stCentury Community Learning Centers Grantee Network.

  • Coordination of technical assistance provided by three OST enrichment coaches in Central Iowa. 

  • Administration of the Summer Ladders AmeriCorps Program that places members in summer programs across the state to improve quality of activities and mitigate summer learning loss among our most disadvantaged youth.

  • Provision of professional development statewide on topics such as social-emotional learning, STEM, literacy, and advocacy. 

OST in Iowa 

Before school, after school, and summer learning programs support working families by filling the gap between work and school schedules, providing additional learning opportunities for youth beyond the classroom, and keeping kids safe. Despite these advantages and the demonstrated improvements that afterschool can have on student success, the demand for programs far exceeds what is available in Iowa.

  • 45,629 children and teens participate in afterschool programs across the state.

  • 195,758 youth in Iowa would participate in an afterschool program if one were available.

  • 25% of Iowa’s youth are alone and unsupervised between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance exists to increase access to high-quality afterschool programs and reduce this deficit between the number of programs offered and the number of youth who want to participate. The IAA works towards this goal by identifying the programs that exist in Iowa, providing guidance on improving program quality, supporting the afterschool workforce, and helping launch new programs.​

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