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.
Out-of-school time program leaders often do not have consistent access across the state to professional networks that expose them to other programs and connect them to mentors or coaches. In Central Iowa, the United Way of Central Iowa Out-of-School Time Initiative is doing just this. Through coaching and professional networking, afterschool and summer programs are improving the quality of services they provide to youth through a focus on program structure, frontline staff development, environment improvements, and intentional learning opportunities.
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance (IAA) seeks to expand this Central Iowa initiative and build a network of knowledgeable experts on out-of-school time across the states. These experts will then be able to mentor and coach start-up and existing programs to improve quality of programming to youth. A few programs are already participating in this Resource Network, but the IAA hopes to expand this model statewide by 2020. For more information about how to be involved with this initiative, please contact Crystal Hall at email@example.com or 515.237.0320.