School & Community Partnerships

Partnerships toolkit guide thumbnail

Creating Afterschool Partnerships Toolkit!

This toolkit was developed by the Afterschool for Children and Teens Now (ACT Now) Coalition to support Illinois providers of afterschool and youth development programs in their efforts to collaborate with various stakeholders within their communities. ACT Now recognizes the importance of a communitywide investment in the positive development and well-being of youth and believes that developing partnerships is an effective way of creating community stake in youth success.

Archived Partnership Webinars and Resources

On this page, you will find resources and webinar recordings of trainings related to encouraging and forming partnerships with school districts and/or community partners to provide afterschool and youth development programming. NOTE: The titles of the webinars are either registration links or the webinar recordings themselves.

OST After ESSER Webinar Series

Sustainability Panel Discussion

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Partnership Sustainability

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Blending and Braiding Funding

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School Partnerships Webinar Series

The Scope of Afterschool

Designing Programming with a Needs Assessment and Asset Mapping

Connecting to Community Partners

Sustainability Planning for After ESSER Funding

Building Curricula and Activities

Programmatic Assessment and Evaluation

  • Navigating Rejection When Asking to Partner and Leverage ARP Funding:The Afterschool Alliance released a toolkit to help afterschool programs and community-based organizations (CBOs) navigate responses (no’s) and continue the conversation around partnership and sustainability of funding for youth development services.
  • ESSER Funds One-Pager: In response to the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government invested almost $8 billion in Illinois to mitigate learning loss and support social-emotional recovery. ACT Now’s ESSER One Pager explains how funding was distributed statewide and offers specific strategies school districts can use to invest their funds sustainably and effectively. This document is also linked with resources to support the field in their spend down.

Using Data to Design Afterschool Programs

ACT Now conducted a webinar for school administrators and leaders to help them identify what types of data should be collected, how data should be interpreted, and how to create concrete steps for development from that data. By the end of this webinar, attendees are able to begin data collection processes and understand how to quantitatively interpret results for program creation.

Connecting School Districts to Community Partners

This webinar is geared towards school administrators and leaders. This webinar will provide background information regarding ESSER III funding and requirements, the benefits of partnering with established community-based organizations, and best practices when developing community partnerships. Attendees of this webinar should expect to leave with knowledge of how to conduct a needs assessment, how to identify key community organizations based on student and family need, and how to establish effective outreach to organizations with the intention of partnering.

Creating Afterschool and Partnerships to Support Students Learning

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently announced that it will be awarding ESSER III afterschool and summer learning funding DIRECTLY to school districts. To review ISBE’s ESSER III allocations, click here. In response, along with the Illinois Principals Association, ACT Now hosted webinars for school administrators in order to encourage collaboration between schools and community-based organizations for afterschool and summer learning opportunities.