Scholars and trainers from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) have been leaders in defining, shaping, and promoting out-of-school time (OST) quality for all. Here are examples of our impact in the field.

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From Summer Learning Loss to Summer Learning Opportunities

June 19, 2019

Students and robotSummer learning loss, the idea that during the summer, students forget months of what they learn during the school year, with low-income students falling even further behind--has for many years been a driving force behind the implementation of comprehensive summer learning programs that blend academic and enrichment learning experiences.

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Come Work for NIOST

May 14, 2019

joinourteamUPDATE: This position has been filled as of June 10, 2019.

NIOST is hiring! We're seeking a training associate to join our team at Wellesley College and help us increase quality for all in out-of-school time!

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NIOST's Ellen Gannett Honored by National AfterSchool Association for Lifetime of Leadership

April 17, 2019

Ellen Gannett, NIOST senior strategist and former director, was recently honored for her decades of leadership in the field of out-of-school time. Watch highlights of what some of her colleagues had to say about her--and what she herself said about her many years in the field--during the special Celebration of Leadership Reception at the National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention in New York City, March 18, 2019.

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National Afterschool Matters Fellowship Applications Now Open

February 14, 2019

Out-of-school-time (OST), education, and youth development professionals in mid-career are invited to apply for the National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship, a one-year leadership development program that better positions them to inform and contribute to the quality of OST programs, practice, and the broader field.

NASM retreat Sept 2018

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Gratitude and Out-of-School Time

December 19, 2018

snowflake hangingThis is a season of giving and gratitude, so here are some of the things we’re grateful for in out-of-school time (OST) – and a reminder of how much of an impact gratitude can have in OST and in the lives of children and youth.

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Call for Papers on Creative Youth Development in Afterschool Education

December 12, 2018

Afterschool Matters - Call for PapersWe are seeking articles for future issues of Afterschool Matters, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in afterschool education. Published by the National Institute on Out-of-School-Time (NIOST) with legacy support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, Afterschool Matters serves practitioners who work with youth in out-of-school time (OST) programs, as well as researchers and policymakers in youth development.

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Fun and Easy Fruit and Veggie Ideas for Healthy Kids

September 20, 2018

boy eating appleSeptember is Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month. As a co-founder of the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition (HOST), NIOST helped develop the developed the National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards that recommend a fruit or vegetable at every snack or meal. We’re therefore pleased to share these fun fruit and veggie ideas from NIOST Research Associate Elizabeth Starr, who’s tested them all with her own kids!

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How Out-of-School Supports Back-to-School

August 29, 2018

kids reading outsideAs children around the U.S. head back to school, we're highlighting a few articles from Afterschool Matters that show the strong connection between out-of-school-time programs and in-school (and in-life) success.

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Quality Summer Learning in Action: It All Adds Up

August 24, 2018

Math on chalkboardBy Judy Chin, NIOST Project Assistant

It is 8:30am on a Wednesday morning, an hour into this pre-calculus summer preparatory class. There is a buzz and excitement going on inside this particular classroom that can be heard from the other side of the door. Not the behavior I was expecting from rising 11th and 12th graders this early on a summer morning in late July as I visit  this program as part of their continuous quality improvement process.

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Eliminating Cultural Biases in Pursuit of High-Quality Education

August 22, 2018

child arm drawingHow can we ensure that students have high-quality learning experiences during afterschool programs? We check the data, of course. To make this possible, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time co-developed the APT (Assessment of Program Practices Tool) -- a self-assessment observation tool that afterschool programs can use to identify where their program stacks up when it comes to organization, learning, skill building, and other key aspects that are tied to positive youth outcomes. But developing the tool was just the first step.

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NIOST recognized for its Research & Evaluation influence

June 26, 2018

NAAAnnouncementThe National AfterSchool Association (NAA), the lead organization for the advancement of the afterschool professional, has selected the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) as one of NAA’s 2018 Most Influential in Research and Evaluation. Honorees are distinguished for their contributions to research and evaluation on youth and adolescent development.

“NIOST has been a leader in defining, shaping, and promoting out-of-school time as a distinct professional field with evidence-based quality standards for 39 years,” said Georgia Hall, director of NIOST. “We have had the pleasure of not only conducting large and investigator-initiated research, we’ve partnered with on-the-ground program staff to help them measure quality outcomes for all, assess the effectiveness of policies and practices, benchmark against best practices, and develop in-house evaluation skills. We’re proud of this work and the recognition by the National AfterSchool Association.”

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The Lessons We Should Learn from Settlement Houses

June 21, 2018

boy bugjar iStock 460053735Georgia Hall contributed an article to the Women Change Worlds blog on June 21, 2018. She wrote:

"As a country we seem to be moving far away from the nurturing and sustaining activity of the settlement houses of our past. The first settlement house, established in New York City’s Lower East Side – Neighborhood Guild – was founded by Stanton Coit, and just a few years later came Hull House in Chicago, materializing through the passionate vision of Jane Addams.

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Create Fun Summer Learning Experiences for Youth

June 13, 2018

boy bugjar iStock 460053735Summer isn’t just about basketball hoops, sprinkler parks, and popsicles. It’s an ideal time to help adolescents and children catch up on building their reading, writing, and math skills.

“Summer experiences and out-of-school time should be embraced as opportunities to not only help put children on more equal footing when they return to the classroom, but to empower youth so that they return with improved self-esteem and have more positive experiences within the school community,” reports Georgia Hall, Ph.D., director and senior research scientist of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST).

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Promoting Equitable STEM Learning in Out-of-School Time

May 31, 2018

Science students with robotNIOST applauds the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) for its new Afterschool Tech Toolkit, which aims to help integrate technology in afterschool programs and to ensure equitable access to digital learning opportunities, especially in underserved communities. Research in NIOST's Afterschool Matters journal has long shown the importance of out-of-school-time (OST) programs in promoting technology and STEM learning, and offers further ideas for effective, equitable programming.

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March Madness and Women's Collegiate Sports

March 29, 2018

basketball netThis coming weekend is March Madness, the collegiate basketball championships, a good time to consider the social, policy, and bureaucratic issues that affect women in NCAA basketball. Watch researchers from NIOST and colleagues from the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and Wellesley College, discuss wins, losses, and fouls in a recent lunchtime seminar.

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Black Panther and Making a Difference in STEM Learning

March 1, 2018

ASM Spring2017 600In the hit movie Black Panther, the fictional Wakandans of Africa establish a center in Oakland, California, to be run by two women, one of whom is a scientific genius responsible in large part for the Wakandans' technological advancements. One might assume that STEM learning, particularly for girls, will form a big part of the program at the center. In real-life Oakland, however, the afterschool STEM program Techbridge is already having a positive impact on girls' lives through equity-oriented "making" activities, as this article from a recent Afterschool Matters journal shows.

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Editor Shares Perspectives

October 1, 2017

ASM news samples2ASM Journal Editor Georgia Hall is reminded by the newest cohort of NASM Fellows of how much OST practitioners have in common.

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Fall 2016 Afterschool Matters Journal Available

October 10, 2016


The Contributors to the Fall 2016 issue of Afterschool Matters share strategies for making a lasting impact on the field: by validating instruments that measure program quality, by creating infrastructure to support learning in specialized areas, by training OST staff in professional learning communities, and by developing school-afterschool partnerships that can foster shared vision.

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Innovative Research Findings Help Meet Diverse Needs of Afterschool Programming

January 5, 2016

December 11, 2015

WELLESLEY, MA – The newest edition of Afterschool Matters, the national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in the field of afterschool education, is focused on inventive programs that aim to engage youth and improve afterschool offerings to ultimately build better futures for young people and support their positive development.

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NIOST to Partner on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment

November 2, 2015

November 2015
WELLESLEY, Mass. - The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) has been selected as a partner to work with the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to guide the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE). Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care (OCC) under the U.S. Department of Health Human Services, EDC will receive $10 million over five years to ensure that low-income school-age children have increased access to high-quality afterschool and summer learning experiences that contribute to their overall development and academic achievement through NCASE.

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National Afterschool Matters Fellowship Launched

October 22, 2015



October 2015 WELLESLEY, MA - The National Afterschool Matters Fellowship (NASM) launched this fall, bringing together 23 passionate and dedicated out-of-school-time (OST) and youth development professionals who, over two years, will engage in reflection, inquiry, and writing activities that position them to inform and contribute to the quality of programs, practice, and the broader field.

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Director Ellen Gannett to speak at National Conference on Summer Learning

October 1, 2013

The conference features 35 workshops focused on systems-building, knowledge and strategies for program managers, and innovative instructional approaches. Session topics will include: early learning, healthy summers, building and scaling summer learning systems, the latest research on program quality, connected learning, and meeting the socio-emotional as well as academic needs of middle school students. 

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Pennsylvania Master Trainers

September 25, 2013

resized-trainersNIOST trained 7 Master Trainers in the After-School Quality (ASQ) process of program improvement to build capacity across Pennsylvania as part if their Continuous Quality Improvement efforts. The training took place in Harrisburg and Grove City (East and West, PA) Sept 16-19.

Core Competencies

April 8, 2013


Wallace Foundation Releases Core Competencies

"The Wallace Foundation has made available the Strong Directors/Skilled Staff: Guide to Using the Core Competencies that NIOST put together for the New York Department of Youth and Community Development. This handbook outlines key skills - "core competencies" - needed by after-school program directors and those they supervise. It also offers guidance and tools on how to develop the skills, including questionnaires that managers and youth workers can use to determine their strengths and weaknesses." Read more here.


Afterschool Matters: An NYCWP Fellowship for Out-of-School Practitioners

October 17, 2012


nycwpTwenty-seven educators, program administrators and funders came together on September 14, 2012 to begin a year-long journey of exploring their practice and contributing to the growth of knowledge about the field of youth development. To read more about the kickoff of the National Afterschool Matters Fellowship Program (NASMFP) in New York City, click here.





NIOST Analyzes Youth Data for United Way and Lynn Public Schools

December 1, 2011

The Lynn Youth Survey is part of United Way's Community By Community initiative to engage and mobilize residents to pin point and address shared concerns. The survey was developed collaboratively with more than two dozen youth and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College analyzed the data collected. United Way will present the results at a community meeting in Lynn.

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Finding the Right Tool to Measure Outcomes in OST Programs

November 30, 2011



The Forum for Youth Investment, a non-profit, non-partisan action tank, has released a review of youth outcome tools. According to the Forum for Youth Investment, "Everyone who runs a youth program believes in their hearts that their program helps kids - but in their heads, they know they need convincing data to prove it. A new guide from the Forum for Youth Investment - From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes - is here to help them get the data they need.

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    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
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