A New Chapter in NIOST’s 10-Yr Partnership with WY Afterschool Alliance

October 23, 2020

Measure Use ImproveA chapter in the new book Measure, Use, Improve! Data Use in Out-of-School Time is authored by leaders in system building at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST). The chapter chronicles how NIOST partnered with the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, the first frontier statewide afterschool network in the C.S. Mott 50 State Afterschool Network, to tackle the isolation experienced by out-of-school time (OST) program staff in Wyoming and build an OST quality improvement framework from the ground up.

“This chapter describes the lessons we learned in developing Wyoming’s quality support system over the last 10 years,” said Kathy Schleyer, NIOST director of training and quality improvement, who wrote the chapter along with Linda Barton, founder and former director of the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, and Ellen Gannett, senior strategist at NIOST. “When the work began a decade ago, structures and supports for quality improvement were minimal. Now, local and statewide capacity has been built to support a fully developed quality improvement system. It’s a major achievement that we were proud to be a part of, and we’re thrilled to be able to share what we learned -- including specific recommendations for frontier and rural communities.”


Measure, Use, Improve! shares the experience and wisdom from a broad cross-section of OST professionals, ranging from internal evaluators, to funders, to researchers, to policy advocates. The book’s chapters touch on a range of topics, including how to build support for learning and evaluation within OST programs, creating and sustaining continuous quality improvement efforts, authentically engaging young people in evaluation, and securing funder support for learning and evaluation.


The book makes the case for investing in building systems of evaluation and continuous quality improvement to deepen the impact of OST programs. Its authors share conceptual frameworks that have helped inform their thinking, walk through practical examples of how data in OST has strengthened their organizations, and offer advice to colleagues. Published by Information Age Publishing, Measure, Use, Improve! is part of a series focused on current issues in OST. It is available for purchase here.


“We’re excited to be a part of this book, which brings together so much hard-earned knowledge from the OST field,” said Gannett. “Our hope is that the book can serve as a roadmap for others who are just starting down the path we’ve walked so many times.”


    "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

niost logo white

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

Directions to NIOST

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to use our site, or clicking "Continue", you are agreeing to our privacy policy.
Continue Privacy Policy