Citywide Afterschool System Building

Over the last decade, we have seen a fundamental shift in cities’ approach to afterschool programming, moving from management and funding of isolated programs toward in-depth coordination among city, school and nonprofit providers. As a result, we have seen concrete gains in academic outcomes and public safety.

The five components of system building include:

  • Mayoral Leadership
  • Commitment to Quality
  • Expanding Participation
  • Reliable Information
  • Multi-year Planning
  • Coordinating Entity

Each of these building blocks are critical to building a high quality and sustainable afterschool system. For more information on each of these building blocks please see our Municipal Leadership for Afterschool report.

As part of the National League of Cities afterschool system building work, we published a toolkit on building management information systems (MIS) as a resource to cities who are working to increase their data capacity. As an accompaniment to this report, we also created an online cost calculator designed to give cities a non-binding cost estimate on an MIS given certain desired parameters.

Fragmentation to Integration
Image credit: The Wallace Foundation

View a recent video from the Wallace Foundation's Better Together 2013 conference highlighting the importance of afterschool systems for the well-being of children. The conversation opened a conference on afterschool system-building that drew teams from 57 cities to Baltimore in February, 2013. This video features Will Miller, President of The Wallace Foundation, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, MD.

More resources from The Wallace Foundation »

An overview of the Nashville After Zone Alliance's partnership with Nashville Public Library.

Next Generation Afterschool System Building Initiative

In 2011, the Wallace Foundation invested in nine cities (Baltimore, Denver, Fort Worth, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia, Saint Paul) to expand their afterschool system building efforts. The cities are working to make high-quality after-school programs available to more children and teens by more formally knitting-together the municipal agencies, schools, nonprofit youth programs and other institutions vital to providing these services.