Building, Sustaining, & Improving: Using Federal Funds for Summer Learning and Afterschool

Published July 2022
by Sean Worley, Scott Palmer, Nathan Woods

High-quality summer and afterschool learning programs (“out-of-school time” or OST programs) play an important role in young people’s lives. They are even more important in 2022, when many educators are relying on them to help young people recover from learning time lost to COVID-19 and to promote well-being. This guide identifies opportunities within several federal funding streams which providers, districts, summer and afterschool intermediaries and municipal and state officials can tap to cover program costs, plan for the future and develop infrastructure to execute their plans.

The guide groups funding streams under three broad headings:

  • Creating and Sustaining Equitable Conditions for Learning
  • Preparing for Program Delivery
  • Building and Aligning Ecosystems of Support

Within those categories, the guide identifies funding streams for seven elements that emerged from a review of research and conversations with national and local out-of-school time leaders. These elements include:

  • Safe and Supportive Environments
  • Relevant, Rigorous and Engaging Opportunities
  • Planning, Communication and Retention Infrastructures
  • Physical Infrastructures
  • Human Capital
  • Systems of Continuous Improvement
  • Strategic Partnerships

The guide is not intended to be a comprehensive list of federal funding opportunities, nor does it provide legal advice to providers, districts, and city leaders. A webinar describing the new guide is available here.