National Afterschool Matters Initiative

Practitioner Fellowship Overview

"It provided a professional environment for the first time where I was with like-minded individuals and provided an example of the kind of reflective community that could be created. It was great to hear other people's experiences. I still draw from the Fellowship and think back to that time."

-- Practitioner Fellow

Fellowship Offers Professional Development Support for Out-of-School Time Practitioners

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College and the National Writing Project (NWP), with generous funding support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, launched the National Afterschool Matters Initiative Practitioner Fellowship in September 2008.  The first two participating cities were Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Writing Project, and the San Francisco Bay Area through the Bay Area Writing Project. There will be fellowships in New York City and New Jersey in 2014-2015.  If interested learn more about your city by clicking on the appropriate link in the box to the right.

Traditionally, the Practitioner Fellowship Program is a professional development and leadership initiative for mid-level career out-of-school time professionals.  Participants in the Practitioner Fellowship are selected by application, and through a year-long process engage in activities that inform program quality and improve practice through reflection and inquiry.

Those selected for the Practitioner Fellowship:

  • Become part of a community of practitioners. Fellows work collaboratively to study effective practices and investigate the structures in which effective practice happens – at the program/classroom, activity, curriculum, and individual levels using their own programs as the objects of study.
  • Learn strategies to engage in program reflection and inquiry; Fellows learn approaches and strategies that will help them become better at program/classroom observation and analysis.
  • Improve programs and practice. Fellows identify and investigate effective instructional strategies and bring these strategies back to their classrooms and/or out-of-school time programs.
  • Engage in leadership activities. Fellows present their work to peers and administrators, parents and community members. They are encouraged to design and deliver workshops based on their work to share new expertise with others in the field.
  • Disseminate program/classroom improvement strategies. Fellows create products including briefing papers, events, curriculum, as well as articles for professional journals.


For more information contact: Kelley Cronin, (781) 283-2507 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">
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Employer approval must be obtained (see Memorandum of Understanding).  Please complete the Practitioner Fellowship application and return, along with the MOU, no later than the deadline on the applicationby e-mail, fax, or mail to:

Practitioner Fellowship Forms

2014-2015 application forms: