A New Chapter in NIOST’s 10-Yr Partnership with WY Afterschool Alliance
October 23, 2020
A 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.”