Ellen Gannett Named One of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Afterschool by National AfterSchool Association

March 19, 2014

“As nominations poured in from NAA members around the country, we focused our selection on those leaders whose service, research, and action influence and impact large numbers of children and families,” said Gina Warner, NAA executive director. “In so doing, these leaders bring positive attention and investment to the field of afterschool.”

A national action/research project, NIOST has provided research, evaluation, technical assistance, consultation, and specialized training on afterschool and youth development throughout the United States since 1979. As NIOST’s director, Gannett ensures that research bridges the fields of child care, education, and youth development in order to promote programming that addresses the whole child.

“I believe the most successful afterschool and out-of-school time programs pay careful attention to the developmental needs of youth, to the personal safety of all in their environments, and to the caring adults who listen and provide opportunities for young people to thrive,” says Gannett. “Such programs have greater outcomes for everyone—their youth, their employees, their communities.”

Gannett’s work ranges from system building for afterschool and youth development to professional development to creating evaluation systems. She started her work in the afterschool field four decades ago as a Teacher-Director of a school based afterschool program where she worked for over seven years. Celebrating her 33rd year with NIOST, she has advanced in the organization from Training Director, Associate Director, Co-Director and has been the Director for the past seven years. A national speaker and trainer, she has conducted hundreds of seminars and advised policy makers and practitioners throughout the country and internationally and has been featured in numerous media stories and co-authored several NIOST publications.

"Ellen's passion for the advancement of the out-of-school-time field is clearly demonstrated in everything she does at NIOST," notes Layli Maparyan, Ph.D., WCW Executive Director. "She ensures that children, youth, and families have access to high quality programs, activities, and opportunities, and that youth workers and program administrators have essential and valuable professional development opportunities. We are grateful for her leadership and advocacy, and we applaud this recognition."

NAA is the membership association for professionals who work with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours. Members include afterschool program directors, coordinators, sponsors, front-line staff, school leaders, principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, board of education members, nonprofit leaders, advocates, community leaders, policymakers, researchers, and more. The award recipients will be introduced in a special edition of AfterSchool Today magazine, this spring.

Work at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time bridges the worlds of research and practice by providing evaluations, consultation, and training to create innovative and effective solutions to out-of-school-time needs on a local, state, regional, and national basis. Work at the Wellesley Centers for Women addresses three major areas: the social and economic status of women and girls and the advancement of their human rights both in the United States and around the globe; the education, care, and development of children and youth; and the emotional wellbeing of families and individuals. 

Tags: ,


    "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