Toolkit for Expanded Learning: A YALS Overview

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young people learning while sitting at a tableDeveloped by leading members of Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS), Toolkit for Expanded Learning is, as the website says, “intended to provide resources for city agencies, school districts, intermediaries and other organizations interested in implementing or strengthening city-wide expanded learning opportunities….”

The Toolkit site is broken down into three different categories and a set of sub-categories. In each section there are downloadable resources aimed at giving users the skills and information needed in order to succeed in expanding learning in out-of-school-time settings. Categories covered include:

  • Building Strong Systems: this section includes materials that help to guarantee that learning can take place successfully. Within this framework resources are provided to support professional development, advocacy, and partnerships.
  • Engaging Today’s Students: this section includes materials that support digital learning and boosting STEM.
  • Expanded Learning Models: this section provides specific examples of out-of-school-time organizations that have succeeded in providing expanded learning opportunities for youth.

Library staff have a role to play in this out-of-school-time learning framework. The work staff are already doing with STEAM programming and makerspaces fits in perfectly. The Toolkit for Expanding Learning helps to extend what is already happening in the library’s informal out-of-school-time learning environment by providing information on how to obtain resources and support and specific examples of what works.

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