Municipal Leadership for Afterschool: Citywide Approaches Spreading Across the Country

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Municipal Leadership for Afterschool: Citywide Approaches Spreading Across the Country

About the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families

The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) is a special entity within the National League of Cities (NLC).

NLC is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal government throughout the United States. Its mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance.

The YEF Institute helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities. NLC launched the YEF Institute in January 2000 in recognition of the unique and influential roles that mayors, city councilmembers, and other local leaders play in strengthening families and improving outcomes for children and youth. Through the YEF Institute, municipal officials and other community leaders have direct access to a broad array of strategies and tools, including:

  • Action kits that offer a menu of practical steps that officials can take to address key problems or challenges.
  • Technical assistance projects in selected communities.
  • Peer networks and learning communities focused on specific program areas.
  • The National Summit on Your City's Families and other workshops, training sessions, and crosssite meetings.
  • Targeted research and periodic surveys of local officials.
  • The YEF Institute's website, audioconferences, and e-mail listservs.

To learn more about these tools and other aspects of the YEF Institute's work, go to​.

About The Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its three current objectives are: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement; enhancing out-of-school learning opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts. More information and research on these and other related topics can be found at


This research report was made possible by the generous support and assistance of The Wallace Foundation. In particular, we would like to thank Dara Rose and Lucas Held for serving as thought partners throughout the process of preparing the report and for providing us with helpful comments and advice.

Bela Shah Spooner, principal associate at NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute), served as the primary author of this report. Lane Russell, associate for afterschool at the YEF Institute, and Kalisha Davis, a 2010-11 National Urban Fellow at NLC, conducted extensive research and preparation of the city profiles in the report's appendix. Audrey M. Hutchinson, the Institute's program director for education and afterschool initiatives, provided guidance and oversight to the development of the report and Clifford M. Johnson, the Institute's executive director, provided overall editorial direction. Katie Meade and Meeta Sharma-Holt helped finalize the city profiles. H.J. Cummins provided useful editorial comments, and Michael Karpman provided additional editorial support. Gamble Graphics was responsible for the report's design and layout.

NLC would like to acknowledge the mayors and other elected officials representing the 27 cities featured in this report for their leadership in building citywide systems that expand access to high-quality outof-school time opportunities for children and youth. We would also like to thank the municipal staff and other local partners in these communities who contributed to this report by participating in surveys and in-depth interviews and who have made tireless efforts to improve outcomes for young people in their cities.

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