As we welcome a new year, I want to take a moment to share ten trends I see on the horizon for the afterschool field.

1. Afterschool programs will bring together creative learning endeavors as part of the “maker” movement.
2. There will be more opportunities for STEM instructional training for the afterschool workforce.
3. More afterschool programs will adopt the “badging” model for youth.
4. Afterschool programs will work to address the “digital opportunity gap”—a message we’ll hear from Jaime Casap at our annual convention.
5. There will be a growth in sports-based youth development programs.
6. Attention will be given to the role of afterschool programs in promoting the social and emotional skills necessary for success in school and life.
7. Implementation of the common core state standards will provide more opportunities for professional development and sharing among afterschool and school staff.
8. “Age three to grade three” initiatives will promote seamless learning and collaboration between the early childhood and school-aged field.
9. Afterschool programs will become major players in promoting and supporting efforts to gain college access.
10. NAA will be focusing on professionalizing the field of afterschool.
Click here to read more about these trends and what other programs are doing now in making these predictions a reality.

Thanks to all of you for the hard work you do every day to improve the lives of children! Here’s to a fantastic 2014!

National Afterschool Association. 10 Trends in Afterschool: 2014. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2014.

http://naaweb.org/tip-of-the-week/item/108-10-trends-in-afterschool-201