use the power of an ost coalition to take action
On behalf of your position as both an individual United Way and an integral part of a coalition, you can play a key role in strengthening Out-of-School Time systems. Some specific actions your United Way can take include:
- Lead the development of a shared vision for Out-of-School Time in the community.
- Use a shared vision as a basis to develop a concrete Out-of-School Time action plan that outlines the strategies and actions your group will undertake to reach shared goals and that states how you will hold yourselves and each other accountable.
- Improve local program quality at scale by: creating and jointly implementing program standards; identifying and/or developing professional development opportunities for staff to participate in across multiple funding streams; disseminating best practices; and investing in program improvement initiatives.
- Create an effective evaluation system by investing in a coalition-wide evaluation that will alleviate the burden of program evaluations which are typically costly and time-consuming. This will allow the focus of the assessment to remain on the concrete outcomes and the impact on young people, not just on the program itself.
- Map the availability of existing programs and identify gaps in opportunities.
- Build public awareness and demand for high-quality Out-of-School Time.
- Jointly advocate for sustained or increased, federal, state & local investments in high-quality Out-of-School Time.
- Establish data sharing agreements between programs and with local schools; create shared data portals to facilitate data collection efforts.
- Work on alignment and coordination across programs, such as through establishing more effective lines for intra-organizational communication.