Literacy is more than reading and writing. It also includes speaking and listening. These communication skills are necessary for students to succeed in school and life. Out of school time programs are an excellent informal setting where students can further develop and gain confidence in their literacy skills.

Key Elements for Afterschool Literacy Planning

According to the SEDL (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) National Center for Quality Afterschool, literacy activities benefit students most when staff:

  • Target texts and integrate skills
  • Identify standards*
  • Assess needs and define goals
  • Incorporate real-world activities
  • Consider student choice, grade, age, and skills
  • Assess student progress
  • Provide ongoing staff training


*SC English Language Arts standards


Help your students become confident readers, make reading fun and an elective activity. We recommend these quick and easy ways to integrate literacy in your program:

  • Read out loud during snack time
  • Have “soft areas” in the classroom
  • Offer various books, magazines, and electronic readers

Literacy Resources

English Language Learners

First Book

Literacy Toolkit created by You for Youth

Reading Guide created by SC Education Oversight Committee

Read Write Think: Afterschool grade level specific resources
Reading is Fundamental
SC Center for Childrens Books and Literacy
SC State Council International Reading Assoc (grant opportunities)

Ultimate Guide to Reading Comprehension


Research Resources

Writing a grant seeking financial assistance? There are many research papers proving how incorporation of literacy into out of school time programs positively impacts youth.  Below are resources, with data, to include in grant writing:


Literacy in Afterschool Programs: Literature Review discusses evidence from studies that identify successful literacy practices and outcomes in afterschool programs.


English Language Learners: Literature Review discusses evidence from studies that identify promising practices for improving the English literacy of children with other home languages.




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Join The Network

We compiled resources including research, funding opportunities, activities, and more! All of which we hope will be useful to out of school time stakeholders.

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