Out-of-school time (OST) programs and schools across the country are facing critical challenges as they navigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people’s health and well-being. The combination of the pandemic and ongoing structural racism has resulted in widening health disparities among youth by race and ethnicity. Compounding these issues is historic and ongoing chronic health issues among youth, including obesity, diabetes, and food allergies.
To address these challenges, EDC, in partnership with the National AfterSchool Association (NAA), is leading the Collaborative for Advancing Health Equity in Out-of-School Time (CAHE-OST). Funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), CAHE-OST is working to improve the health and well-being of youth and staff in OST programs, with a focus on populations who are the most impacted by health disparities. To build the capacity of the field to address health equity challenges, CAHE-OST supports data-driven decision-making and the effective implementation of evidence-based policies and practices.
The project is carrying out the following activities:
- Leading an annual Advancing Health Equity in Out-of-School Time Virtual Institute to provide comprehensive professional development to OST leaders nationwide
- Facilitating communities of practices (CoP) for OST program leaders to support peer networking and foster the sharing of health equity best practices, policies, and strategies
- Providing intensive technical assistance (TA) to CDC-funded school districts to support OST programs, school decision-makers, and school leadership with accessing evidence-based health equity resources
- Convening in-person trainings at the NAA Convention to increase adoption of the NAA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) 2.0 Standards in OST programs
- Advancing OST programs’ use of the CDC’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model to promote young people’s well-being
- Curating and disseminating evidence-based health equity resources and tools
- CAHE-OST is increasing the use of evidence-based OST health policies and practices that promote health and emotional well-being among CDC-funded state education agencies, districts, and OST programs.
- CAHE-OST trainings are advancing the adoption and implementation of NAA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) 2.0 Standards among OST programs.
- Over five years, CAHE-OST will be providing intensive TA to 25 CDC-funded school districts.
National AfterSchool Association