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 are 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 and 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. 

Key Activities

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 agencies to support districts, schools, and OST programs with adopting 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 policies and practices in OST that promote health and well-being among CDC-funded agencies, districts, schools, 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.  
  • CAHE-OST's TA has supported the rollout of the Tennessee Afterschool Pledge, led by the Tennessee Department of Education, which resulted in 76 OST program sites taking part in the pledge in its first year.

Learn More

Collaborative for Advancing Health Equity in Out-of-School Time
EDC Staff
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National AfterSchool Association