DC Out-of-School Time Coalition

DC OST Coalition

DC Out-of-School Time Coalition

The DC Out-of-School Time Coalition advocates for access to high quality learning opportunities beyond the school day that prepares DC’s youth for success in education, careers and life.

Who we are

The OST community is broad and diverse, serving and supporting students across the District and employing educators who work tirelessly to ensure that all of our young people succeed. 

According to FY2019 numbers, 21st Century Community Learning Centers in the District served 9,078 young people– 5,087 through DCPS. In FY2020, Learn 24 awarded 103 grants to programs that served 7,338 young people during the school year and 9,107 during the summer. And, hundreds more are privately funded. 

Our expertise is in strengthening the Expanded Learning field – the afterschool and out-of-school-time programs that engage young people in high quality enrichment, academic support, and social-emotional development. We serve a critical role in protecting and advancing an equitable expanded learning system essential for closing the opportunity gap.

Why OST Matters

Children and youth spend only 20 percent of their waking hours in school. How they spend the remaining 80 percent of time has a profound impact on their growth and development. A growing body of research shows that high-quality expanded learning programs are linked to positive academic and social emotional youth outcomes, including:

  • improved attendance and grades
  • increased engagement, motivation, growth mindset, and cooperation
  • the development of career pathway skills

Get Involved

OST Coalition members

Featured Resources

Testimony of Ryllie Danylko, Policy Analyst, DC Action Committee of the Whole Hearing on Out of School Time and B25-0036 - Out of School Time Special Education Inclusion and Standards Amendment Act of 2023

NEWS RELEASE: Youth and Advocates Call on DC Council to Fully Fund Afterschool and Youth Homeless Services Programs

Youth homelessness in the District has increased by at least 15% this year, with four out of five young people experiencing homelessness because they are fleeing domestic violence. And the number of unhoused youth is likely vastly undercounted because couch-surfing  young people are unlikely to count themselves as homeless on public surveys. At the same time, concern about youth involved in crime–particularly gun violence–is high.  Mounting mental health crises and declining school performance–both of which were exacerbated by the pandemic–continue to contribute to bleak outcomes for young people. 

OST Budget Toolkit 2023

Check out DC Action’s testimony guide for information on who should testify, preparing your testimony (including a template), and how to follow the hearing.

Committee of the Whole Budget Oversight Hearing Testimony for Education Agencies, April 2023

NEWS RELEASE: Most District of Columbia Parents Say Afterschool Programs Provide the Social, Developmental, Mental Health Supports Many Students Need Now

“Here in the District of Columbia, afterschool programs have been stepping up to meet the challenges students and families are facing by checking in with students, taking students on virtual and actual field trips, and providing counseling and other supports. The DC Out-of-School Time coalition hears, and highlights how these essential programs are delivering for youth and their families, and why we need to do more to support them,” said Ryllie Danylko, a Policy Analyst with DC Action.

DC Action’s Out-of-School Time 2021 Impact Report

DC Action’s Out-of-School Time 2021 Impact Report illustrates how important quality youth development and expanded learning programs are to young people in the District of Columbia. Particularly during the pandemic when young people have experienced intense pressure and isolation, OST programs are essential in providing social-emotional and academic support, opportunities for growth and development, and safe and constructive environments for youth.

Media Statement: DC Council Support Shows Value of Out-of-School Time Programs

"During this week’s initial vote on the District’s FY22 budget, the DC Council increased funding for out-of-school-time programs, adding $5 million on top of previous investments by Mayor Bowser, resulting in a significant increase from $13.6 million last year to a proposed $21.8 million."

OST Coalition FY22 Budget Request Letter to Deputy Mayor Paul Kihn

"OST programs are a critical element in stemming and reversing learning loss. Just as important, OST programs support young people in healing from the loss and trauma they and their communities have experienced during the pandemic so they can thrive inside and outside of the classroom. Strong partnerships between OST programs and schools have been a key component of the District’s education landscape since before the pandemic, and will continue to be as we look to the future."

OST Blog Series

This new blog series highlights out-of-school-time programs, by creating space to share the stories of voices that have been left out of the discussion about how to support virtual learning, and provide for safe and healthy in-person learning for students who need access to it. 

Episode 1: Higher Achievement  |  Episode 2: Kid Power  |  Episode 3: After School All-Stars

Episode 4: Jubilee Housing |  Episode 5: The Fishing School |  Episode 6: Global Kids DC 

Episode 7: Latin American Youth Center  |  Episode 8: Reading Partners  |  Episode 9: Horton's Kids

Episode 10: DC Fiscal Policy Institute  |  Episode 11: One Common Unity  |  Episode 12: DC SCORES

Episode 13: Words, Beats, & Life  |  Episode 14: Horizons Greater Washington

Episode 15: Girls Rock! DC | Episode 16: College Tribe 

Episode 17: Washington Urban Debate League | Episode 18: Common Good City Farm 

Episode 19: DC Strings Episode 20: Trigger Project

Episode 21: Community Enrichment Project  Episode 22: Urban Adventure Squad

Episode 23: Project Create Episode 24: Beacon House Episode 25: Sitar Arts Center 

Episode 26: FRESHFARM FoodPrints

OST Policy Brief

This brief highlights the Out-of-School time landscape in the District of Columbia, who it serves, how it’s funded and what impact it has on the lives of young people.

Virtual OST Program Directory

DC Action, District of Columbia Public Schools and the Deputy Mayor for Education's Learn24 has compiled a list of out-of-school time organizations offering remote programs for youth. Families should contact organizations directly to inquire about availability.

How Schools Can Strengthen Partnerships With OST Programs

DC Action and the DC Out-of-School Time Coalition prepared a list of recommendations for how schools can strengthen their partnerships with OST programs to better meet the needs of students and families.