External Resources


Attendance Works

Attendance Works works to advance student success and close equity gaps by reducing chronic absence.  Their website offers a variety of resources to help understand and address chronic absence.

The Attendance Awareness Campaign

The Attendance Awareness Campaign is a nationwide recognition of the connection between school attendance and academic achievement.   Help spread the word with parent handouts, coloring pages, and more!

The Afterschool Alliance

The Afterschool Alliance is a valuable and effective advocate for out-of-school time education.  Their website offers fact sheets to help you advocate for your own program.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Reading well by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward academic success.  The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading  has extensive research on the causes and consequences of the grade-level reading crisis, as well as recommendations for success.

The Education Data Initiative

The Education Data Initiative is a team of researchers with a mission to collect data and statistics about the U.S. education system and organize them in an accessible, comprehensive fashion. For example, check out this recent report on refinancing student loans.

Trauma-Informed Practice

ACEs Connection

A website devoted to strictly “join the movement to prevent ACEs, heal trauma and build resilience.” Information includes blog entries, speakers and trainers and community resources. 

Books for Children of Trauma

Dr. Colleen Lelli at the Barbara and John Jordan Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence has compiled a list of children’s books to help support children affected by trauma, among other resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study – U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

This website provides detailed information and research regarding the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on communities as well as identification and prevention strategies for students of all ages.

Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators produced by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Information regarding how to effectively educate children of trauma including the psychological and behavioral impacts across the age span.

Graphic Organizers to help kids with writing.

This webpage provides graphic organizers educators can use with students who are struggling with the writing process.

How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime (Ted Talk)

Pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris explains how abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences can affect the development of the brain and places children at high risk in adulthood for severe health diseases.

The Great and Powerful Graphic Organizer

This is a podcast that explains the importance of graphic organizers and the various ways they can be used effectively.

Financial Literacy

Biz Kid$

From the National Credit Union Foundation, Biz Kid$ is a financial literacy initiative that includes an award-winning TV series, free financial literacy curriculum, outreach activities, a website and a social media presence targeting children 9 – 16 years old. Its focus is to help kids make and manage money.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has resources for both adult and youth financial literacy. The Bureau’s youth program supports K-12 teachers, education leaders, and practitioners by providing information, tools, and resources that lead to more effective design and delivery of financial education.

Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education provides both printable and online interactive curriculum tools, pedagogical support, and a community of peers that instruct, inspire and guide practitioners through the facilitation of financial literacy instruction.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website provides tools to help teach financial education including lesson plans, videos, and other resources. Resources include a financial education program, an online resource center for educators, consumer news and a youth banking resource center.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

This website provides free lesson plans, activities, and readings to teach economics and financial literacy.  It offers flexibility and real-world connections to help prepare students with 21st century skills for college and career readiness.  Activities incorporate storybooks and English literacy skills for youth and include more detailed resources for adult family members.


This free online course empowers middle and high school students to effectively manage their finances, make sound decisions, and become stewards of their financial future. Interactive exercises challenge students to make choices in real-life scenarios to achieve important goals around saving, education and career planning and budgeting.

Jump$tart: Financial Smarts for Students

Jump$tart is a coalition of diverse financial education stakeholders working together to educate and prepare our nation’s youth for life-long financial success. Jump$tart offers tools and resources to help practitioners implement financial literacy best practices such as National Standards, an online resource library, and Reality Check, an online calculator that helps students determine the income needed to support their dream lifestyle.

Money Math: Lessons for Life

Money Math is a four-lesson curriculum supplement for middle school students that teaches math concepts using real-life examples from personal finance. Specifically designed for grades 7-9, the teacher’s guide includes lesson plans, reproducible activity pages and teaching tips. 


This website is a product of the Congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission.  It provides resources for youth, educators and researchers that aim to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans.

National Endowment for Financial Education

Dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision making and providing financial education along with practical information to people at all financial levels, this website provides youth and adult financial education resources, training tools from the classroom to the workplace, research and consumer surveys.

TD Bank WOW! Zone

WOW!Zone is comprehensive financial literacy program created by TD Bank.  The goal is to provide children and teens with valuable information about money, saving, banking and investing. It’s designed to be educational, fun, and interactive while still providing a solid foundation for everyone to create a strong financial future. 

Understanding Taxes: The Quick and Simple Way to Understand Your Taxes

Making real-world connections to classroom instruction is an important goal of educators. This website, from the IRS, provides an interactive tax education program for middle school, high school and community college classrooms that includes detailed lesson plans and instructional simulations.

Wells Fargo Bank

Hands On Banking is a free financial curriculum that provides the essentials of financial education, real-world skills, and knowledge that every student can use.  The curriculum is designed for four age groups: Kids (4th and 5th), Teens (6th-8th), Young Adults (ages 15-21), and Adults. 

Making Cents: Financial Literacy Videos for Young Learners

This series of 19 short (under a minute) engaging videos from PBS includes a variety of money topics for children and youth
in grades 2-10.

Finances for Kids: For Me, for You, for Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, and Saving

This bilingual program is offered by Sesame Street as a multimedia program to help families share experiences in developing financial basics that will impact their children now and in the future, including a variety of short videos, guides and other resources that can be helpful for informal educators working with young children.

National Endowment for Financial Education

This organization supports research on financial education and offers connections to a variety of practical resources and materials for educators and facilitators, including lesson plans and other classroom materials, especially for grades 8-12.

Partnership for After School Education (PASE): Fostering Financial Education

In addition to a library of free resources for educators, this organization offers fee-based professional development on financial literacy specifically for after school staff working with high school students, and they host scheduled events from time to time.

High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP):

This program from the National Endowment for Financial Education includes a variety of instructional resources for financial education with students in grades 8-12, including  teacher lesson plans, student guide booklets, PowerPoint presentations, activities, handouts and performance-based assessments.

Practical Money Skills

These free materials include lesson plans, activity sheets, and assessment strategies for teaching about money and financial concepts in PK-college, with a home-page link to Spanish-language resources on financial education.

Adventures in Math: Financial Literacy Lessons for Grades K-8

This set of lesson plans is organized in three grade bands–PK-2, 3-5, and 6-8–and includes teacher guides and student activity sheets.

Organizational Culture

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD): School Culture and Climate

This resource from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development provides some definitions and a short video on organizational culture. This site also offers links for articles, books, webinars, online learning opportunities and other videos.

Youth.gov: School Climate

This webpage on the youth.gov website provides links across a variety of organizational culture topics: announcements, articles, publications, resources, tools & guides, webinars & presentations and youth topics.

ASCD article: How to Create a Culture of Achievement in Your School and Classroom

This book overview from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development proposes that building culture should be a part of a strategic effort for any organization or school. It summarizes aspects of organizational culture, proven responses and action research.

Haworth article: How to Create a Successful Organizational Culture: Build It—Literally

This article defines organizational culture and then elaborates on various aspects of organizational change, from diagnosing current culture to managing change. Helpful graphics and diagrams are also included.

Jim Collins articles

A highly influential management consultant, Jim Collins uses his website to offer articles that condense years of research and experience across several industries to bring you stories of growth and change.


Literacy in Afterschool Programs: Lit Review

This literature review focuses on literacy practices in afterschool settings.

6 Essential Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners

This article explores strategies and techniques for promoting literacy skills in English language learners.

Using Afterschool and Summer Learning to Improve Literacy Skills

This report explores strategies for implementing effective summer and afterschool literacy programs.  

PBS Learning Media

PBS provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans for teachers.

Library of Congress: Center for the Book

The Center for the Book offers free reading materials and instructor resources for users.


Jumpstart produces educational games for students.

Read, Write, Think

Read, Write, Think offers videos, resources, and professional development trainings for educators.


BookNook is a rigorous digital intervention and guided reading program for K-8 students.  Check out their free lesson plans and worksheets!

K12 Reader

K12 Reader provides free instructional resources for parents and teachers.

National Writing Project

The National Writing Project is a network of sites that provides professional development, resources, and research for educators.

Family Engagement

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD): School Culture and Climate

This resource from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development provides some definitions and a short video on organizational culture. This site also offers links for articles, books, webinars, online learning opportunities and other videos.

Increasing Family and Parent Engagement in After-School

This resource includes 17 suggestions for improving attendance at activities and workshops as well as examples of how some afterschool sites have implemented the suggestions. The resource also includes a sample parent/guardian interest survey and a letter for recruiting volunteers to help in a program.

Practices to Foster in Out-of-School Time Programs

This brief draws from research and discussions with practitioners and youth to identify 10 practices that are associated with higher levels of youth participation and improved program quality, one of which is to foster engaged and involved parents and families. Effective strategies include building rapport with families and sponsoring family activities where children can share what they have learned.

Focus on Families! How to Build and Support Family-Centered Practices in After-School

After describing the benefits and challenges to family involvement, this guide provides promising practices for supporting families, communicating and building trusting relationships with families, hiring and developing family-focused staff, and building linkages across individuals and organizations. It includes profiles of several programs that use the highlighted practices and concludes with ways that evaluation may be used to improve family involvement.

After School Programs For ELLs

This resource provides resources for ELL students and families.

150 Days of Family Engagement Activities

Project Appleseed offers you 25 weeks of ideas surrounding family engagement. Each week contains an explanation of ideas or events as well as links to further information.

Helping Your Child with Homework

This guide from the U.S. Department of Education talks about how parents can help students at home by setting up a time and place for homework, by guiding and monitoring the homework, and by talking to teachers about school work. Available in English and Spanish.

Involvement in My Child’s Education

The U. S. Department of Education provides multiple resources, in both English and Spanish, that are designed for parents who wish to support their children’s education. Topics relate to preschool, elementary and high school students and include multiple subject areas such as homework, science, mathematics, reading and history.

Family Involvement

A to Z Teacher Stuff offers simple lessons plans for family involvement, conveniently divided into four categories: Preschool, K-2, 3-5 and 6-12.

Professional Development: Family Engagement

Teaching Tolerance offers four loosely structured lessons. Each one introduces a topic with a short video, poses questions, offers points of discussion and provides printable, downloadable resources.

Family Creative Learning Facilitator Guide

Family Creative Learning has created a facilitator guide that offers ideas and best practices about family engagement events and activities. Additionally, it offers breakdowns on five different workshops complete with tips, checklists, step-by-step instructions and space for reflection.

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