All children and youth learn and achieve success in a community dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.
To promote accessible, high-quality expanded learning opportunities for all Arizona children and youth by focusing on professional development, advocacy, and capacity building in the out-of-school time community.
Who We Are
The Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE) is:
- Arizona’s leading statewide advocate and information resource for promoting high quality, affordable and accessible out-of-school time programs as an essential component in the positive development of Arizona’s youth
- One of 47 statewide afterschool networks comprising the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (www.mott.org) These networks ensure a coherent, statewide strategy for improving out-of-school time program quality.
- Linked to a diverse, nationwide network of professionals, resources and advocates including the Afterschool Alliance, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Our access to resources is unparalleled and unique.
- Funded by the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families; the C.S. Mott Foundation; the Arizona Department of Education; local, state and national grants, and earned revenue from annual statewide Out-of-School Time Conference and Awards of Excellence Luncheon and other professional development training opportunities.
What We Do
Because young people spend 80% of their waking hours outside of school, the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence is dedicated to improving public awareness and support for learning and personal development in those out-of-school hours. AzCASE serves as a hub for advocacy, public awareness, collaboration, and partnerships to advance out-of-school time programming using the following strategies on behalf of youth and families in Arizona.
Public Awareness and Information Resource
- Increase communication and awareness about the role of out-of-school time programming to support the vital role of out-of-school-time programs in a child’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development through the media, meetings, workshops, summits, and other communication venues.
- Serve as a centralized point of contact for information and resources including professional development opportunities.
- Serve as a resource center of best practices, cutting edge programs, curriculum and research about how to best impact a child’s successful academic, social and emotional outcomes
- Serve as a catalyst for fostering partnerships and promoting collaboration.
- Develop a network of diverse stakeholders for children, youth and families to promote the expansion, affordability and accessibility of quality out-of-school time programs for all children
- Support statewide partners and youth-based coalitions addressing the local community needs of children and providers.
- Lead the public discourse on the value of out-of-school time programming and advocate for increased public and private investment in proven practices
- Assist in developing and advocating for statewide quality standards and assessment methods for out of-school-time programs.
- Advocate for local, state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives supporting the expansion, affordability and accessibility of quality out-of-school time programs
Professional Development and Recognition
- Sponsor an annual statewide Out-of-School Time Professional Development Conference for out-of-school time staff and administrators to keep abreast of best practices, new curriculum and the latest research about youth development in the out-of-school hours
- Recognize and celebrate out-of-school time professional and educational leaders at an annual Arizona Out-of-School Time Awards of Excellence luncheon attended by educators and business and community leaders who share our commitment to build a strong statewide educational system for all children.
Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence has a broad network of partners that span the state, leading and supporting out-of-school time efforts in urban and suburban regions of Arizona. Our partners are diverse, and include school districts, educators and administrators, higher education institutions, state and local political leaders, nonprofit and community-based organizations, local businesses, and out-of-school time program providers.