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Strategy Profile: New Opportunities for Healthy Afterschool Programs

The information in this resource is intended only to provide educational information. This profile describes the estimated benefits, activities, resources, and leadership needed to implement a strategy to improve child health. This information can be useful for planning and prioritization purposes.

  • Providing school-age children in grades K-5 attending Title I public schools with free state-administered afterschool programs that include 80 minutes of physical activity, a healthy snack, academic enrichment, and homework assistance.

What population benefits?

Children in grades K-5 who experience low income and are not currently participating in afterschool programs but would if programs were available.

What are the estimated benefits?

Relative to not implementing the strategy
Increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and, in turn, promote healthy child weight.

What are the additional benefits?

Relative to not implementing the strategy
The costs of implementing this strategy could be offset by savings from…
↓ Decrease in time cost of parent, relative, and non-relative caregivers to provide care for children newly attending afterschool programming

What activities and resources are needed?

Activities Resources Who Leads?
Administer funding and coordinate afterschool programming • Time of federal and state directors to lead administration and funding of afterschool programs in each state
• Time of federal, state, and district coordinators to coordinate afterschool programming and funding
Federal and state directors
Coordinate transportation for children attending afterschool programs • Time of district transportation coordinator District transportation coordinator
Train afterschool program site directors and staff and school district food service directors to operate the afterschool programs Time of state physical activity training facilitator to lead annual trainings
• Time for afterschool program site directors and staff (teachers and paraprofessionals) to attend annual trainings
• Time for school district food service directors to attend annual trainings on operating a healthy afterschool snack program
State physical activity training facilitator
Purchase physical activity curricula, equipment, and materials for operating afterschool programs • Cost of physical activity curricula and equipment
• Cost of afterschool program handbook provided to families
District coordinator
Provide afterschool snacks that meet USDA afterschool snack program guidelines from the National School Lunch Program or the Child and Adult Care Food Program • Cost of snacks School district food service director
Provide afterschool programming • Time of afterschool program site director
• Time of afterschool program staff (teachers and paraprofessionals)
• Time of school custodial staff to clean afterschool program space
Afterschool program site director
Provide transportation home from afterschool programs • Cost of bus transportation District transportation coordinator


Cradock AL, Barrett JL, Kenney EL, Giles CM, Ward ZJ, Long MW, Resch SC, Pipito AA, Wei ER, Gortmaker SL. Using cost-effectiveness analysis to prioritize policy and programmatic approaches to physical activity promotion and obesity prevention in childhood. Prev Med. 2017 Feb;95 Suppl: S17-S27. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.10.017. Supplemental Appendix with strategy details available at: https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1- s2.0-S0091743516303395-mmc1.docx

Suggested Citation

CHOICES Strategy Profile: New Opportunities for Healthy Afterschool Programs. CHOICES Project Team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; October 2023.


This work is supported by The JPB Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U48DP006376). The information provided here is intended to be used for educational purposes. Links to other resources and websites are intended to provide additional information aligned with this educational purpose. The findings and conclusions are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other funders.

Adapted from the TIDieR (Template for Intervention Description and Replication) Checklist

©2015 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. The CHOICES name, acronym and logo are marks of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.