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The Accordion Effect: Is Quality in Afterschool Getting the Squeeze?

Feb 05, 2014  Anne Lawrence

Dana Fusco, Susan Matloff- Nieves, and Steve Ramos  and  I wrote "The Accordion Effect" after bringing together a group of folks who had been in the field for over 10 years to discuss the difference between the field now and back in the day.  The article is the product of those discussions.

It was not only published in Journal for Youth Development, but we also published an op-ed piece for Youth Today. Just click  here .

Community-based afterschool programs remain places that support youth development. However, in most places quality is getting the squeeze, making it more difficult to meet the growing needs of youth and parents. This article describes the impact of increased external and regulatory pressures that have taken hold at a time of reduced financial and social capital. In this article, we name the factors that are creating what we call The Accordion Effect and describe its ‘squeezing’ impact on quality programming. We conclude with recommendations for reclaiming quality youth work, a practice that we believe must remain holistic and emergent.

Read the complete article here.