What We Do
Iowa Afterschool Alliance
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is a network of individuals and organizations committed to expanding high-quality, accessible before school, after school, and summer programming to all communities across the state. The Iowa Afterschool Alliance supports out-of-school time programs by providing professional development to the afterschool field, building partnerships, and advocating for afterschool in Iowa and at the federal level.
The Iowa Children’s Museum contracts with SPPG + Essman Research (SPPG + ER) to serve as staff to the Iowa Afterschool Alliance. Since 2002, our team has managed all aspects of the Iowa Afterschool Alliance including stakeholder engagement, policy development, advocacy, professional development, technical assistance, strategic planning, and more. We work with school districts, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and many others that operate before school, after school, and summer programs or want to start offering programs. Through the years, we have developed extensive knowledge of both policy and practice in the field of afterschool and summer programming.
SPPG + ER also works with the Iowa Department of Education to provide professional development and support to Iowa’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers network. Through this partnership, our team has developed the capacity to ensure that we can provide the most responsive services to grantees that makes sense for them locally.
As staff to the Iowa Afterschool Alliance, SPPG + ER is a central technical assistance and professional development provider in the field of afterschool and summer programming. Every year, we coordinate and host a conference for more than 150 afterschool professionals to network and learn emerging youth development best practices. Through our work with the Iowa Afterschool Alliance, our team has also gained expertise in the field of afterschool STEM and has built strong partnerships with STEM program providers, such as the Blank Park Zoo, The Iowa Children’s Museum, and Science Center of Iowa.
“Having established an Afterschool program back in 2001 in Cedar Falls, I have worked closely with the Iowa Afterschool Alliance as they have provided support assisting us in keeping kids safe and out of trouble, exciting kids about learning, and helping kids build life skills while giving working parents peace of mind. The IAA has helped turn what can often be a time of risk into a time of opportunity!”
- David Welter, Former Principal and IAA Strategic Leadership Team Chair