Beyond the Bell at AIR

Beyond the Bell® is a suite of professional development services, products, and practical tools designed to help afterschool program leaders and staff members create and sustain high-quality, effective afterschool and expanded learning programs. AIR takes the guesswork out of designing, implementing, evaluating, and improving your program by staying abreast of the research on what works in afterschool and expanded learning programs and turning that information into accessible improvement tools.

The Toolkit is contains practical resources, tips, and tools about program management, design, partnerships, delivery, evaluation, and improvement. It contains 96 ready-to-use tools!

Though the Toolkit may be used as a standalone resource, AIR also offers training on how to best use the information and associated tools. To learn more about our series of professional development opportunities designed to help program leaders and staff implement practices in the Beyond the Bell Toolkit effectively, visit the Services page.

About AIR:

Established in 1946, American Institutes for Research (AIR) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally. As one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world, AIR is committed to empowering communities and institutions with innovative solutions to the most critical challenges in health, workforce, international development, and education.

AIR’s Afterschool and Expanded Learning team has more than a decade of experience in supporting the implementation of high-quality opportunities for young people, evaluating afterschool initiatives using qualitative and quantitative techniques, and supporting informed policy decisions. The members of the team are experts in continuous improvement systems, and they strive to provide meaningful linkages between research and practice in afterschool and expanded learning programs.

The Afterschool and Expanded Learning team is part of AIR’s Learning Supports Network, which represents the system of supports for education agencies, schools and districts, foundations, and other stakeholders to ensure that young people’s educational experience fosters positive growth and development. The network includes services related to social and emotional learning and the Good Behavior Game, AIR’s classroom behavior management strategy.

Hear What Our Users Have to Say:

"Beyond the Bell is a great resource for afterschool and expanded learning staff! This comprehensive toolkit covers all of the essential topics for building a high-quality program. Beyond the Bell gives staff an easy-to-use guide to elevating program quality right at their fingertips."

-- Ana, Program Quality Coordinator, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago


There is no need to reinvent the wheel when you have a copy of Beyond the Bell. It gives new staff a picture of a fully developed program or, for someone like me with over 10 years of experience in the field, I refer to it for inspiration and fresh ideas."

-- Kim, Associate Director of Community School Initiatives, Family Focus, Inc.


"The Beyond the Bell toolkit is an excellent manual for running effective and successful afterschool and expanded learning programs. It is such a great asset for Project Directors and Site Coordinators to have all these valuable resources at one stop."

-- Sowmiya, Project Director, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School