Digital Action Toolkit

Use our advocacy toolkit to let members of Congress know that afterschool and summer learning programs support students and families in communities nationwide, before, during, and in recovery from the pandemic.

Tell Congress: Families need afterschool!

You can take action right now to let your representatives know that afterschool and summer learning programs are invaluable to your community. Use our three-click tool to send pre-written messages to your representatives.

Afterschool for All Challenge: Sample Tweets

As we all learn how best to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak, we understand that afterschool programs, their staff, their kids, and their communities are vulnerable to the widespread changes our country will face over the next days, weeks, and possibly months. Our leaders MUST know what challenges the afterschool field faces - both to keep us safe and ensure we can best serve our communities through this moment.

Use the sample language below to show your support:

It is critical that our leaders hear from you about how the COVID outbreak is impacting your community. Take a moment today to support the Afterschool for All Challenge by sending a message to Congress: http://3to6.co/congress #AfterschoolWorks
Join the Afterschool for All Challenge! Take just two minutes during lunch to contact Congress and tell them #AfterschoolWorks and they need our support during this crisis to be safe and support our kids & communities: https://3to6.co/congress #AfterschoolWorks

Tell Your Afterschool Story

Congress needs to hear from you! Telling your personal story about the impact an afterschool program has made on your life is by far the most effective way to capture people's attention and convince them that #AfterschoolWorks.

There are plenty of ways to tell your story. Here are a few ideas:

  • Tweet your written story using the hashtag #AfterschoolWorks. Can't fit it all into 280 characters? Turn it into a thread by replying to your own tweets (you can remove your handle from the beginning and they'll still be threaded together!).
  • Post on Facebook. Create a status with your written story
  • Create a video. You don't need fancy equipment to create awesome video content. Just grab your smartphone and speak from the heart straight into the camera. Keep it under 60 seconds (the shorter the better) and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
  • Edit short clips together if you can and create a compilation of stories to upload to YouTube.
  • Write a blog post if you've got a lot to share. No blog? No problem. It's easy to publish a post on Medium.com, or email info@afterschoolalliance.org to submit your narrative to be considered as a guest post for the Afterschool Snack. Once it's been published, share it widely on social media.
  • Share with us directly. We're on the lookout for stories to share on our website, blog, and social media. If you'd like to be featured, let us know!

No matter how you choose to share your story, remember to:

  • Be sure to use the hashtag #AfterschoolWorks in your tweets and Instagram posts
  • Reach out to your members of Congress and urge them to support federal funding for afterschool programs. You can send a letter and make a phone call via http://3to6.co/congress
  • Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest @afterschool4all and on Facebook @afterschoolalliancedc to keep up with the latest news on the battle to save afterschool.

Find the right message for you

Consider...
  • How have you seen your afterschool program impact students over the course of your career?
  • Have you seen your afterschool program impact parents and families as well as students?
  • Do you have any data illustrating the impact of your program on your students? Talk about those results.
  • Are there any particular students you can think of that experienced significant growth in the time they attended your program? Share their stories.

In addition to answering these prompts yourself, encourage your students, parents, and alumni to share their stories!

  • What would you do after school if you couldn't come to this program?
  • What's your favorite thing about your afterschool program?
  • What's the coolest thing you've learned in your afterschool program?
  • How has your afterschool experience helped you in school?
  • How has your afterschool experience helped you get ready for your future career, or your path to college?
  • Where would you send your kids after school if this program wasn't available?
  • Have you noticed any positive changes in your child[ren] since they started attending their afterschool program?
    • Are they doing better in school?
    • Are they healthier or more active?
    • Are they better behaved, or do they get along better with their classmates?
  • Has your child's enrollment in an afterschool program helped you at work? Would your job be affected if the program was no longer available?
  • Is your child learning things or having experiences in their afterschool program that aren't available to them during the school day? Do those experiences help them do better in school?
  • What's your favorite memory from your time in your afterschool program?
  • Have skills you learned in your afterschool program helped you in your career?
  • Did your afterschool program help you on the path to college?
  • Did you form important relationships (with friends, mentors, teachers, etc.) through your afterschool program? Are you still in touch with those people?

Resources

Make the case that federal funding for afterschool programs is important to you community, has wide public support, and are proven to help kids learn and grow while supporting working families. Use these resources to tell your story:

Images & Graphics

afterschoolforamerica
Afterschool for America

You can download a selection of graphics for use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more from AfterschoolforAmerica.org:

Get Graphics
aa3pm2020
America After 3PM

Social media graphics elevating the topline information from America After 3PM 2020.

Get Graphics

Sample Language

Sample Facebook Posts
A Facebook post that includes a photo usually reaches more people than just a link. Try using these sample posts as captions alongside a photo from your afterschool program, or one of our downloadable graphics.
A recent poll found that 8 in 10 Americans think cutting afterschool funding is a bad idea. I'm one of them! Are you with us? Tell your reps in Congress to #InvestinKids: http://3to6.co/congress
During the hours when kids are most at risk of engaging in risky behaviors, #21stCCLC afterschool programs provide kids a safe environment to further engage in their learning with a caring adult. If safety matters, #AfterschoolMatters. Tell Congress to support #21stCCLC: http://3to6.co/congress
Studies show #21stCCLC afterschool programs help students learn! We know that #AfterschoolWorks – does Congress? Make sure they include afterschool as a strategy for young people's recovery: http://3to6.co/congress
Stand up for educational equity! High-quality afterschool & summer learning programs help students stay on track to graduate, develop critical 21st century skills, & help working families. We need more access, not less. Let Congress know that #AfterschoolWorks http://3to6.co/congress
Students who regularly participate in #21stCCLC programs:
✓ improve their attendance, class participation, & behavior
✓ improve their homework completion
✓ improve their reading & math grades
Tell Congress #AfterschoolWorks: http://3to6.co/congress
Studies show that students who regularly participate in #21stCCLC afterschool programs improve communication, collaboration, and teamwork – skills that are critical factors to success in college & the workforce. Tell Congress that #AfterschoolWorks: http://3to6.co/congress
Sample Tweets
For every child in an afterschool program, three are waiting to get in. These programs provide the critical supports our kids need to thrive! #AfterschoolWorks
90% of adults say afterschool programs are important to their communities. Don't eliminate programs that families rely on, #InvestinKids! http://3to6.co/congress #AfterschoolWorks
Our kids, families & communities—especially the most vulnerable—can't afford to lose access to the supports that afterschool programs provide. Send a message to Congress! http://3to6.co/congress #AfterschoolWorks
I want every kid and family to have access to afterschool programs. Click here if you're with me: http://3to6.co/congress #AfterschoolWorks
Sample Email Blasts
*Use http://3to6.co/congress as the links in these emails.

SUBJECT LINE: Call on Congress to support our kids!

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact families, youth, and the afterschool program providers who serve them. As the Senate and House work to pass President Biden's American Rescue Plan, consider reaching out to your Representatives and Senators to share how this public health crisis is affecting children and youth, families, youth-serving organizations, and your community at large — and how afterschool and summer learning programs can address promote learning recovery and re-engage students.

Please take two minutes to tell your representatives in Congress to stand up for America's children, families, and afterschool options. Take action now.

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