Digital Action Toolkit

On Feb. 10, President Trump announced his full 2021 budget proposal - calling for the elimination of all federal funding for afterschool and summer learning programs serving children in need.

Act now to save afterschool programs

For the fourth year in a row, President Trump's budget calls for the elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program - the only dedicated source of federal funding for afterschool and summer learning programs.

If the president's budget is passed, nearly two million children and families are at risk of losing the programs they rely on. Congress will decide what happens next—and it's more important than ever for afterschool supporters like you to speak out and share why afterschool matters to you, your family, and your community.

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 any of these easy tools 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: #AfterschoolWorks
It's 3PM - the time millions of kids around the country rely on their afterschool programs for learning, care, healthy meals, and so much more. Show Congress the impact of COVID-19 on your community: #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: #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, or email 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
  • 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

  • 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?


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

Afterschool for America

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

Get Graphics
21st CCLC State Graphics

Infographics for each state showing how many students would lose access to afterschool programs if 21st CCLC is eliminated

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.
Almost two million kids could lose their afterschool programs under the president's budget proposal. Please join me to speak up for them and ask Congress to #InvestinKids:
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:
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:
Studies show #21stCCLC afterschool programs help students learn! We know that #AfterschoolWorks – does Congress? Make sure they stop President Trump from eliminating funding for local your local afterschool programs:
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, but President Trump's FY21 budget calls for eliminating federal funding for #21stCCLC. Let Congress know that #AfterschoolWorks
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:
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:
The White House is trying to eliminate afterschool funding and is justifying it by claiming there's a lack in evidence that afterschool works. That's not true.
Sample Tweets
Every voice matters – make sure yours is heard! @POTUS's budget would eliminate federal funding for #21stCCLC afterschool & summer programs – threatening access to high-quality programs for nearly 2 million children. Tell Congress to #InvestinKids #AfterschoolWorks
Take Action: President Trump wants to ELIMINATE funding for afterschool & summer learning programs that nearly 2 million kids rely on. Congress needs to hear from you about the importance of local afterschool and summer learning programs. #AfterschoolWorks #AfterschoolWorks
Just announced: President Trump wants to eliminate federal funding for afterschool & summer learning programs which nearly 2 million children rely on. Stand with families! Tell Congress that #AfterschoolWorks.
90% of adults say afterschool programs are important to their communities. Don't eliminate programs that families rely on, #InvestinKids! #AfterschoolWorks
Our kids, families & communities can't afford to lose afterschool funding. Help save afterschool: #AfterschoolWorks
.@POTUS wants to take afterschool programs away from almost 2 million kids. Don't let that happen: #AfterschoolWorks
I want every kid and family to have access to afterschool programs. Click here if you're with me: #AfterschoolWorks
The @WhiteHouse claims there's not enough evidence that #AfterschoolWorks. That's not what the research says.
Sample Email Blasts
*Use as the links in these emails.


Breaking news: President Trump's budget plan zeroes out federal afterschool funding for 2 million young people.

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

The threat is real, but it's up to Congress to determine whether local afterschool and summer learning programs remain open or close their doors. If the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative is eliminated, many programs will not survive.

With your help, Congress has thrice rejected the proposed elimination. Take action now.

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FROM 2018