Outreach

Use Data to Make a Point

The Afterschool Alliance released the latest version of its Uncertain Times survey earlier this month, making a powerful case that afterschool programs are still struggling in the aftermath of the recession. When talking to policy makers, media, funders or potential funders about how local afterschool programs are faring, share this data to provide context and perspective. The Afterschool Alliance’s new report has the information you need.

Below are some messages and data from Uncertain Times: Afterschool Programs Still Struggling in Today’s Economy. Consider using this information in your outreach and look for outreach tools coming in the next issue of the Afterschool Advocate.

Afterschool program budgets continue to shrink.

  • Close to two in five programs (39 percent) report that their budgets are in worse shape today than at the height of the recession in 2008.
  • More than three in five programs (62 percent) report that their funding is down “a little or a lot” from three years ago.

Programs are struggling to meet the needs of children in their communities.

  • Almost nine in ten programs (88 percent) say children in their communities need afterschool care but are unable to access it.
  • More than half of programs (57 percent) report that their budgets are inadequate to meet community needs.
  • Nearly one in four programs (24 percent) say they would need to at least double capacity to meet the demand for services.
  • Close to one in five programs (16 percent) report that a loss of funding caused major cutbacks or shut down sites.

Majority African-American and Latino afterschool programs face more severe financial strain and high demand.

  • Close to seven in ten African-American majority programs (68 percent) and 65 percent of Latino majority programs report that their funding is down from three years ago.
  • Seventy percent of African-American majority programs say that their current budgets cannot meet the needs of students and families in their communities.
  • More than six in ten Latino majority programs (62 percent) say that their current budgets cannot meet the needs of students and families in their communities, and 92 percent report that children in their communities need afterschool care but are unable to access it.

The children served by afterschool programs are primarily from economically disadvantaged households.

  • On average, 68 percent of youth participating in afterschool programs qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, 16 percent have special needs or a learning difference, and 14 percent are Limited English Proficient (LEP).
  • On average, close to nine in ten kids (88 percent) at majority African-American programs and 86 percent of kids at majority Latino programs qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. More than one-third of program participants (35 percent) at majority Latino programs are LEP.

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant-funded programs face severe financial strain and high demand while operating in communities deeply affected by the recession.

  • 21st CCLC-funded programs are more likely than non-21st CCLC-funded programs to say the economy is “very much” affecting their communities (71 percent vs. 59 percent).
  • 21st CCLC-funded programs are more likely to report that their current budgets are in worse shape than at the height of the recession (41 percent vs. 38 percent) and more likely to operate at or above maximum capacity than non-21st CCLC-funded programs (67 percent vs. 52 percent).

Afterschool program leaders expect the economic strain to continue.

  • More than eight in ten programs (85 percent) anticipate that the challenging economic climate will affect their programs during the 2012-2013 school year.
  • More than half of programs (55 percent) report that their communities are showing very few signs of recovering from the recession.



This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 8).

Click here to read the rest of this issue.