In Their Own Words

“Candace tells us that she had to leave school and move elsewhere with her mom to pick crops well before the school year was complete only to return to Immokalee well after the next year had begun. ‘It seemed my entire life was about playing catch up,’ she says, ‘And this is not the way a child should feel!’ Then, while in second grade, she was put into the after-school program run by the Guadalupe Center. ‘I had amazing teachers who helped me…and I remember doing arts and crafts, going on fieldtrips, and other hands-on activities that helped me learn things I had missed while I was out of school.’ But to her, ‘the most important thing was that I received homework help—huge for me since my mother was never able to go to school and I had absolutely no one to help me at home. Before the after-school program, I didn’t turn my homework in a lot of the time because I felt embarrassed since I didn’t know how to do it.’ So Candace happily explains that ‘because of the help received, I began turning in my homework and I felt, for the first time ever, that I was not in a losing race. Even as a second grader, I knew I had been given a great gift, being part of this awesome program.’”
—Joe Landon, “Rising Star Scholarship Winner Gives Credit to After-School Teacher,” Naples Daily News, September 29, 2012

“Whether it’s a PTA meeting, political dialogue, the latest afternoon talk show or the American Teacher documentary, it seems everyone’s talking about how to improve public education in America…. We believe education is a building block for a good quality of life. It’s essential to getting a job with a good wage and health benefits. An educated work force is fundamental to a community’s economic prosperity and to a person’s quality of life…. We also need to focus on what goes on outside school. Only 20 percent of a child’s waking hours are spent in school. That means that out-of-school time—after school, weekends, summers—are just as important learning opportunities as the time in classrooms. Finally, families are essential to education success. When schools, after-school programs and families communicate and support each other, we all win…. All children deserve a quality education. Together, we can work toward solutions to make that happen.”
—Todd Gambill and William Wilson, members of the United Way of the Bluegrass Board of Directors, “Everyone Has a Responsibility to Help Educate Our Children,” Lexington Herald-Leader, September 27, 2012

See more stories and quotes in America’s Afterschool Storybook on the Afterschool Alliance website.

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 10).

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