In Their Own Words

“Thursday is national Lights on Afterschool Day, and across our country, cities will celebrate the benefits of quality after-school programming. If you believe in the power of after-school to change a child’s life, why not get involved? Contact Dallas AfterSchool Network,, to find out how you can volunteer, donate or advocate to make after-school better for all our young people. Our children today are going where we lead them. Let’s lead them to quality after-school programs.”
—Lew Blackburn, president of the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees, “Changing a Child’s Life Between 3 and 6 p.m.,” Dallas Morning News, October 16, 2012

“For hundreds of parents in our community the dismissal bell is not a sound of relief, but rather a sound of fear and uncertainty.… In all communities, after-school programs are dwindling, unaffordable or no longer available during the school year, school holidays and vacations.… The lack of after-school programming affects us all, not just those who have schoolage children. Our finances, quality of life and criminal activity all are directly impacted by lack of after-school programs.… If America’s law enforcement community is right about the positive impact that after-school programs have on juvenile crime, if educators are right about how valuable after-school programs are for academic achievement, and if parents are right about the value of after-school programs to their families, we then all suffer from the lack of afterschool care in our community.… Our local, state and federal governments must develop dedicated funding sources to ensure that all families and their children have access to quality after-school programs.”
—Daniel R. Dombroski, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Keys executive director, “Our Community – Not Just Parents – Relies on After-School Programs,” Key West Citizen, October 20, 2012

“Congress should think twice about slashing…education, especially after-school programs. Investing now in the education of our children—notably in science, technology, engineering and math subject areas—will ensure our future leaders have the skills and knowledge to succeed. After-school and summer-learning programs in particular are a smart investment. Children who participate in these programs have better school attendance, higher grades and loftier aspirations about graduation and college attendance.… Elected officials in Washington should work to maintain after-school and summer-learning program funding for schools and for faith- and community-based organizations that provide these cost-effective programs so essential to our children and families.”
—Cyndi Nguyen, “Letter to the Editor: Afterschool Programs Are Crucial to our Future,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, October 14, 2012

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 11).

Click here to read the rest of this issue.