Vol. 9 Issue 8 (07/30/2008)
Top Stories
California Update: State Afterschool Funding at Risk
Inadequate Funding for Afterschool in Maine
SES, 21st CCLC New Partnership

In The News
Quick Takes

California Update: State Afterschool Funding at Risk
In 2002, California voters passed Proposition 49, a measure that created thousands of new afterschool programs and guaranteed that afterschool funding would not be subject to political wrangling from year to year. The vote was not close; 57 percent of voters said "yes" to a steady, dedicated funding stream for afterschool programs. But now, Proposition 49 - known as the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program - and the thousands of afterschool programs it supports are at risk.

Budget language recently approved by the state legislature's Budget Conference Committee would essentially repeal Proposition 49's commitment to afterschool funding. ASES currently funds more than 3,800 afterschool programs statewide.

The bill language would submit an initiative to the voters that would give the legislature the authority to substantially reduce afterschool funding or eliminate the state's afterschool programs altogether. If placed on the November ballot and passed by California voters, the initiative would end the guaranteed continuous appropriation for ASES programs, allowing state legislators to set funding levels each year.

"California has been a proud leader in advancing afterschool for all," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. "Now is not the time to abandon the commitment to the 400,000 primarily low income students in the state who rely on ASES funded programs for a safe place to go after the school day ends. The ASES program is barely off the ground. The voters meant what they said when they voted for Proposition 49. They want afterschool funding to continue."

If it makes it onto the ballot in November and is passed by voters, this initiative would affect 2009-2010 afterschool funding.

A broad coalition is forming to oppose the measure, including the Afterschool Alliance, Bay Area Partnership for Children and Youth, California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC), Children Now, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, League of California Afterschool Providers, MomsRising.org, and afterschool programs and municipalities across the state.

"Proposition 49 represents the will of California's voters, and the culmination of years of effort to ensure that the needs of our state's children and youth for safety, healthy development, education, and personal growth are met after the school day ends," said Darci Smith, Executive Director of CalSAC. "The rest of the nation is looking to California as a model for how to provide quality afterschool programs to children and youth regardless of socioeconomic status. Prop. 49 represents a significant step in that direction, by making afterschool a public guarantee rather than a private privilege. To launch a costly repeal initiative now would be to break a promise to hundreds of thousands of low-income Californians just as that promise is being realized. Not only is this bad public policy, it's also bad economics: Prop. 49 represents less than half of one percent of the state's annual budget, and it is far from clear that the cost of a voter repeal initiative would be offset by any minimal savings if the repeal were passed."

"Any Californian who cares about making sure that children have safe, enriching places to go after school will oppose this bill," Grant added. "The threat to afterschool in California is real and immediate. Advocates should contact their state legislators and tell them that cutting the dedicated funding stream for afterschool would be unacceptable. With families struggling to make ends meet, dropouts rising and gang activity threatening youth and communities, the state cannot afford to reduce its investment."

For more information including a fact sheet, local data on afterschool funding, and actions being suggested by afterschool advocates, click here.

Inadequate Funding for Afterschool in Maine
The vast majority of school principals in Maine agree that afterschool and summer programs are a necessity, but say funding is inadequate to meet the need for these programs across the state. This is according to a recent survey of principals conducted by the Afterschool Alliance in cooperation with the Maine Afterschool Network and funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. It was released in late June at a panel discussion in Portland.

"There's some work to be done here in Maine to expand access to summer programs," said Maine Afterschool Network Director Deb Chase. "Principals, other educators, parents, community members and policy makers agree that summer programs are an important source of learning beyond the school year. We need to continue to develop public will and expand available resources to provide affordable and accessible programming for all children in Maine."

The report, America After 3 PM: Spotlight on Maine, is the fifth in a series of reports on afterschool in New England. It is the first report to focus exclusively on afterschool and summer programs in Maine, and it is based on the results of a statewide survey of school principals.

According to Spotlight on Maine, an overwhelming majority of Maine principals say that it is important for all children and youth to have access to quality, affordable summer programs and that there are students in their schools who could benefit from summer programs who currently do not participate. The survey also found that principals believe that summer learning programs should include not just academic support, but also a range of activities including recreational sports and hands-on learning.

Among the key findings in New England After 3PM: Spotlight on Maine:

* More than half of respondents say they do not have enough funding to meet the demand for programs at their school, and one in three has no funding for summer programs.

*Forty-three percent of principals say their school does not have a summer program that includes a coordinated offering of academic, enrichment and recreational activities.

* Ninety-three percent of respondents say there are students at their schools who could benefit from participating in a summer program who currently do not participate.

The report is availablehere.

SES, 21st CCLC New Partnership
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced a new grant program that will allow supplemental service providers (SES) under Title I of No Child Left Behind and 21st Century Community Learning Center grantees to establish or expand partnerships. The goal of the grant is to increase the academic achievement of low income students.

The Office of Innovation and Improvement at the Department of Education seeks to fund programs that "will serve as national models of how these two federally authorized after-school initiatives can be coordinated so that a greater number of students enroll in, participate in, and complete academic after-school services," according to the Department of Education's newsletter.

The deadline for applications is August 12. For more information, click here.

What's Your Afterschool Story?
Anyone who has been touched by afterschool knows the critical difference these programs make to children and youth as they find their way in the world; the difference it makes to working parents who otherwise would worry about their children each afternoon; the difference it makes to community and municipal leaders who do not have to worry about children getting into trouble after the school day ends. For each child and each afterschool program, there are stories to tell.

This fall the Afterschool Alliance will unveil a groundbreaking online initiative to celebrate the diversity, depth and power of the afterschool experience in America today. The Afterschool Storybook project will highlight how afterschool programs are improving the lives of children and parents, and enriching communities.

Timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, the Afterschool Storybook provides a way to share the most compelling stories about how afterschool affects lives and supports healthy families and communities.

In advance of the launch of the Afterschool Storybook, the Afterschool Alliance is working to collect powerful stories from each state. Stories will be shared on a special Afterschool Storybook website, each as an individual profile, searchable by state, type of story, and in other ways.

All powerful stories are welcome - from urban inner cities to rural communities, from seniors volunteering at afterschool programs to young children who find their passion at them. Each profile will include a photograph of the individual and a brief essay about their afterschool experience. Stories should be written in the first person and individuals submitting them should be willing to speak publicly and/or with the media about their afterschool experiences.

Examples of stories include:

* A graduate student who became inspired to study engineering or international affairs or medicine because of her/his experience in afterschool;

* A student who was in trouble until an afterschool program turned her/him around;

* A student in an afterschool program now who is doing an exciting and unusual service learning or cultural awareness project;

* An educator who was burned out, but later reinvigorated by her/his experience at an afterschool program;

* A business leader who has made a commitment to mentor students and finds it incredibly rewarding;

* A senior citizen who volunteers at an afterschool program and has made a real difference in students' lives;

* A health professional who reached families with obesity/diabetes problems through intervention from afterschool program leaders.

Stories should be no longer than 500 words. To enter your story, please go to www.afterschoolalliance.org/storybook. To view sample stories contained in the Afterschool Storybook, visit www.afterschoolalliance.org/storybook/samples.cfm.

Advocates know that afterschool means many different things to different people. The Afterschool Storybook will record the unique experiences individuals have with afterschool in a way that is easy to share with others and will be a powerful tool for advocates across the country. Please join the Afterschool Alliance in this new and exciting endeavor and share your story today!

Afterschool for All
This spring, the National League of Cities issued a call to action for more city leaders to join Afterschool for All. As a result, we're pleased to report that more than 40 city leaders, including mayors, council members and superintendents, signed on to become Afterschool for All partners.

These new notable partners include: Mayor David Bieter (Boise, ID); Vice-Mayor Clint Abbott (Alcoa, TN); Vice-Mayor Dolores Archuleta (Las Cruces, NM); Mayor Ken Shetter (Burleson, TX); the City of Charleston, SC Mayor's Office for Children, Youth and Families; the City of Denver, CO Mayor's Office for Education and Children; and the City of Grand Rapids, MI Office of Children and Families.

Are your city and state leaders represented on the national list of Afterschool for All partners? To see whether your mayor, council member, senator or governor has signed on, simply search the Afterschool for All database. If they have not yet done so, take the initiative and ask your leaders to sign on to Afterschool for All to demonstrate their support for more afterschool programs in your community. You can download a sample invitation letter to send.

To date, nearly 20,000 partners nationwide have pledged support for afterschool. Make sure that your leaders are represented too. Thank you for your continued support for Afterschool for All. To share your Afterschool for All success stories, contact mcoichy@afterschoolalliance.org.

Funding News
The Afterschool Alliance's website has resources for afterschool providers, including tips for initiating relationships with funders and businesses, and for identifying funding opportunities. To learn more, click here.


Grants for Youth Development The Gannett Foundation is sponsoring Gannett Grants in areas where Gannett owns a daily paper or television station. The grants sponsor education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, community problem solving and more, with a certain percentage focused on youth development projects. The application deadline is August 15. For more information, visit Gannett Foundation.

Grants for Youth Volunteers Youth Service America and Disney are sponsoring Disney Minnie Grants to engage youth ages five through 14 as community volunteers. Winners will receive $500 to support their youth-led service projects. Projects must take place between October 15 and November 15. The application deadline is August 30. For more information, visit Youth Service America.

Grants for Baseball and Softball The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation is sponsoring Quickball grants to help grassroots baseball and softball programs grow. Quickball is a new agility game that incorporates the most exciting elements of baseball and softball, including homeruns and double plays. Grantees will receive Quickball sets valued at $300 each. Afterschool programs are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is August 31. For more information, visit Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

Grants for Immigrant and Migrant Youth The Western Union Foundation is sponsoring grants for programs that enhance educational opportunities and economic development, such as job training, life skills education, computer education and financial literacy for organizations that serve migrant and immigrant populations. The application deadline is September 1. For more information, visit Western Union Foundation.

Grants for Website Development Data-Scribe is offering grants to nonprofit organizations, including afterschool programs, for website development. The grants would cover the creation of a new website or enhancement of an existing site. Grants are valued at $2,500 in in-kind services. The application deadline is September 15. For more information, visit Data-Scribe.

A survey recently released by students at the University of Arkansas, Clinton School of Public Service found that parents and children want more appealing afterschool programs to be offered statewide to reduce the number of children who are unsupervised after school hours, reports the Associated Press. The study also found that, if programs were made more affordable with convenient locations, such as being based at the schools themselves, more students would participate. Parents who were surveyed said they would like to see enriching activities afterschool that did not simply extend the school day, and that transportation is a concern.

Schools in northern San Diego County have cut back and some have even cancelled their summer school programs for elementary and middle school students this year due to financial constraints, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. While the San Diego Unified School District is projecting it will save $1.5 million by replacing its elementary summer school program with an extended-day program during the year, some educators are concerned about cutting summer learning opportunities. "I have seen the research where high-poverty kids and second-language learners actually go backwards (during summer vacation)," said Escondido Union Superintendent Jennifer Walters. "Think of the compounding effect over many summers."

The Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS), an initiative that works to highlight best practices, change policy and integrate afterschool into broader education reform efforts, recently selected Prime Time Palm Beach County Inc. to join the initiative. CBASS is comprised of exemplary programs in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Providence and Washington D.C. Prime Time's goals are to develop programs and policies that strengthen the connections between children's school day and afterschool learning experiences and develop test programs that serve high-school aged youth more effectively, among other things.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino requested $1.75 million for year-round afterschool jobs for city youth. Last year the city provided 250 teenagers with afterschool jobs in community programs, paid for by private funds. If funded, Menino's request would add 300 additional jobs. "I think it's an appropriate use of those funds, to give young people an opportunity to have real jobs after school, [and] when employers see how successful the afterschool programs are, they will probably become part of their annual budget process," Menino told the Boston Globe.

Students in the Promoting Enriching Activities for Kids (PEAK) summer program in Helena are taking to the seas and polishing up their sailing skills thanks to a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. "You get to cruise around the lake," one of the young sailors, Andy Turner, age ten said. He would one day like his own sailboat, he told the Independent Record. PEAK offers dozens of courses throughout the summer for students in first through ninth grades.

Rhode Island
Providence After School Alliance (PASA) recently announced a program expansion that will allow 300 middle school students to participate in multiple summer activities such as canoeing, sailing, mountain biking, zoo tours, swimming, filmmaking, cooking and more. A key component of the program is providing employment to high school youth. The Mayor's Substance Abuse Prevention Council, YMCA and Traveling Theater Inc. provided assistance in recruiting and training 39 high school students to staff the new program.

New York
Kicks for Kids, a new program supported by POMCO, Catholic Charities, Boys & Girls Club and P.E.A.C.E., recently gave away 100 pairs of new Starbury One sneakers to Syracuse children. The program seeks to promote children playing outside to combat child obesity. All participants had to write essays about community leadership and how they would use their sneakers during the summer months. "The program is an incentive to get kids to play outside and help parents who are struggling with economic challenges," Pat Driscoll, the city's parks commissioner, told the Post-Standard.

New York
In a first for New York City, 72 afterschool educators studied this year at colleges within the City University of New York (CUNY), receiving professional certificates in afterschool education. The graduates were honored at a ceremony hosted by The Center for After-School Excellence, which created the professional certification program in partnership with CUNY. The certificate-holders attended college courses designed to improve their practice in supporting kids academically, socially and emotionally in programs that typically combine arts, sports and recreation with academic support, reports The After-School Corporation.

Anti-hunger advocates are working to get Wisconsin named a Child and Adult Food Care Pilot Program, to increase the number of sites at which free dinners can be served to youth. Currently only seven childcare locations in the Milwaukee Public School District (MPS) have authorization to serve meals, down from 19 MPS sites last year due to new restrictions. Being named a Child and Adult Food Care Pilot Program would allow greater freedom in terms of where meals may be served, provided that at least half of children in the geographic area are eligible for subsidized meals during the school year. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that 395,000 meals were provided to children 18 and younger in the Milwaukee area last summer. "Kids are hungry the full 11 weeks of summer," said Hunger Task Force Executive Director Sherrie Tussler.

New Policy Brief Explores Extended Learning Time Even as the Extended Learning Time (ELT) movement gathers steam, program providers, policy makers and the media are struggling to understand the implications for afterschool programs. A new policy brief from The Collaborative for Building After-School Systems describes the momentum of various ELT initiatives around the country, identifies differences between ELT and traditional afterschool programs, and calls on policy makers to explore how ELT might serve as an opportunity to strengthen connections between school and afterschool.

More Time for Learning: ELT Initiatives & Enrichment Opportunities also explores the differences between a longer school day and traditional afterschool models, as well as the challenges of lengthening the school day in ways that also strengthen the role of community in the lives of disadvantaged children and families.

The Collaborative is a partnership among the leaders of local afterschool intermediaries in seven jurisdictions. The policy brief is available here.

Family Involvement Strategies in Focus The latest issue of the Harvard Family Research Project's Evaluation Exchange newsletter is focused on family involvement in out-of-school-time programs. The special double issue examines family involvement in policy, practice and research, and explores where the field is today, and where it is and should be headed. The issue includes perspectives from respected leaders in the field, including:

* Rudy Crew, Superintendent of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools;

* Karen Mapp, Anne Henderson, Kathy Hoover-Dempsey, Arnold Fege, and other researchers and experts;

* The National Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) and the National PTA; and

* Longtime and emerging leaders in practice, research, and evaluation who are developing and implementing promising approaches.

The issue is available on HFRP's (newly redesigned!) website, here.

Guide on Understanding Cyber-Bullying America Learns, in collaboration with Net-Generation expert Vanessa Van Petten, recently released a new toolkit dealing with cyber-bullying. America Learns found that teens are more likely to share information with tutors and mentors that they would normally not share with others and, with that in mind, created the free toolkit specifically for afterschool providers. It offers specific steps to address online harassment of students and gives providers guidance on how to approach the subject with school administrators, parents and others. For more information, click here.

9th Annual Lights On Afterschool is 10/16
Have you started planning your Lights On Afterschool event? For the second year in a row, the Empire State Building - a New York City landmark - will be lit a vivid yellow in honor of Lights On Afterschool day. This year's celebration will mark the 10th anniversary of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers federal afterschool initiative. Visit the Afterschool Alliances website for planning tips, links to new tools, and posters from the Afterschool Alliance.

Also new this year, the Afterschool Alliance is pleased to announce a partnership with Color-Ons. The company is creating Lights On Afterschool themed iron-on template artwork for children to decorate as they see fit. The Color-On applications work with any kind of crayon. For pricing and production information, click here. You can also order free samples by contacting Color-Ons at cq@mach3ww.com or 800/247-5988.

Like Football? Ask Your Favorite Player to Support Afterschool!
Shaun Phillips, linebacker for the San Diego Chargers has joined forces with After-School All-Stars, and the National Football League (NFL) to support afterschool through the National After-School Sack Attack program. NFL players who join the Sack Attack will raise $1,000 for each "sack" they make on the field during games. At the end of the season, the funds will be donated to the After-School All-Stars program. This is the first year the program will operate on a national basis. It began last year as a personal commitment between Phillips and his local After-School All-Stars program.

Phillips is asking his fellow NFL players and corporate sponsors to join in the effort and make the national launch a success. He credits part of his success in life and on the field to his afterschool program. "I consider myself lucky. I had somewhere to go after school and the help I got changed my life. It gave me direction, it kept me out of trouble and it helped me find the courage I needed to reach my goals. Now Im lucky enough to be able to do something for kids who need a place and a program to go to afterschool." Young NFL fans can encourage their favorite players to join the Sack Attack and help support afterschool.

Phillips stars in a brief video explaining the program and his dedication to afterschool. To view it and learn more about the program, click here.

Expanding High School Afterschool Opportunities
The MetLife Foundation recently awarded The After-School Corporation (TASC) a grant of $410,000 to recreate a highly successful Chicago high school internship program in New York and two additional cities. This spring, the After-School Apprenticeship Project launched in New York City, with approximately 40 high school students participating in the eight week program.

Students in the program are trained three days each week and also can participate in paid summer internships as coaches and camp sport instructors for younger children. The program plans to reach 100 high school students in the 2008-2009 school year. It is based on the high school apprenticeship program developed by After School Matters in Chicago. High school students who took part in the Chicago program had higher graduation rates and school attendance.

"We urgently need more ways to motivate high school kids to succeed in school all the way to graduation day," said TASC President Lucy N. Friedman. "MetLife Foundation recognized that Chicago has found an approach that works with older students. They want to do work that really interests them, to get paid and to see the tangible benefits of getting an education. Through this MetLife initiative, we'll begin to understand how that approach can work for all kinds of kids in all kinds of cities."

What Did You Do After School?
From a star chef (Mario Batali) to an astrophysicist (Neil deGrasse Tyson), great achievers share memories of what they did after school in the 2007-08 Annual Report of The After-School Corporation. Development didn't stop at 3 PM in the young lives of the president of Harvard or the founder of Craigslist, who join others in recalling their artistic, athletic and intellectual afterschool adventures. The report updates the progress of one of the most transformative public-private initiatives in New York City history, the development of a citywide afterschool system. For more information, click here.

Step Up 4 Kids Day Update
Organizations representing 40 states have joined the Every Child Matters campaign to Step Up 4 Kids on September 16. In each of those states, coalitions are forming to draw attention to the issues affecting the nation's children, including afterschool. Every Child Matters hopes to make children's issues a focus of the 2008 election.

In related news, Every Child Matters recently released the results of a national poll that shows broad support among voters of all kinds for expanded federal investments in children, youth and families. More information on the poll is available here. To join other organizations in your state in celebrating Step Up 4 Kids day, click here.

Olympic Story Contest
PNN, an Internet company, and Kids Talk Radio are seeking story submissions from youth to publish on a website and elsewhere. Stories should share an Olympic theme (the start of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing is August 8). The contest winner will receive an Apple iPhone, and other prizes include magazine subscriptions and thumb drives. Stories must be submitted by August 29. For more information, click here.

Use A4A for Discount on School Supplies
The Afterschool Alliance partnership with Discount School Supply gives friends of afterschool a ten percent discount on all school supply orders. To receive the discount, put the code A4A (it stands for Afterschool 4 All) in the pink promotional box when ordering supplies at www.discountschoolsupply.com. Or mention it when you call 1-800-627-2829 to place an order.

Mark Your Calendars...
August 15 - 17, 2008 The Center for Afterschool Education and Arcadia University are sponsoring Teaching and Learning in Out-of-School-Time on the Arcadia University Campus in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Afterschool leaders attending the Institute who complete three online courses and a practicum will receive three units in an Arcadia University Graduate Certificate in Afterschool Education. For more information, click here.

September 17 - 19, 2008 The Coalition for Science After School will host the National Conference on Science and Technology for Out-of-School Time in Chicago, Illinois. Sessions will address best practices and curriculum development and highlight equity and access issues for underrepresented populations. For more information, click here.

October 2 - 4, 2008 National Safe Place and the Southeastern Network member agencies are sponsoring the Building a Safety Net for Youth Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Conference topics include community and street outreach, and fundraising and development. For more information, click here.

October 16, 2008 The Afterschool Alliance will sponsor the 9th annual Lights On Afterschool day. The Empire State Building in New York City will be lit up in honor of Lights On Afterschool. This year's celebration will mark the 10th anniversary of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers federal afterschool initiative. To host a Lights On Afterschool event at your program or in your community, and for more information, click here.

November 5 - 6, 2008 The Best Out-of-School Time Conference will host a High School Summit in San Diego, California. The conference will focus on high school afterschool programming. Session proposals are now being accepted. For more information, click here.

More information on upcoming conferences and events is available at here.