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FEB
14
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: February 14, 2018

By Luci Manning

Henley Student Honored for After-School Program (Herald and News, Oregon)

High school sophomore Nicole Cleland was recently honored with a $1,000 donation from U.S. Cellular to put towards the innovative afterschool program she developed for elementary school students. Cleland’s program focuses on teaching students how STEM skills can be put to good use in the agricultural industry. “Nicole’s passion and commitment to educating young lives is truly inspiring,” U.S. Cellular director of sales in the northwest Erryn Andersen told the Herald and News. “She is setting an incredible example for her peers and community, and we are in awe of the selfless acts of good she’s doing here in Klamath Falls.”

Spur Would Connect Students to Swamp Rabbit (Greenville News, South Carolina)

The Greenville community is rallying to give youths in the afterschool Momentum Bike Club safe access to nearby biking trails. At the moment, students in the club ride on busy streets or cut through the woods to get to the trail, but nonprofit Bike Walk Greenville has arranged with the city to build a connecting trail to Lakeview Middle School if the organization manages to raise $100,000 by this summer. According to the Greenville News, the group has already raised more than $47,000 toward the project. “This is going to give safe access to lots of kids, as well as the adults that also live in that area,” Bike Walk Greenville board chair Tim Hibbard said.

Computer Science Students Mentor Youth (Scarlet and Black, Iowa)

Once a week, Grinnell College computer science students head to the Drake Community Library to give coding and computer programming lessons to local middle and high school students. The student-designed curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn different programming languages and work with 3-D printers and other equipment. The afterschool club has been so successful that it has spurred improvements in computer science education elsewhere in the community, according to the Scarlet and Black. “The code club at the library was successful, which helped get the school district to add a computer science class at the high school,” Drake systems administer Monique Shore said.

Alum Teaches Vocabulary Through Hip-Hop (Brown Daily Herald, Rhode Island)

Recent Brown University graduate Austin Martin developed a creative educational platform to help underperforming students learn vocabulary and academic concepts through the hip-hop music they know and love. “I wanted to combine my love for hip-hop and this idea… about the academic viability of hip-hop,” Martin said. “I wanted to bring that spark to kids across the country with ‘Rhymes with Reason.’” Martin’s research has shown that low-performing students who choose to learn through “Rhymes with Reason” eventually surpass their higher-performing classmates who study with flashcards, according to the Brown Daily Herald. The platform is now used in approximately 35 schools and afterschool programs around the country.

FEB
7
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: February 7, 2018

By Luci Manning

CareFlight Lands at Johnson Elementary School for BOYS2MEN Program (Montrose Daily Press, Colorado)

More than 40 boys at Johnson Elementary School were thrilled to get a visit from a medical helicopter last week as part of the BOYS2MEN afterschool program. Community figures like firefighters, paramedics and police officers have been visiting the school to give students positive role models and show them the different ways they can serve their community as they grow up. “Everybody has a role to play in their community,” third-grade teacher Andrew Steck told the Montrose Daily Press. “For some of these kids, it’s their opportunity to think, ‘This is something I can explore when I get older.’”

Plotting Course to Future (Redlands Daily Facts, California)

A Redlands couple is working to make sure students from underrepresented backgrounds have greater access to higher education through the Rochford Scholar College Access Program. Tim and Carol Rochford worked with officials at the University of Redlands to craft the program, which will provide 20 students a year with college and career readiness training, tutoring, college tours and more, along with a $30,000 scholarship for students admitted to the university. “We know that this program is designed for kids who have the potential but (may) not otherwise express that potential,” University of Redlands’ School of Education Dean Andrew Wall told the Redlands Daily Facts. “We’re trying to grab hold of students and parents to give them the knowledge that will help guide them to college.”

Little Luxuries: New Clubs Mentor Girls, Young Women (Telegraph Herald, Iowa)

A hair salon owner and single mother of two has created a club to help mold young girls of color into confident, passionate individuals. The Little Luxuries Girls Club, sponsored by Dubuque’s Multicultural Family Center, gives students opportunities to work on community service projects, provides guest speakers and exposes the girls to arts and culture by bringing them to plays and other events. “It’s really helped these girls come out of their shells,” program creator Shamika Rainer told the Telegraph Herald. “It allows them to share and be more confident and comfortable with whoever they are … and to see that we all have something to contribute to society.”

Bigs with Badges: New Mentoring Program Pairs Kids with Safety Officers (Evening News and Tribune, Indiana)

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Kentuckiana recently launched a program meant to connect young students with mentors in law enforcement to build trust between the two communities and give youths positive role models to look up to. Fifteen firefighters from the Jeffersonville Fire Department have already committed.  “We have so many kids in our community [who] could really benefit from somebody who could just kind of walk that journey of life with them,” Southern Indiana Mentoring Partnership member Jerry Finn told the Evening News and Tribune. “We would love it if every child in our school system had somebody they could turn to if they had questions or need some support or just need a friend or help with homework.”

JAN
31
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: January 31, 2018

By Luci Manning

Community Schools a Way to Improve Education (Commercial Appeal, Tennessee)

Knoxville businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd vouches for community schools – like the one he helped launch at Pond Gap Elementary School – as a way to help low-income students overcome disadvantages in an op-ed for the Commercial Appeal: “Over the years of being very actively involved in our public education system, it has become clear to me that not all education solutions can be solved solely within the classroom…. From local churches to Boy Scouts and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the school becomes the hub for the community and the access point to reach parents and children…. Turning around Tennessee’s lowest-performing schools will require a team effort. Community schools may be one place to start.”

Bridging Gaps, Building Hope (Washington Post, Virginia)

Through a Hutchinson Elementary School afterschool program, immigrant students are forging bonds with local police officers and learning not to fear law enforcement. Project Hope invites Herndon and Fairfax police officers to the school to participate in fun activities with students, like competing in kickball games, playing cards or enjoying ice cream. The afterschool club helps keep students away from gangs and gives parents and community members, many of whom are immigrants from violent countries like El Salvador and Honduras, peace of mind when interacting with law enforcement. “We didn’t want our parents to be fearful when they come into the school,” principal Ray Lonnett told the Washington Post. “So, we’ve really worked to build this partnership to make sure our entire community can feel comfortable with the police.”

Young People: The Single Most Important Investment in Our Future (Garden Island, Hawaii)

Former state Senator Gary Hooser, who currently serves as board president of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action and executive director of the Pono Hawaii Initiative, makes the case for more county and community investment in youth programs in the Garden Island: “What would be the impact on drug use and abuse among our youth if their choices of after-school and weekend activities included a strong and wide array of programs including theater, art, hula, skateboarding, mountain biking…. Supporting our existing youth programs and expanding them to accommodate the needs and interests of all of our youth, must be a county and a community priority.”

West Hancock Kids Learn Science Can Be Delicious (Britt News Tribune, Iowa)

Hancock County Extension’s After School Kids Club is teaching third- and fourth-graders about the science behind their favorite foods. Recently, students learned about why Pop Rocks pop and sizzle when they put them in their mouths, and in the coming weeks they will explore the science behind treats like rock candy, cheese and ice cream. Third-grader Sophie Aitchison explained what she enjoys most about the program to the Britt News Tribune: “It’s not just like plain science. You get to eat during the lesson.”

JAN
24
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: January 24, 2018

By Luci Manning

New Team Sport Opens for Creston Youth (Creston News Advertiser, Iowa)

Nearly 70 Creston students in fourth through 12th grade are learning focus, self-control, patience and discipline through archery after school. The Creston Archery team opened last year as part of the National Archery in Schools Program, providing archery lessons alongside a curriculum focused on the history of archery, archery safety and even the math behind the sport. Coach Melissa Heatherington told the Creston News Advertiser, “It gives a lot of kids that aren’t into other sports, but are drawn to this sort of individual competition and mindset, an opportunity to be part of a team and that feeling of being part of a team.”

Museum Program Opens World of Glassblowing to Youth (Toledo Blade, Ohio)

Lucas County Juvenile Court is offering youths with difficult backgrounds an interesting opportunity to improve their academics and bolster their self-confidence: glassblowing lessons at the Toledo Museum of Art. Director of the Art Enrichment Program Joe Szafarowicz told the Toledo Blade, “We’ve been teaching art integration at the Juvenile Justice Center in detention for 13 years. We saw that teaching math, science [and] language arts through art works.” Every Wednesday, students from Youth Treatment Center, Lucas County Children Services and area high schools create works of art by melting and shaping glass at scorching temperatures of almost 2,000 degrees, all while improving their teamwork and discipline.

Girl Power: Feminist Meeting Draws Full House (Brockton Enterprise, Massachusetts)

The first meeting of a new afterschool feminist club at Stoughton High School attracted the attention of more than 150 students, girls and boys hoping to spur discussion of sensitive issues in the midst of the #MeToo movement. The U-Knighted Feminists of Stoughton High School will tackle issues like sexism and equality through open discussion, and eventually will aim to address some practical topics, like how to give a strong handshake or eat healthfully. Discussions will be driven by the students under the supervision of teachers and guidance counselors. “It’s a group to support and empower each other,” senior Emerson Sprague told the Brockton Enterprise.

‘This Is a Cool Place:’ Brewers ‘Pitch’ in to Renovate Boys & Girls Club Game Room (WITI, WI)

A $75,000 grant from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and MLB, in partnership with the Milwaukee Brewers, has let the Pieper-Hillside Boys & Girls Club update its facility to be modeled after real-life MLB clubhouses, Fox 6 WITI reports. The Club serves more than 200 youths every day, and students will now be able to play pool and foosball and enjoy new furniture, electronic gaming equipment and refurbished lighting, flooring and paint. 

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learn more about: Arts Girls In The News Physical Activity
JAN
17
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: January 17, 2018

By Luci Manning

Students Learn How to Create Meals with Sparse Resources (Tahlequah Daily Press, Oklahoma)

A Hulbert High School senior is helping her peers learn to cook delicious, creative meals through Kayla’s Teen Cooking Club. Kayla Rooster runs the club through the Hulbert Community Library, working with fellow students to prepare everything from cupcakes to pizza grilled-cheese sandwiches, emphasizing how to prepare tasty food without fancy resources. “I feel like people my age need to be more educated on cooking,” Rooster told the Tahlequah Daily Press. “That’s why people should come here. It’s a great way to learn how to make really neat food, be around your friends and enjoy yourself.”

Middle-School Girls Learn to Lead Via Improv After-School Program (Youth Today)

An afterschool improv program in Queens is doing more than just teaching girls to be funny and creative – it’s teaching them how to be leaders. Funny Girls helps middle-schoolers improve their self-awareness, empathy, collaboration, resiliency and agency, all skills that the program’s parent organization, the Harnisch Foundation, sees as essential to effective leadership. The program gives girls the chance to develop these skills in a safe space where they can experiment and make mistakes. “Funny Girls is an opportunity and an outlet to express themselves in ways they didn’t think they could,” Global Kids director of middle school programs Lisalee Ibenez told Youth Today.

Gwinnett Resident’s Sewing Studio Teaches Confidence, Pride and Skills (Gwinnett Daily Post, Georgia)

Lifelong sewing aficionado Courtenay Christian recently opened her own studio, where she shares her love for the craft with teens and preteens through afterschool classes. Lessons at her studio, Threaded from Heaven, are geared for children ages eight and up, and teach students how to measure, follow patterns and think creatively. “Sewing gives kids so much more than just what they sewed,” Christian told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “It makes you work with your cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, concentration and things of that nature. But you also see this sense of accomplishment in the kids when they’ve sewed something and the pressure is off from the school environment.”

PeacePlayers Strive for Equality On, Off Court (Baltimore Sun, Maryland)

A conflict resolution-focused basketball program started in South Africa is helping mend police-community relations in Baltimore. Through PeacePlayers International, city police officers serve as volunteer basketball coaches to elementary and middle school students, helping the youths improve their game while serving as mentors. The program teaches students to resolve conflicts peacefully and gives them lessons in leadership and self-awareness that they can apply off the court. “We teach them how to be leaders, how to have responsibility, how to resolve conflicts,” detective Joseph Bannerman told the Baltimore Sun. “To watch them grasp those concepts and use them… while on the basketball court, but also in the classrooms and in the community, that’s the ultimate goal. To be better citizens and better kids.”

JAN
10
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: January 10, 2018

By Luci Manning

Harvard Law Grad Helps Low-Income Students Aim High (Christian Science Monitor)

A Queens-based afterschool program is helping low-income students apply to and prepare for elite higher education. Legal Outreach offers writing courses, SAT prep and workshops, and even helps get students placed in summer internships with prestigious law firms. “For our kids, going to college is as different as going to another country,” co-director Bethsheba Cooper said. “Knowing what’s coming and having the tools to deal with it allows them to navigate this new world.” Once they get into college, Legal Outreach students typically outperform their peers, with some 93 percent of students graduating within six years compared to 18 percent of students from comparable high schools, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Cunningham Students Learn How to Rap through Hip-Hop Literacy Program (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa)

Ten fourth-graders at Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence are improving their writing, researching and public speaking skills through a hip-hop literacy program. The students work in groups to conceptualize and write a rap, with each person composing their own stanza, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Students have already had the opportunity to turn their ideas into a reality by recording their songs at the Teknitions studio in downtown Waterloo.

Red Bank's Community School Marks One-Year Anniversary (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee)

Hamilton County’s first community school marked its one-year anniversary this week, celebrating its successful efforts to provide wraparound services to students and parents. Red Bank Community School houses afterschool programs, academic help, parent engagement and community partnerships. “Schools can’t do it alone,” principal Ellen Harper told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Students need support outside the classroom in order to thrive. Education is a community effort and a community responsibility.”  

Alley to celebrate 20 years (Dodge City Daily Globe, Kansas)

The Alley afterschool program opened its doors in 1997 after the shooting death of teen Justin Mercado and intended to give young people a safe space to spend their afternoons. Twenty years later, the nonprofit has afterschool programming four days a week for middle school students, offering activities ranging from cooking classes to discussions with community leaders. “It’s been amazing to be here and watch kids who needed something and someone and see them change for the better,” board member Monica Astorga told the Dodge City Daily Globe. “You would see kids come in here with their heads hanging low and by the time they leave here and become adults, their head is held high.” 

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JAN
3
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: January 3, 2018

By Luci Manning

Neighborhood Center Is a Hit with Residents (Chico Enterprise-Record, California)

Anaheim’s new community center at Ponderosa Park is attracting locals of all ages to its afterschool programs, nutrition classes and educational workshops. The newly refurbished center opened last month and features a dance studio, a gym with a full basketball court, a kitchen, classrooms and a special area for teens, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record. The center’s afterschool program will give students a chance to get homework help, participate in physical activities and explore new hobbies.

New Music Program Aims to Boost Kids’ Self-Esteem (Palm Beach Post, Florida)

Musicians from the Symphonia, a renowned South Florida chamber orchestra, are sharing their love of music with members of the Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach through afterschool violin lessons. The Building a String Orchestra and Self-Esteem program aims to reach underprivileged children who may not have opportunities to play the violin to show them how versatile the instrument can be while building their self-confidence. “Music is such a significant way to help youth learn and excel in school, gain confidence, and become productive citizens in society,” club director Janice Clemmons told the Palm Beach Post. “It teaches discipline without the kids even realizing it.”

New After-School Program Promotes Healthy Eating Habits (Columbus Telegram, Nebraska)

Megan Owens, a Columbus Community Hospital dietetic intern, will be teaching elementary children about healthy foods, exercise and body positivity in a new afterschool program beginning this month. In “Food, Fitness & Fun,” students will participate in interactive nutrition and fitness activities, learn to make healthy snacks and build a positive relationship with food and exercise. “We’ll talk about what goes into making healthy choices, appropriate portions and avoiding mindless eating while sitting watching TV,” Owens told the Columbus Telegram. “We also want kids to know that getting their bodies moving can be fun.”

New LGBTQ+ Program Planned in Athens (Athens Messenger, Ohio)

Athens’ first-ever afterschool program geared specifically towards LGBTQ+ students will begin next week, providing marginalized adolescents a safe place to spend time after the school day ends and a chance to build a community among their peers. The program, PRISM, will be free and open to students of all genders, and will be run entirely by adult volunteers from the community, according to the Athens Messenger. PRISM will offer students activities in art, music and other areas of interest, and allow them to make connections with other youths and adults who have experienced the same struggles that they have. 

DEC
20
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: December 20, 2017

By Luci Manning

Obama Dons Santa Hat, Brings Holiday Cheer to DC Kids (CNN, District of Columbia) 

Afterschool students from the Boys & Girls Club of D.C. celebrated the holidays with a special visitor last week – former President Barack Obama. After arriving in a Santa hat with a sack over his shoulder, Obama handed out gifts and took photos with about 50 local children, according to CNN. “There’s no better time than the holiday season to reach out and give back to our communities,” Obama tweeted about his visit.   

Casper Elementary Students Decorate Christmas Trees for Families Who Can’t Afford Their Own (Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming) 

Cottonwood Elementary School students in the Casper Family YMCA afterschool program are getting into the holiday spirit and learning about the importance of giving back through a special project. Students have decorated eight Christmas trees to give to families who could not afford their own. “They know that they’re doing this for somebody else,” third-grade teacher Maureen Fretland told the Casper Star-Tribune. “That’s a big thing for me, is to let them know that this is a way they can give to someone else who doesn’t have their own.” Community members also donated gifts that will accompany the trees when they arrive at their new homes. 

Kids Provide Goody Bags for Police Officers (Florence Times Daily, Alabama)  

Students ages 6 to 15 showed their appreciation for Sheffield police officers last week by handing out goody bags that the officers can take with them on patrols. The bags include a variety of snacks and personalized notes from some 60 children in the Ekklesia Pre-School and Child Development Center afterschool program. Director Kateina Fitzgerald said giving back to the police force is important to do, especially during the holiday season. “They serve us on a daily basis,” she told the Florence Times Daily. “When we think about giving, we think of family and friends, but our giving should be an extension to all of those who have done so many wonderful things for our youth throughout the year.” 

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