Afterschool Snack Archives
By Molly Tomlinson
Toledo’s Afterschool Meal Program is expanding and plans to deliver more meals to students in afterschool programs, The Blade reports. The program will serve more than 75,000 meals, an increase of 20,000 meals over last year, at 10 additional sites.
About 50 girls at Mohave Accelerated Learning Center got tips on how to look pretty and serious information about health and self-esteem at the afterschool program’s third “girls’ day” observance. Event organizer Grace Hensley, who runs the afterschool program, told the Mohave Valley Daily News, “They don’t have to be beautiful for anybody else. Or to attract a guy or to fit in. They should be beautiful for themselves.”
High school senior Eric Holleran plans to spend his afternoons helping nearly two dozen first- through fourth-grader afterschool students learn to love reading. Holleran was selected as Delaware’s National Child Awareness Month Youth Ambassador. He was awarded a $1,000 grant so that he and 10 peers can spend one hour a week for six months tutoring children at the Clarence Fraim Boys & Girls Club in Wilmington in reading and writing. “My goal is to help them improve their grades, but I’m also hoping to help them grow personally by showing them that people who enjoy school aren’t the geeks and nerds that society makes them out to be,” Holleran told the Middletown Transcript. “I want them to learn that reading is actually fun and, hopefully because we’ll all be high school students instead of adults, they’ll feel like it’s a sort of cool, too.”
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) was interviewed on MSNBC’s NewsNation to discuss the violence that continues to plague the streets of Chicago. When asked about how to reach young adults, particularly young black men, and how to help them get away from gangs, she said: “Nothing stops a bullet like a job and we need to look at that too. At a young age, we need to start working with our young men on other choices, alternative choices and jobs, afterschool programs, mentoring and things like that.”
By Nikki Yamashiro
“I could no longer work without this program. I love it and my son loves it!!!”
“As long as I have child care, I won’t have to worry about losing my job.”
“I need this service! Knowing my child is in a place that helps him do his homework and where he can do fun activities helps me…”
This is just a small sampling of quotes from working parents in New York City illustrating the crucial role afterschool programs and child care play in their lives.
“Cuts to Child Care and After-School Will Force Parents Out of the Workforce,” a report released earlier this year by the Campaign for Children, surveyed more than 5,700 working parents in March 2013 and found that almost all working parents depend on child care and afterschool programs to remain in the workforce. Almost all working parents surveyed—a sizable 95 percent—said that they rely on child care and afterschool programs to keep their jobs. Parents employed in all fields—from health care to education to construction to law enforcement—and in all capacities—from nurses and hospital technicians to security guards and members of the New York Police Department—shared how important afterschool programs and child care was in their lives. A May 2012 survey by Campaign for the Children found that 1 in 3 parents who have children enrolled in an afterschool program would need to quit their jobs if the programs weren’t accessible to them anymore.
By Shaun Gray
The Education Department at Population Connection is once again running their “World of 7 Billion” high school student video contest, which challenges students to create a short video exploring the link between population growth and the related social and environmental issues.
There are omore than 7 billion people sharing the planet and we live in an increasingly connected world. In our global society, population pressures can affect our ability to sustainably use the Earth’s resources and improve living conditions for all of the world’s people.
Considering the interdependence of people and the planet, create a short video (60 seconds or less) that illustrates the connection between population growth and one of the following global challenges:
- Climate Change: sea level rise, extreme weather, emissions
- Global Poverty: hunger, public health, education
- Water Sustainability: consumption, pollution, water conficts
Four winners will be chosen in each topic area with cash prizes for all winners; grand prizes of $1,000.
Contest is open to all students in grades 9-12, worldwide. And as a bonus, complimentary classroom resources for participating teachers.
Hurry and enter! Deadline: Feb. 21, 2014.
For contest details, visit World of 7 Billion.
By Molly Tomlinson
“Cox Elementary students who participated in the 2012-2013 Moultrie YMCA afterschool program showed significant improvement in math and reading grades, according to an evaluation submitted to the Georgia Department of Education and the Colquitt County Board of Education,” The Moultrie Observer reports. Three in 4 participating students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades improved their grades in math and nearly 2 out of 3 improved their grades in reading.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced $8.5 million in grants for 26 afterschool programs at 18 school districts statewide this week. In a statement, Gov. Malloy said, “Growing existing programs that work and creating new after-school options not only creates a safe environment for our young people, but further supports our ceaseless efforts to level the playing field and begin to eliminate the devastating achievement gap,” The Day reports.
A new Newark City School program is having a positive impact on graduation rates. The Closing the Achievement Gap program combines in-and out-of-school aspects to help students overcome obstacles—including social, emotional and economic factors—succeed and graduate. As part of the program, students are linked with afterschool programs and summer jobs, thanks to partnerships forged with community organizations like Pathways of Central Ohio, the Salvation Army, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Mental Health America of Licking County and others. “It’s likely the full effects of these programs haven’t been seen yet, but the district’s four-year graduation rate rose to 85.9 percent for the 2011-12 school year. That’s up from 68.8 percent in 2007-08 and from when the rate was mired in the 70 percent range for the past decade,” the Newark Advocate reports.
For the first time in Manatee County, four elementary schools will offer dinner for students in afterschool programs free of charge. “Being able to provide students with supper at the end of their day is so important,” Sandra Ford, the district’s director of food and nutrition, said in an email to the Bradenton Herald. “This enables them to worry less about dinner and focus more on learning.”
By Jodi Grant
Last week I had the honor of attending a Let’s Move! Active Schools event with First Lady Michelle Obama at Orr Elementary School in southeast Washington, D.C. The event highlighted D.C. Public Schools’ (DCPS) new commitment to engaging all of its students in at least five hours per week of physical activity—including during the hours before and after school.
It’s always a privilege to be in the presence of the First Lady, but I was especially pleased to hear her passion for keeping our children healthy—something the afterschool community does every day by providing opportunities for physical activity and nutrition to students across the country.
The First Lady, NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson gave remarks on the key role educators and schools play in encouraging children to engage in healthy habits and physical activity. In her remarks, Chancellor Henderson lauded local afterschool programs—particularly DC SCORES—for the key contributions they make toward teaching students healthy habits and preparing them for success both in and out of school.
By Molly Tomlinson
“While the chorus gets louder regarding the need for New York’s students to work harder and to be better students there have been substantial cuts to after-school programs in the Lower Hudson Valley,” writes Superintendent of Schools Chris Clouet, Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns, in the Westchester County Journal News. He continues: “How can leaders with a vision of a better and more prosperous 21st century for our state eliminate after-school programming for so many? How can advocates for more rigorous courses and more difficult testing for all students cut opportunities for the students who are most likely to attend after school programs — our most disadvantaged students — to achieve at the newly increased levels? The issue of supporting our most disadvantaged students so they can tap into their true potential cannot be an afterthought of public policy or viewed as a nicety… Political leaders must put back the funding for after-school programs.”
“Dominique Lombardi is a young woman with a mission: to be a positive role model for Native American youths throughout the country,” The Press-Enterprise reports. A student at Mt. Jacinto College, Lombardi works part time on the Morongo reservation with its recreation department, assisting with summer and afterschool programs and mentoring young students. “After college I will most likely go back to my reservation and teach at the Morongo School,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for youth and lots of patience for kids.”
In the wake of a July shooting, Charlotte residents concerned about youth violence are organizing a walk to raise awareness about youth violence and how to prevent more deaths. Mario Black, a behavior specialist with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, emphasized the importance of afterschool programs in keeping kids safe and engaged after school. “They motivate kids,” he told the Charlotte Observer. “There are not that many programs these days to motivate kids to be successful in school. There’s a serious lack of guidance.”
DRIVE One is seeking to become the first youth group to win the prestigious America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award at the 65th annual Grand National Roadster Show. Afterschool students are dividing their time between restoring a 1931 Ford Pickup Roadster and raising funds to make the trip to California for the show. Roseville High School auto shop teacher Paul Tregembo joined forces with Faith United Methodist Church in Macomb Township to create the afterschool program last year, and organizers have been thrilled by the program’s success. “We’re trying to help kids who might otherwise fall through the cracks — kids who aren’t necessarily involved in sports or the arts and might not be going to college,” Dale Strubank, a DRIVE One board member, as well as the head of machining for the club, told C&G Newspapers.
By Alexis Steines
September is No Kid Hungry Month, and Share Our Strength is hosting their annual Go Orange for No Kid Hungry essay contest to raise awareness of childhood hunger. Participating students are asked to write a letter to their local or national leaders explaining why ending childhood hunger matters and asking them to take action. If your students participate in the At-Risk Afterschool Meals program, consider using this contest as an opportunity for them to write letters to their legislators about why these programs are so important to them.
The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12. All entries are due by Sept. 27. The winner will receive both a $500 scholarship and a $500 donation to the child hunger nonprofit of his or her choice. The school receiving the first place award will win $1,000 to use toward classroom expenses.
There are many ways your afterschool program can join the movement to end childhood hunger, particularly as we gear up for Lights On Afterschool:
- On Sept. 24, wear orange to show your support for Go Orange for No Kid Hungry Day.
- Showcase your afterschool program’s snack or meals program as a part of your Lights On Afterschool event.
- Invite local policy makers and community leaders to observe your program in action as part of an open house or other Lights On Afterschool event.
- Keep reading the Afterschool Snack in the coming weeks for more ideas on incorporating childhood hunger awareness activities into your Lights On Afterschool event from our partners at Share Our Strength.
To learn more about the USDA’s At-Risk Afterschool Meals program, visit our Active Hours Afterschool page.
By Molly Tomlinson
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote about how the “across-the-board federal spending cuts are dragging down our economy” across Massachusetts in the MetroWest Daily News. She wrote: “We’ve worked hard to recover from the Great Recession, but the sequester is making it harder than it should be for families to get back on their feet… More and more parents are working, but after school and other programs’ funding is getting cut for more than a million of our kids. Ask a million parents what it is like to try to hold down a job when the after-school program closes its doors…. I am committed to fighting to end the sequester and make the critical investments we need to build a future together.”
The City of Chicago is creating a Web portal, ChicagoYouthOpportunities.org, to give parents and older students links to the websites of major city agencies and nonprofit organizations that run afterschool programs. The site aims to better coordinate summer and afterschool activities and to make it easier for parents to sign up. “We want the city to be more strategic in allocating its resources and programs, be able to see gaps or duplication of services and, eventually, learn what works and what doesn’t,” Beth Swanson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff for education, told the Chicago Sun-Times. The site is expected to be live this fall.
“DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander is recruiting ministers to partner with schools to create an after-school program to help steer troubled teens straight,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The police department reached out to ministers to ask them to do more community outreach in light of recent high-profile crimes that were linked to juveniles. Program organizers plan to outline the program, which will be secular, in the coming weeks.
For the first time, students participating in the Drummers With Education afterschool program will march and perform at Rio Americano High School football games. The afterschool program, with students from elementary to high school, was formed last year. Students meet once a week to learn how to read music, move together and play a variety of drums. Drummers With Education founder KaToya Moore told the Sacramento Bee, “I wanted to design a program that would encourage feeling and experiencing music as a kid.”