RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Subscribe to the Afterschool Advocate newsletter
Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
Afterschool Donation
Afterschool on Facebook
Afterschool on Twitter
Blogs We Read Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Afterschool Snack Archives
JAN
15

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup - January 15, 2013

By Luci Manning

Selma High School and Second Chance Animal Shelter are partnering up to provide students with a unique afterschool experience. Starting this month students will have the opportunity to participate in a new afterschool program that combines academic skills with humane education so students can learn confidence and empathy. “Building a community’s capacity with students and adults who understand and care for animals can only make the community a better place to live and work for everyone,” Selma High School Principal Mark Babiarz told the Hanford Sentinel.
 
After art education was cut from the Edward A. Fulton Junior High School curriculum this year, the students formed an afterschool art club as an outlet for their creative juices, the O’Fallon Progress reports. Thanks to funding from student fees and the booster club, nearly 50 students are able to meet weekly to work on a wide variety of projects ranging from sculpting to drawing, to cake decorating.
 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visited an afterschool program last week and again made his case for increased funding for afterschool programs.  Calling afterschool programs, a “powerful tool,” de Blasio said that afterschool programs were useful in keeping middle school students engaged and involved and help working parents by providing their children with safe places to be in the afternoons, the Associated Press reports. According to the mayor’s plan, the expansion of afterschool programs to all middle schools would be paid for by tax increases on those earning $500,000 or more annually.
 
Three young scientists from Stonewall Jackson Middle School presented their findings from a recent experiment to figure out the best materials for shielding radiation to senior officials at NASA and the Department of Education earlier this week.  For the past several months, the afterschool students completed various challenges from NASA as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center STEM Challenges pilot program.   Each set of afterschool challenges were taped and sent to NASA, where officials evaluated the projects and selected four teams for a video conference to share their findings. The students spent two hours presenting their findings, answering questions about their experiments, and asking the panelists questions.  The students said talking to the panel was the best part and that they were “more excited than nervous,” The Roanoke Times reports.
share this link: http://bit.ly/L6Ahmb
learn more about: Afterschool Voices Arts Community Partners
Comments: (0)
JAN
15

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Digital Learning Day Challenge: #Make4DLDay

By Kamila Thigpen

On Feb. 5, thousands of educators will take part in the third annual Digital Learning Day, a nationwide celebration of common sense, effective applications of digital learning that support educators, improve learning and provide opportunities for students to achieve at their highest potential.  As part of this celebration, we’re excited to announce the #Make4DLDay challenge and want you to join the fun!

Thanks to digital media and technology, our education system is undergoing a major shift in how, where and what students are learning.  The organizations collaborating in this challenge—the Afterschool AllianceEdutopia, and the National Writing Project (via its Educator Innovator Initiative and Digital Is platform)—share a common belief that this shift should reflect connected learning principles, including interest-driven, production-centered learning opportunities for youth, in school and out.  These principles allow youth to collaborate with peers and mentors in person and via the Web as they become producers of digital artifacts and not just consumers.

To that end, we’re inviting you to join us in accepting the #Make4DLDay challenge—a set of digital storytelling activities that allow youth and adults to be makers for Digital Learning Day.  

share this link: http://bit.ly/1d9OR2r
learn more about: Afterschool Voices Digital Learning Arts
Comments: (0)
DEC
16

RESEARCH
email
print

Tweens and teens talk about what would get them to go to an afterschool arts program, Part 2

By Nikki Yamashiro

In my previous blog post, I covered researchers’ insights into what tweens want in and expect from an afterschool arts program.  Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, focus groups and analysis, the authors of “Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts” shared the barriers that keep tweens from participating in afterschool arts programs and program aspects that tweens are most drawn to.

This week I want to take a look at the second part of the report that details what afterschool arts programs can do to address the needs and demands of urban tweens and better engage this hard to reach group.  For this section of the report, authors conducted a literature review of afterschool arts programs; interviewed program providers, administration staff and researchers; and visited the sites of eight programs to create case studies for the report.  Based on the collective information, 10 principles for effective, high-quality afterschool arts programs emerged:

share this link: http://bit.ly/1bLqSdy
learn more about: Afterschool Voices Evaluations Arts
Comments: (0)
DEC
12

POLICY
email
print

Guest Blog: Teens take D.C.

By Sarah Simpson

Alberto Cruz is the Senior Youth and Family Director for the West Side YMCA in New York City and an Afterschool Ambassador emeritus.

Through the generous support of the Robert Bowne Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance, teens from the West Side Y’s Teens Take the City (TTC) program headed off to Washington, D.C., last month to meet with our elected officials to speak on behalf of YMCA of Greater New York afterschool and youth programs.

West Side Y teens set out to take over D.C. and were led by former Afterschool Ambassador and current West Side Senior Youth and Family Director Alberto Cruz and Teen Program Director Johann Dubouzet. While learning about the political landscape in Washington, teens had the opportunity to meet with legislative aides from Reps. Rangel, Serrano and Engel and with aides in Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand to speak about the importance of supporting teen programs and in particular the Teens Take the City program. TTC gives teens the opportunity to learn and participate through mock proposal writing, research and presentations about city government.

share this link: http://bit.ly/19EDK0O
learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Voices Congress Guest Blog Youth Development
Comments: (0)
NOV
22

RESEARCH
email
print

Tweens and teens talk about what would get them to go to an afterschool arts program

By Nikki Yamashiro

“How can urban, low-income tweens and teens gain equal access to high-quality arts experiences?”
 
“Is there a model of practices that could provide a blueprint for community-based organizations to emulate, so that proven approaches could be deployed in more places, more often?”
 
“How do the insights of what tweens and teens want align with what other experts say they need?”
 
These are just a few of the weighty questions tackled in the report, “Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts,” released last week by the Wallace Foundation and Next Level Strategic Marketing Group.   Earlier, I wrote ashort blog post on the report’s infographic and 10 principles to attract and keep urban tweens in afterschool arts programs.  This week I was able to take a closer examination of the 136-page report and wanted to share a few key insights.

The arts can play an incredibly important role in a young person’s life.  They can spark creativity and motivation in students—they are a way for young people to express themselves, to gain a better understanding of who they are as individuals, to build confidence and increase engagement in learning.  Afterschool arts programs are a critical partner to help ensure that the arts—which encompass everything from dance to digital media arts to poetry slams and everything in-between—is accessible to all youth, especially those in low-income areas where participation is low.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1e91FJv
learn more about: Afterschool Voices Evaluations Arts
Comments: (0)
NOV
20

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup - November 20, 2013

By Luci Manning

“The gap between school hours and traditional work schedules still exists. Latch-key kids are still around. School districts and nonprofits offer programs for after-care or extended-day programs, but all have a cost and limited space. It's an area of education that has remained a no-man's land,” Ginnie Grant with the Tulsa World writes. Grant argues that more resources should be put into afterschool programs because, “After-school hours can be used to put the lessons of the school day into practice.”
 
To turn the library into more of a “learning center,” Somerville Public Library created an After-School Academy to help the library broaden its scope and redefine its mission. In addition to the library’s new afterschool tutoring program, it is also offering free GED preparation classes from the local community college and now opens its doors on the weekends to let patrons use the Internet or do school work, the Associated Press reports.
 
A cast of second- through sixth-grade afterschool students will perform “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” based on the Charles Schulz animated special, as part of the “Junior Theatre” program at Nevada’s annual Winterfest celebration. The show will be directed by Iowa State University senior Zack Hackbarth. He told the Iowa State Daily, “This is the first time many of the kids in my show have ever done theater, so my hope is to inspire them to continue exploring their interests in the arts throughout the rest of their school years.”
 
“Learning how to manage money doesn’t have to be a tedious, boring process, students at Harper’s Choice Middle School are realizing — with the help of a computer game, financial literacy can actually be fun,” the Baltimore Sun reports. Junior Achievement of Central Maryland, in partnership with Walt Disney Imagineering and the T. Rowe Price Foundation, is offering “The Great Piggy Bank Adventure” to afterschool students. In the game students learn about good verses poor financial decisions, interest rates and diversifying investments.
share this link: http://bit.ly/1aGVlIi
learn more about: Afterschool Voices Literacy Community Partners
Comments: (0)
OCT
27

IN THE FIELD
email
print

'The Graduates' film shows the power of afterschool

By Ursula Helminski

On the heels of kicking off Lights On Afterschool with the national broadcast of afterschool documentary 'Brooklyn Castle,' public television is airing a new film on Independent Lens featuring Latino youth and the programs and people—many from the afterschool field—that helped them on the road to graduation.

The Graduates/Los Graduados, told in both Spanish and English, provides a glimpse into the lives of young Latino students who have been on the verge of dropping out, and the key moments that changed their destinies. Afterschool mentors, college counseling and academic supports provided by community organizations help these inspiring young people overcome some incredibly challenging situations, from homelessness to gangs to teen pregnancy. Dont miss this great new film—it's a wonderful testament to the power of afterschool and a tool you can use in your community to build support or to engage Latino communities.

share this link: http://bit.ly/18v7nQU
learn more about: Afterschool Voices Equity Events and Briefings Media Outreach Youth Development Community Partners
Comments: (0)
OCT
23

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup - October 23, 2013

By Luci Manning

Santa Fe’s public radio station, KSFR, reported on the award-winning Project GUTS program. The Afterschool Alliance presented the Santa Fe Institute with an award for its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related afterschool program for middle school students at its Lights On Afterschool event over the weekend. The Santa Fe Institute’s Irene Lee told KSFR the rigorous computing program allows middle-schoolers to design and develop test models simulating real-world questions.
 
Hundreds of students in Grand Rapids gathered together to celebrate Lights On Afterschool last week. 
Carrie Teer, site coordinator for the Grand Rapids Public School’s LOOP afterschool program at East Leonard Elementary, said if not for the programs, many students would be going to empty homes after school because their parents still are at work.  “That's the other message stressed by the nationwide celebration, the need for resources so more children can attend safe, structured environments. Due to funding cuts, Grand Rapids has gone from 34 to 25 sites, leaving 600 kids without programs,” MLive.com reports.
 
Deputy Speaker Upendra Chivukula was the keynote speaker at the Raritan Valley YMCA’ Lights On Afterschool celebration last week. At the event Chivukula said, “Investing in enrichment programs is extremely valuable to our youth; they keep children safe and improve academic performance and school attendance,” the Star-Ledger reports. “These benefits are not just restricted to classroom performance, but improve behavior and promote a healthy lifestyle… Parents can rest easy knowing their children are being cared for responsibly while involving themselves in fitness activities and enrichment programs.”
 
Chadron Public Schools celebrated the success of its afterschool program last week with a Lights On Afterschool event at the primary, intermediate and middle school sites. Libby Uhing, who took part in the Lights On Afterschool event with her daughter Eliana, told The Chadron Record that the afterschool program is “a little more laid back, but [the students] get so much academic enrichment,” and that the afterschool program provides a safe place with enthusiastic staff for kids to spend time at.
share this link: http://bit.ly/1cYMbb2
learn more about: Afterschool Voices Science
Comments: (0)