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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.
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FEB
6

FUNDING
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Common Core webinar recap

By Nikki Yamashiro

Following up on the release of our first issue brief of the year,  we hosted our first webinar of the year featuring three afterschool programs highlighted in the Common Core issue brief: Bridge the Gap College Prep in Marin City, California, Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL) in Baltimore, Maryland, and Raising Expectations in Atlanta, Georgia.  The issue brief was only able to broadly discuss the unique and interesting ways these programs are supporting learning around the Common Core, and the webinar served as a platform for the programs to expand on their work and share with the field in greater detail about how they’ve tailored their programs to be more intentional about connecting to the Common Core.

We first heard from Liz Bamberg and Kelly Matteri, teachers at Bridge the Gap College Prep, who talked about the way their organization looked at their mission, who they serve, and the format they were serving their students, and came to the agreement that they needed to build their students’ foundational skills.  Located in a public housing development and providing comprehensive support to low-income families, they serve close to 40 percent of Marin County youth.  Their program takes a student-specific and developmental approach, addressing socio-emotional skills and focusing on the whole student.  The program teaches students that making a mistake in the program is okay and that “a flop is part of the learning process and if you’re not falling, you’re not trying.”  The goal is to help students find their voice and gain skills—such as grit and perseverance—that they need to succeed in more challenging environments, as well as in college and in their future.
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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Education Reform Events and Briefings Issue Briefs State Policy Academic Enrichment Community Partners
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FEB
3

FUNDING
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Do you know a teen making an impact? Nominate for a TeenNick HALO Award

By Sarah Simpson

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Funding Opportunity Service
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JAN
29

FUNDING
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Why invest in afterschool & the systems to support it--2 new videos

By Ursula Helminski

The Wallace Foundation has released two great new videos that make a clear and compelling case for investing in afterschool programs and the city systems needed to support them.

"Afterschool: Hours of Opportunity" features the data and images of powerful afterschool experiences, demonstrating the importance of afterschool programs in providing opportunities to expand and deepen learning, to complement the school day with fun and engaging projects, and  to close the opportunity gap.  As featured expert Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University says, "Afterschool is where the community can help the school push back against the hungry bear of poverty." 

“Better Together: Boosting Afterschool by Building Citywide Systems” hits on the elements essential to supporting programs: systems that address data, quality, leadership and coordination.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Media Outreach Community Partners
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JAN
27

FUNDING
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Shatter the myths about drug abuse for teens

By Kamila Thigpen

Have you heard the news? This week, the National Institute on Drug Abuse is holding the third annual National Drug Facts Week. In this video, teens from three Maryland youth programs—TEENWORKS, Voices for Change, and DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council—share their thoughts on drug abuse.

Every day, teens are bombarded with conflicting messages that may leave them feeling confused and unsure of who to ask for information about drug use. With 7% of teens reporting abuse of prescription drugs in the past year and 22% of 12th graders reporting using marijuana in the past month, it’s crucial to reach teens with the facts.

Wondering how you can take part? There are plenty of ways to get involved and help shatter the myths about drug use for teens: 

For more ideas and the latest news, visit the National Drug Facts Week website.

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Health and Wellness
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JAN
22

IN THE FIELD
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#make4DLDay: What's your story?

By Kamila Thigpen

We’re inviting teachers, afterschool leaders and educators everywhere to celebrate Digital Learning Day by accepting the #make4DLDay challenge, a set of digital storytelling activities that allow youth and adults to be makers for Digital Learning Day.

Both the maker education and digital learning movements are grounded in the belief that kids learn best by doing. From cardboard and clay to circuits and computers, kids can use a variety of analogue and digital tools to tell their story. The #make4DLDay challenge is about sharing ideas among educators, and experimenting with modern ways of engaging youth in making and digital storytelling.    

Accepting the #make4DLDay challenge is easy—here’s how:

  1. Choose your level. We’ve got multiple activities for educators with varying levels of experience using digital tools. Choose your level based on the tools most readily accessible to you.
  2. Pick a relevant topic. Digital storytelling can be applied to almost any topic, from geography to STEM. Design your activity around a topic of interest to your students.
  3. Share your work. On Feb. 5, share your photos, videos and links to students’ work with other innovative educators by using the hashtag #make4DLDay.
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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Digital Learning Academic Enrichment Arts
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JAN
15

IN THE FIELD
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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.  

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Digital Learning Arts
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JAN
15

NEWS ROUNDUP
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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.
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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Arts Community Partners
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DEC
16

RESEARCH
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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:

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Evaluations Arts
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