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SEP
20
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: September 20, 2017

By Luci Manning

Best Speaks in Support of After-School Programs (Branson Tri-Lakes News, Missouri)

Last Tuesday, Branson Mayor Karen Best spoke at a congressional briefing organized by the Afterschool Alliance in support of federal funding for afterschool programs. Best emphasized afterschool programming’s benefits for childhood development. “I firmly believe if you have a passion, it’s your duty and obligation to fight for that passion,” Best told Branson Tri-Lakes News. “As the mayor of Branson, it’s my obligation to fight for the kids in our community.” After the panel, Best had a chance to meet with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Billy Long (R-Mo.) and Ann Wagner (R-Mo.).

SHINE for Girls: Middle School Students Dance Their Way to Better Math Scores (Pensacola News Journal, Florida)

The SHINE for Girls program aims to inspire confidence and improve math scores for middle school girls by helping them learn through dance. The program is run by two Pensacola High School seniors and gives students the opportunity to partake in interactive lessons rather than working through books or worksheets. “The idea of our program is to make it so that girls are able to do math problems and to know that just because they don’t understand right now doesn’t mean they won’t be able to in the future,” Laura Hagy, 17-year-old executive director of the Florida chapter of SHINE, told the Pensacola News Journal. Students in the program have improved their test scores by an average of 50 points.

Kids Klub Climbs into Saddle with Mid-Plains Rodeo Team (North Platte Telegraph, Nebraska)

Students in the Kids Klub Rough Riders afterschool program are learning about horse care, behavior, anatomy, nutrition and safety through a partnership with Mid-Plains Community College, Dusty Trails LLC and the West Central Research and Extension Center. Last week, Kids Klub students met with the MPCC Rodeo Team for a hands-on rodeo lesson and dinner with the crew. “This was an impressive lineup of programming and a night they won’t forget,” Kids Klub executive director Carrie Lienemann told the North Platte Telegraph. Thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Department of Education, students will participate in horseback riding lessons and other activities centered around animals and agriculture throughout the fall.

Students Turn Classroom Lessons into Musical Masterpieces (Bowling Green Daily News, Kentucky)

Adairville Elementary School assistant principal Jonathan Stovall is helping students learn classroom lessons through music in a unique summer and afterschool program. Stovall and local musicians work with students Wednesday evenings at NF Records to produce songs with original rhythms and lyrics on topics from the water cycle to the U.S. Constitution. “I wanted to build something that was engaging to kids and met kids where they’re at,” Stovall told the Bowling Green Daily News.

 

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learn more about: STEM Arts Girls In The News Physical Activity
SEP
12
2017

IN THE FIELD
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New grant: Pop Culture Collaborative's Pop-Up grants program

By Maria Leyva

Education around issues of equity, justice, diversity, and inclusion has become imperative in our current climate. And many afterschool programs working on the front lines are taking the lead by launching innovative efforts to break down barriers and create inclusive and just environments. If your organization has a creative, “outside of the box” project idea that integrates elements of pop culture, media, entertainment, etc. AND can be implemented in a short 4-month timeframe, this funding opportunity is worth considering.

The Pop Culture Collaborative is now accepting applications for our ‘Pop-Up’ grants program. These rapid response grants are available on a rolling basis throughout the year for any individual, organization or company working to harness the power of pop culture to create just, authentic narratives of people of color, Muslims, immigrants and refugees through TV, movies, sports, music and all forms of entertainment and mass media.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Arts
AUG
30
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: August 30, 2017

By Luci Manning

Making Good Choices: Teen Center Fosters ‘Healthy Lifestyle Skills’ (Lake County Suburban Life, Illinois)

The Warren Township Teen Center offers teens a safe space to explore different activities, work on homework, receive guidance from adult staff members and socialize with their peers. Staff believe the center helps to decrease community violence by giving youths access to structured, beneficial activities during afterschool hours, and hope that other communities will adopt similar programs. “I think it would be very helpful in communities that don’t have anything for youth to do,” Warren Township Supervisor Suzanne Simpson told the Lake County Suburban Life.

Programs Level the Slippery Slope of ‘Summer Slide’ (Baltimore Sun, Maryland)

Montgomery County council member Nancy Navarro and Building Educated Leaders for Life CEO Lauren Sanchez Gilbert argue for increased funding for afterschool and summer programs in the Baltimore Sun: “The summer slide is about academics and economics. After all, educational inequality is a major reason for the current shortage of qualified adults who can contribute to the economy…. Yet federal funding for out-of-school-time educational programs is in jeopardy…. The stakes are too high to leave any child behind because of their race, income, or zip code. Increasing access to summer and after-school programs is not only an investment in today, it is an investment in our collective economic future.”

‘The Children Learn to Read by Singing’ (Virginian-Pilot, Virginia)

For 14 years, a free reading program has helped youths living in low-income and subsidized housing in Hampton Roads keep up their literacy skills during the summer months. Some 100 students in kindergarten through high school participated in the camp this year, which operates on an interactive curriculum meant to make reading fun. Students complete reading tests before and after the program and have demonstrated measurable improvements throughout the years. “This year we had improvement results as much as 68 percent,” program director Krystle Francis told the Virginian-Pilot. “And during the summer months; that’s huge.”

After School Music Program Proves Extremely Successful (KTUL, Oklahoma)

The nonprofit Harmony Project Tulsa gives music lessons to low-income students who may not have access to instruments outside of school. The program pairs professional musicians with youths, helping them develop a fun hobby and increasing their overall academic success. According to KTUL, Harmony Project participants performed 30 percent better on their third grade reading tests last year than their classmates who did not participate in the program. 

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learn more about: Summer Learning Arts In The News
AUG
23
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: August 23, 2017

By Luci Manning

Jamal Collins Gives Youths Lessons in Graphic Design, Life (Plain Dealer, Ohio)

An afterschool program at King Kennedy Boys & Girls Club is giving young people their first taste of graphic design, thanks to program leader Jamal Collins. Collins teaches the students about the intersection of art and coding while instilling in them life skills like self-promotion, storytelling and how to think creatively. “I can see the impact I have with these kids, so I know I’m doing it right,” Collins told the Plain Dealer. “I’m trying to get them to understand there’s no limitations on what they want to do.”

Norton’s After-School Program Takes Art into Community (Palm Beach Post, Florida)

The Norton Museum of Art’s Afterschool Arts Outreach program not only introduces some 600 students to art, music and literature – a recently completed evaluation shows that it also helps boost their self-confidence, the Palm Beach Post reports. The program teaches students to think critically, handle challenges and formulate solutions. “Children and teens believed that the program helped them to accept making mistakes, feel better about themselves, talk to adults and teachers, work cooperatively with peers, and be proud of their artwork, all indicators of self-efficacy,” Dr. Martha A. Brown wrote in her evaluation. “The evaluation also produced strong evidence that the program has a very positive impact on students’ learning about art. When asked, most students said that the classes make them feel creative and give them opportunities to express themselves.”

With Hammers and Glue, Girls in Lowell Program Explore Potential (Lowell Sun, Massachusetts)

A dozen girls are learning the ins and outs of the real estate business through the Xchange Experience summer program. The program is the result of a partnership between Lupoli Companies and Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, and introduces the young women to the various career paths available in the industry, including marketing, property development and architecture. “At the end of this eight week program, I hope that some of these career paths will resonate with the girls and that maybe in 10 years, one or two of them may come back to me and say, ‘Because of the Xchange Experience program, I became an architect,’ or ‘I became an engineer,’ or ‘I became a marketing specialist for commercial real estate,’” Lupoli Companies vice president and director of real estate Karen McShea told the Lowell Sun.

Charlotte Gets $1 Million for After School Programs (WBTV, North Carolina)

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts announced this week that the city will expand its afterschool programs for students in need, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Gambrell Foundation. The money would allow 600 to 1,000 middle school students from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District to access afterschool programs, making a dent in the 8,000 students currently on waiting lists throughout the city. “It gives children hope and courage to go to college,” Greater Enrichment Program Executive Director Bronica Glover told WBTV. “It exposes them to a variety of experiences they would never get if they weren’t in an after school [program] and it keeps them safe.” 

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learn more about: Arts Girls In The News
JUN
14
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: June 14, 2017

By Luci Manning

Inside and Outside the Classroom, After-School Programs Work (PennLive, Pennsylvania)

Several Pennsylvania state representatives and Pennsylvania Statewide/Afterschool Youth Development Network Director Laura Saccente argue in favor of afterschool funding in a PennLive op-ed: “Pennsylvania’s 21st CCLC programs provide mentors to students that have no place to go after the school day…. In 21st CCLC programs, students have the opportunity to learn and explore some of the most innovative technology available today through STEM activities…. The worst thing we can do is take these programs away from the kids and families who depend on them. Supporting afterschool is a healthy, smart investment in our kids, our families and our communities. Let’s protect that investment in Pennsylvania.”

Grad Empowers Girls in Wake of Nasty Politics (Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio)

Frustrated by what she saw as a negative climate for women in last year’s presidential election, recent high school graduate Nico Thom started She Became, an afterschool program meant to empower young girls to follow their dreams. Through the free, twice-monthly program, the third- through fifth-grade students have heard from female photographers, nurses, CEOs, layers and dentists about how to achieve their lofty goals. “There is a big lack in public schools of girl-centered confidence-boosting activity,” Thom told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

M*A*S*H* Actress Teaches Wendell Kids About Theater (Times-News, Idaho)

Students in Wendell School District’s Kids 4 Broadway afterschool program received special acting lessons from former M*A*S*H* actress Connor Snyder last week. The theater program combines lessons in the performing arts and STEM – students will perform a play on Friday about a family visited by a number of famous scientists from the past to explain their inventions and help them solve a technological problem. Many Wendell students come from low-income families and have not been exposed to theater in the past. “They’re learning there’s just this whole other world out there beyond Wendell, Idaho,” 21st Century program direct Jennifer Clark told the Times-News.

Monadnock Officials Find Way to Continue Before- and After-School Program (Keene Sentinel, New Hampshire)

Despite a loss of federal grants and other funding sources, Monadnock Regional School District officials worked out a way to keep the doors open to the popular ACES 93 and Back to Basics afterschool programs. The programs at several elementary schoosl will merge and fees will be raised for some students in order to make up for the funding losses, according to the Keene Sentinel. Approximately 435 students in kindergarten through eighth grade participate in the two programs.   

MAY
31
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: May 31, 2017

By Luci Manning

Squash Gives Kids a Way to Win Big on Court, in Life (Plain Dealer, Ohio)

Students from low-income neighborhoods throughout Cleveland are being recruited to play a somewhat unusual sport – squash. Some 45 students participate in Urban Squash Cleveland. “This is really about youth development,” Urban Community School Associate Director Tom Gill told the Plain Dealer, “and we are committed to the whole child approach and to the physical, social, emotional, spiritual and academic development of a child, and you can’t do all of that in a classroom during the school day.” Urban Squash Cleveland is one of 23 sites youth development organizations that combine homework help, community service and entrepreneurship opportunities, and squash lessons.

Where Girls Become ‘Mighty’ (Metro Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Mighty Writers, a popular and successful afterschool writing program in Philadelphia, has added a new class to its roster focused on empowering young girls. The Girl Power writing series introduces girls ages seven to 17 to the writing of women like Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, and Malala Yousafzai, inspiring them to find their inner ‘girl power’ through poetry and creative writing exercises. “If we express ourselves in writing, we can get somewhere in life and be just as equal as men,” 14-year-old Nyelah Johnson told Metro

Latinitas Marks 15 Years of Media, Tech Training for Girls and Teenagers (Austin American-Statesman, Texas)

Next month, Latinitas will celebrate 15 successful years of providing digital media and technology training to thousands of girls and teens across Texas. The nonprofit offers workshops, camps, afterschool programs, an online magazine and a soon-to-come virtual reality design program to introduce young Latinas to media and tech, sectors in which they are not currently well-represented. “I believe discussing the representations of Latinas in media at such a young age required me to constantly self-reflect,” Latinitas alumna Krista Nesbitt told the Austin American-Statesman. “I felt compelled to think about what I wanted to represent and stand for. Above all, Latinitas inspired me to be fearless and passionate.”

Nonprofit Helps Instill Cooking Skills (Riverton Ranger, Wyoming)

The Arapaho Odyssey Cooking and Gardening afterschool program is teaching elementary schoolers how to cook healthy, satisfying meals. The program uses a mobile ‘kitchen for every classroom’ provided by the nonprofit Charlie Cart Project to give students a hands-on opportunity to learn about nutrition, collaboration, food education and more. Students cook up dishes like herb and cheese frittatas, strawberry shortcakes and banana oatmeal cookies, often using ingredients from the school’s garden. “Cooking is a life lesson,” special education paraprofessional Hope Peralta told the Riverton Ranger. “We’re trying to teach a healthier way rather than eating out of a box.” 

MAY
26
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Not The Onion: Horses, surfboards, and cyberattacks in afterschool

By Jodi Grant

Photo by Pete Markham

Despite a wealth of research showing the importance of afterschool and widespread popularity with parents, students, teachers and community leaders, programs have never been more threatened. This week the president decided to double down on his call to eliminate afterschool funding in his 2018 budget proposal, leaving 1.6 million kids’ with no where to go after school. It’s a serious matter with implications for Americans across the country.  The cut has caught the attention of major national media, local media across the country, and late night comedians and Saturday Night Live.  

The Afterschool Alliance isn’t exempt from the heightened publicity. On Monday, we had our first mention in The Onion, which wrote a satirical piece on the Secretary of Education’s new plan to replace 21st Century Community Learning Centers with afterschool polo programs across the country.

I was flattered to be mentioned, but as in all great satire, the piece contained a lot of truth. If the Secretary of Education did call me, I’d be thrilled to tell her about pretty amazing afterschool programs. I haven’t heard of afterschool polo yet, but given the creativity and ingenuity local communities across the nation have developed, I would not be surprised. Afterschool programs keep kids safe, boost student success, and help working families – and quite often, they also blow your mind.

MAY
9
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Join the Popsicle Project this weekend and celebrate afterschool!

By Charlotte Steinecke

  

Show your community what your garden grows by participating in the Popsicle Project from May 12 to 14. Created by Greenville ISD ACE as a springtime celebration of afterschool, the project encourages participants to plant paper flowers attached to popsicle sticks in an outdoor location to illustrate how many children are impacted by their afterschool programs.

Interested? All you need is a plot of earth, a few craft supplies, and a social media presence! Here’s how to join:

  1. Gather enough supplies for every child in your program: “OST Grows People” front and back flower templates, large popsicle or craft sticks, school bus yellow cardstock, and packing tape.
  2. Print your flowers and the description of the Popsicle Project double-sided on your yellow cardstock.
  3. Cut out the flowers and adhere them to the popsicle sticks. 
  4. Plant the popsicle sticks, one per child, in a spot where students, parents, and your community can view them. Be sure to get permission from the landowner before your plant your sticks!
  5. Take pictures and share them on your social media! Be sure to use the hashtags #PopsicleProjectOST and #AfterschoolWorks.
  6. Remove the flowers by May 15.

This Mother’s Day, grow some support for afterschool and let your community see how many students benefit from afterschool programs!

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Arts