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OCT
27

LIGHTS ON
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A million people rallied to keep the lights on after school

By Sarah Simpson

On the heels of the new America After 3PM study that found that, despite rapid growth in afterschool participation, 1 in 5 children in the United States is unsupervised in the afternoons, students, parents, educators, community leaders, policy makers, business leaders and others rallied for afterschool programs on Thursday as part of the 15th annual Lights On Afterschool. The only nationwide rally for afterschool programs included more than 8,100 events in every corner of the country, and at U.S. military bases worldwide to highlight the many ways quality afterschool programs support children, families and communities.

America After 3PM found that there is huge unmet demand for afterschool programs; the parents of 19.4 million students said they would enroll their child, if an afterschool program were available. In response, in classrooms, community centers, science museums, parks and recreation centers, malls and other settings, more than one million people came together to celebrate and support the quality afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.

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learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Voices Events and Briefings Inside the Afterschool Alliance State Networks Community Partners
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OCT
16

RESEARCH
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Unmet demand for afterschool programs approaches 20 million children

By Jodi Grant

For every child enrolled in an afterschool program, two more would enroll if they could, according to parents. That’s among the findings from our new survey, the 2014 edition of America After 3PM spanning 30,000 American households.

In all, 10.2 million children are in afterschool programs, up from 6.5 million in 2004. But the unmet demand for afterschool—parents who want to enroll their child in a program but say they don’t have a program available—has increased over the last decade as well, with the parents of a projected 19.4 million children now saying they would enroll their child in a program if one were available to them. Demand is especially high among low-income, African-American and Hispanic families.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, founder of After-School All-Stars, spoke with reporters about the data and commented:

“Due to the fact that most students come from homes where both parents are working, we have a duty to provide safe havens for our children during the crucial hours from 3-6 pm. Afterschool programs do remarkable things for our children, families and communities. Reams of data show it, and I’ve seen it in my own work. These programs help kids with homework, teach them teamwork, engage them in community service, pair them with mentors, help them to be physically fit, involve them in activities like rocketry and robotics, and much more.”

“Afterschool is a wise investment but, unfortunately, we’re not investing nearly enough,” Schwarzenegger added. “America After 3 PM shows that we are meeting only about one-third of the demand for afterschool programs. We need federal, state and local governments, philanthropies, and businesses to step up and provide the resources that will put us on the path to making afterschool available to all.”

Highlights from the new survey:

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learn more about: America After 3PM Equity Events and Briefings Federal Funding Media Outreach Working Families
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OCT
8

IN THE FIELD
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Guest Blog: Seeking youth inventions to prototype

By Ursula Helminski

Guest Blog by Reinaldo Llano, director of corporate outreach and special projects at Bright House Networks. Reinaldo leads community relations at Bright House Networks, one of the nation's largest cable and Internet providers.

 

Do you know a high school student whose creative genius is aspiring to unfold?

It’s been said that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. They’re also tomorrow’s innovators and inventors. They are OUR future. They are the ones who can help create new opportunities for our local economies to prosper and flourish.

We are proud to support Bright Ideas STEM from Today's Youth, a multi-state competition where students dream up the coolest inventions to make their own life, community or even the world more awesome and show how STEM—that's science, technology, engineering and math—can bring their idea to life!

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learn more about: Competition Guest Blog Science
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SEP
17

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - September 17, 2014

By Luci Manning

New Bowie Library Program Stops the “Shushing” (The Gazette, Maryland)
The new Teen Zone program at the Bowie Branch Library is allowing students to play board games, eat, listen to music, and even talk with friends above a whisper. The free program launched in August and gives teens a supervised place to meet up after school to do homework or relax every day between 2:30 and 6:00 p.m.  The library’s new Youth Services Coordinator Joslyn Jones tells The Gazette that since Teen Zone launched, there has been a reduction in students loitering outside the library unsupervised.   “This is a space for them to decompress… we want them to feel welcome,” she said. 

UGA Team Begins After-school Enrichment Program at Two Clarke County Elementary Schools (UGA Today, Georgia)
A partnership between University of Georgia (UGA) faculty and the Clark County School District is giving elementary students a chance to participate in a new afterschool program aimed at improving health and stimulating learning in math and reading.  The Physical Activity and Learning program is funded from a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.  A decade of research showing that children’s increased physical activity can lead to higher academic gains went into creating the program’s curriculum. “It’s fun to watch children learn and grown, and it’s an important opportunity for our UGA students to learn to engage in and evaluate experimental practices as teachers,” Paula Schwanenflugel, a professor of educational psychology and part of the interdisciplinary community service project at UGA, told UGA Today.  The program aims to be completely sustainable at the end of the five year grant.

UC Offering After-School STEAM Program (The Register-Herald, West Virginia)
Middle- and high-school students are being offered an afterschool program that incorporates science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts (STEAM) working with student mentors from the University of Charleston-Beckley campus. The Science Behind the Art Experience (SBAE) will engage students in integrated science lab activities, art-making sessions, writing and critical reflection. “For the southern West Virginia youth, SBAE will fulfill a need for supplemental art education and will contribute to the increase in science literacy,” Dr. Aida E. Jimenez Esquilin, assistant professor of biology, told The Register-Herald. The program is funded with a  Beckley Area Foundation grant and also supported by funds from the Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Soccer Teams to ‘Snack it Up’ With Veggies, Fruits (Associated Press, New Hampshire)
New Hampshire soccer coaches are receiving coupon booklets for discounted fruits and vegetables thanks to the new “Snack it Up” program designed to stress more healthful eating options. Eric Redder, technical director of New Hampshire Soccer Association, tells the Associated Press, “We are thrilled to participate in Snack It Up so that our coaches can help youth athletes fuel up on healthier snacks more affordably.” Snack it Up was created as an initiative of ChildObesity180 at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition to help coaches and afterschool program coordinators prepare better snacks through a supportive team of community partners.

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SEP
15

STEM
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New online platform to connect scientists and engineers directly to students

By Taylor Moore

Iridescent has recently released an online platform of STEM curriculum to help scientists and engineers to better connect with students and enable them to create together.  The premise of the platform revolves around three key concepts: curiosity, courage and persistence toward a solution.  Curiosity Machine provides students with access to content and mentoring that is critical in developing 21st century critical thinking skills.  Schools can use Curiosity Machine to allow students to view videos, read instructions on experiments, upload their own videos, answer questions, receive feedback from mentors, and earn badges along the way!  Additionally, the program has one-on-one mentoring support, engineering design challenges based on actual and innovation science and engineering work, and even includes professional development sessions for teachers and staff.  Curiosity Machine creates a community for families, students and mentors to learn together and work toward inspiring children to become inventors, creators, builders and engineers.

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learn more about: Science Youth Development
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SEP
15

IN THE FIELD
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September is Attendance Awareness Month

By Sophie Papavizas

In the United States, 7.5 million students miss 10 percent of the school year.  That’s 135 million days total.  More than 40 organizations, including the Afterschool Alliance, are working in partnership to raise awareness about the connection between attendance and academic achievement by celebrating Attendance Awareness Month.  Schools and organizations across the country are putting on events this month.  A map of events, a toolkit for putting on your own event and suggestions for media outreach can be found on the Attendance Awareness Month website.

Afterschool has been shown to have a significant impact on student’s school day attendance rates:

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learn more about: Events and Briefings School Improvement Academic Enrichment
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SEP
3

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup -- September 3, 2014

By Luci Manning

AT&T Gives $1 Million to Girls Who Code (The Daily Beast, National)

Late last month, AT&T donated $1 million to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspire, educate, and equip girls with computing skills. Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani told the Daily Beast, “These are girls who are facing bullying or obesity, or depression, and they’re building apps to conquer that social ill that they’re seeing in society. That’s powerful to see.” In the program, girls learn the basics of computer science, including learning the programming languages of Python and JavaScript, robot programming, JavaScript library jQuery, and have even dabbled with HTML and CSS. “I definitely want to go into computer science now,” 16 year-old student Trinity Lawrence told the Daily Beast. She continued, “After this, I’m going to try to get into iOS programming and learn how to make apps mostly for Apple and Android. But not to make money or to create the next Flappybird; I just want to lean more.”

Back to School With Lots More After (Downtown Express, New York)

Starting in September, 78,000 middle schoolers will have access to afterschool activities in 562 schools across the city, from 3  to 6 p.m., five days a week, thanks to the mayor’s $145 million afterschool expansion. “This year, what this mayor is doing – nobody has done this before, anywhere, ever,” Manhattan Youth afterschool program director Theseus Roche told the Downtown Express. Manhattan Youth is receiving six new contracts for additional afterschool programs for middle school students thanks to the influx of funding. Manhattan Youth’s afterschool programs include literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), physical activity and leadership development tracks for students.

The Detroit Bus Company integrates With Detroit Public Schools to Help Bus Kids to After-School Programs (Metro Times, Michigan)

The Detroit Bus Company, a business started by buying old school buses from Ferndale Public Schools, is getting ready to launch a new venture—transporting kids in Southwest Detroit to afterschool programs. Detroit Bus Company founder Andy Didorosi told the Metro Times, “We're acting as both a ride home and a new opportunity for kids to get to these after-school programs and then get home safely. Before, you basically had to choose between your after-school program or your ride home.”  This is first year that the program is integrated with Detroit Public Schools.

Students Prep for School Year at Easton’s Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center (Easton Star Democrat, Maryland)

Last week some 100 afterschool students “shopped” for school supplies at the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center’s Back to School Night.  Students honed both financial literacy and reading skills by choosing and purchasing their own school supplies. In addition to shopping for school supplies, representatives from the local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Talbot Community Center’s ice skating programs, the YMCA and Chesapeake College’s English as a Second Language classes gave parents additional information. “By the end of the evening, students had new friends in the wings, new hobbies to try, opportunities to test aptitude and skill, along with plenty of stuff to take to the first day of school,” the Easton Star Democrat reports. 

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SEP
2

STEM
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Girls Who Code receives $1 million from AT&T

By Taylor Moore

Girls Who Code has exploded over the past two years. What started as a pilot program of 20 has quickly grown to a graduating class of 3,000 girls at clubs and camps across the country.  Offering a summer immersion program and afterschool clubs, Girls Who Code seeks to introduce 6th to 12th-grade girls to computer science and the tech industry.  Girls learn how to use Python, Javascript, CSS and HTML and visit technology companies like AT&T AdWorks Lab, Google and Foursquare.   

In an August graduation ceremony for this summer’s program in New York City, AT&T announced a $1 million contribution to Girls Who Code. This generous gift will allow Girls Who Code to expand afterschool clubs and their summer immersion program to more cities, including Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

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learn more about: Science Sustainability
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