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:
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!
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.
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.
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:
By Luci Manning
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, 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.
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.
By Taylor Moore
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.
By Luci Manning
The Sarah Burke House in the Bronx serves as a safe haven for kids and their moms to start a new life free from domestic violence. There, the children participate in theater, dance, yoga classes, and do arts and crafts after school and during the summer because as Ted McCourtney, director of the shelter, told the Daily News, “I think it is really important that we address the clinical aspects of what is happening in the children, but also that we just provide a fun, memorable, normal summer experience for these kids.” Mothers attend job training sessions while their children engage in safe surroundings, fostering the healing process.
High school students from Columbia Academy had a summer to remember as they travel
led to different locales as part of a summer learning programs geared toward s exploring the students’ passions, reports the Daily Herald. One student travel led to Los Angeles to study fashion, another went to North Carolina to study oceanography, while others traveled to Austria and Italy to learn more about history and European culture. The program was a smashing success as the globetrotting students returned inspired and more aware of what they want their future careers to look like.
Syracuse University opened its doors this summer to promote talented seventh and eighth grade girls
’ interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curricula. “The idea is that a lot of girls at that age turn away from science and math,” Project Engage Summer Program Coordinator Carol Stokes-Cawley told the Citizen, explaining how Project Engage is there to show the girls that STEM is for them. The students explored STEM topics to a greater depth of what they would in their schools’ science labs, pushing the limits of nanoparticles to determine their breaking points and creating prosthetics out of ordinary objects, afterwards calculating their properties, volume, flexibility , and strength.
Fifteen rising second graders from Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary sang proudly at their Seaside Teaching and Reaching Students (STARS) summer program graduation ceremony this week. The six week program, hosted by Seaside United Methodist Church, helped young students develop a love of reading. Program Director Mary Ellen Good boasted to the Brunswick Beacon, “The changes I saw in their reading ability, their desire to read. When they first came in reading was the last thing on their mind. Toward the end of the program they were asking to read. They found joy in going to the library each week. They were so proud of the fact that they had library cards.”