Guest blog: 33 boys. Zero girls.

By Jothi Ramaswamy, founder and CEO of ThinkSTEAM. “33 boys. Zero girls.” Four words. That’s all it took to transform my 13 year old perspective on society. I was talking with my brother over dinner when he iterated this gender ratio in his undergraduate C++ coding...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/29/18

Weekly Media Roundup: March 21, 2018

Environmental Science Center Creates Future Conservationists (Westside Seattle, Washington) The nonprofit Environmental Science Center connects youth and other community members with nature. The center hopes that by introducing students to the environment through hands-on scientific...

BY: Luci Manning      03/21/18

Weekly Media Roundup: March 14, 2018

Mobile Community Center Heads to Troubled Neighborhood; High Hopes for After-School Care (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas) The Las Vegas Trail Revitalization Project and Catholic Charities of Fort Worth will hopefully be opening a brick-and-mortar community center later this year; until then, an...

BY: Luci Manning      03/14/18

$1M from "Black Panther" proceeds to go to afterschool programs

Disney’s “Black Panther” not only gave boys and girls a few new heroes to look up to: it also gave them inspiration to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math. Now, Disney is helping those kids in real life by donating $1 million of the “Black...

BY: Shaun Gray      03/07/18

STEM bill passes House, could support afterschool STEM

On February 13, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the “Building Blocks of STEM Act.” The bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3397), sponsored by Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and cosponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/05/18

Storytelling & mentoring can bring STEM's Hidden Figures into the spotlight

By Allyson Kennedy, a scientist, educator, and STEM advocate. Allyson received her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 and is now working to broaden participation in computing education through an AAAS Science and Technology Policy fellowship at the National...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/26/18

"I get the chance to meet people I never would have been able to before"

By Maya Irvine.  Maya is a freshman at Camdenton High School and was named a Youth Afterschool Ambassador in the fall for the 2017-2018 school year. Maya has attended Camdenton FIRST LASER Robotics program for the past six years. Her blog post highlights the science,...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/23/18

What the FY19 budget request does, and doesn?t do, for STEM learning

On February 12, the White House released its FY19 budget request. As expected, it reiterated much of the FY18 request, including deep cuts to and elimination of many discretionary programs. This year’s request was made more confusing due to the congressional budget deal reached just days...

BY: Stephanie Rodriguez      02/22/18

From D.C. to Johannesburg, music makes STEM learning sing

“If you’re passionate about anything, there really is no limit to what you can do,” says Lemond Brown, president and CEO of Swaliga Foundation. “That passion is contagious. People want to know ‘Well, why are they so passionate about that? How can I have that same...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/16/18

STEM funding opp: Enter the 2018 Possibility Grants sweepstakes

Make your lab a little more fab: enter the Siemens 2018 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes! K-12 schools are eligible to enroll in the sweepstakes and vote daily for their school, from now until the deadline on April 27. Check out the possibilities with the #IDreamofSTEM hashtag. Grant Name: 2018...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/08/18

Have you thanked your library lately?

The first week of April is National Library Week, with today being National Library Workers Day. Take the opportunity today to visit your local library or send a message thanking the staff and administrators for all the work they do in your community! Across the country,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/03/18

More than 600 organizations send a message to Congress: Afterschool works

On March 13, the Afterschool Alliance released a letter signed by 80 national and more than 550 state and local organizations representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C., calling on House and Senate appropriators to fund the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative at...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/16/18

It's Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®!

Today we’re excited to take part in celebrating Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® (AIKD)! AIKD is a national holiday that lifts up the kids and teens in our lives, and it was founded by Camp Fire in 1997. While we’ve enjoyed spotlighting the great work done at Camp Fire programs...

BY: Faith Savaiano      03/15/18

Free eBook available: The Afterschool Guide to Building English Language Learners' Literacy

By Heidi Ham, vice president of programs and strategy at National AfterSchool Association. For the more than 4 million English language learner (ELL) students who attend public schools nationwide, it’s more critical than ever to literacy skill development support both in and out...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/05/18

Overdeck Family Foundation renews efforts to support STEM learning

Updated March 2 to include a quote from Overdeck Family Foundation Program Officier Brian Carter.  Advancing supportive afterschool policies, regardless of the focus area, requires a collaborative, multi-pronged approach. As such, we are delighted to continue our partnership...

BY: Stephanie Rodriguez      01/26/18

Weekly Media Roundup: December 13, 2017

Contest Pitting Students Against JPL Engineers Draws a Vast Pool of Contenders (La Cañada Valley Sun, California) Students from around the world, including those in Los Angeles afterschool programs, faced off against teams of engineers from La Cañada’s Jet Propulsion...

BY: Luci Manning      12/13/17

Creating high-quality arts programs in national youth-serving organizations

While research has shown that participation in the arts promotes positive youth outcomes, providing quality arts programming can seem like an unobtainable goal to many programs, especially those that mix various art disciplines into daily programming but do not have an arts focus. But a new report...

BY: Leah Silverberg      10/27/17

Youth-serving organizations can leverage a growing resource: volunteers age 50+

By Sarah McKinney, Content Marketing Producer at Encore.org’s Gen2Gen campaign.   Diana Amatucci volunteers after school and during the summers at her local Boys and Girls Club in Charlottesville Virginia. A retired teacher, Amatucci knows that kids need more champions...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/24/17

New report from the Wallace Foundation: Strategies to scale up

The question of how to scale up—taking a successful program, project, or policy and growing it to expand its reach and therefore its impact—has been an important one when thinking about systems change. It is a key component in efforts to make sustainable, positive social gains; a...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      10/06/17

Pro sports can connect kids to afterschool STEAM learning

By Jesse Lovejoy, director of STEAM Education for the San Francisco 49ers and managing partner of EDU Academy. More information on 49ers STEAM programming is available here.  On its best days, informal and afterschool education is cool. It’s different. It lights fires. For many...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/29/17

Weekly Media Roundup: March 28, 2018

Immokalee Teens Earn Scholarship Money Through Mentor/Tutor Program (WJCT, Florida) The nonprofit Guadalupe Center is working to break the cycle of poverty in the Immokalee farmworker community by offering scholarships to high school students who tutor local elementary schoolers. The teenagers...

BY: Luci Manning      03/28/18

The view from Ground Zero: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. Welcome to the first of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. In the first part, Nila describes the earliest signs of the opioid crisis impacting her community...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/18

Promising practices: Hybrid tech/analog system grows STEM mentoring

During CS Ed Week, we wanted to highlight an initiative that pushes the envelope on excellence in computer science and STEM. Keshia Ashe, the co-founder and chief executiver officer of ManyMentors, sat down to talk about afterschool, STEM mentoring, and fostering the growth of underrepresented...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/07/17

"Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool" highlights promising practices for all ages

The next generation of the American workforce is growing up right now and afterschool programs are vital partners in helping young people discover new passions and work towards their dreams. As in so many other subjects, the variety and versatility of afterschool programming offers opportunities...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/14/17

Introducing our inaugural class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors

Through our Afterschool Ambassadors program, every year we recruit a cohort of program providers and advocates of special distinction and provide them with training, technical support, and modest funding to complete projects that raise the profile of afterschool in their communities. This year,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      11/10/17

Youth-serving organizations can leverage a growing resource: volunteers age 50+

By Sarah McKinney, Content Marketing Producer at Encore.org’s Gen2Gen campaign.   Diana Amatucci volunteers after school and during the summers at her local Boys and Girls Club in Charlottesville Virginia. A retired teacher, Amatucci knows that kids need more champions...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/24/17

Nominate a youth volunteer for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

For many middle and high school students, community service is a requirement for graduation—one that afterschool programs often assist with, giving students a chance to give back through volunteering, community beautification efforts, and tutoring younger students. As a result, afterschool...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/13/17

What's happening for Lights On 2017?

Lights On Afterschool is less than eight weeks away and lots of programs have started planning their events! From marches and rallies to scavenger hunts and STEM lessons, the possibilities for a successful event are endless. Looking for inspiration for your event? Check out the revamped Event...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      08/25/17

How does afterschool contribute to military readiness?

In 2016, the Council for a Strong America released America Unprepared, showing data that more than 70 percent of young adults in the United States would not qualify for military service due to obesity and other health issues, poor academic performance, drug abuse, or involvement in crime. As a...

BY: Leah Silverberg      08/14/17

Weekly Media Roundup: August 2, 2017

If You Think This Camp’s Unusual, You’re Dead Right (Riverdale Press, New York) A cemetery may not seem like an obvious location to host a summer camp, but for some 20 students from the Bronx, it has been the perfect place to spend time outside while learning about the history of...

BY: Luci Manning      08/02/17

HEPA success story: Uniting stakeholders is key to victory

When Sheree Vodicka first heard of legislation passed in California to establish healthy out-of-school time (OST) programs, she realized there may be an opportunity to replicate that in North Carolina. As a recipient of the YMCA of the USA’s Pioneering Healthier Communities grant...

BY: Faith Savaiano      04/06/18

The need to enhance kids' access to water in and out of school

By Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Director, Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Did you know that 1 in 4 kids drink no water in a day? Latino kids drink less water than their white peers. They also are more likely to perceive tap water as unsafe, and drink more sugary drinks, our research...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/30/18

Afterschool programs can play a big role in childhood nutrition

By Crystal FitzSimmons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at Food Research & Action Center. Hooray! It’s National Nutrition Month. Time to celebrate the important role that afterschool programs are and can play in supporting good nutrition among the children they...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/23/18

Afterschool can help solve a national security crisis

We have a looming national security emergency, and it may not be the one that first comes to mind. 71 percent of Americans between 17 and 24 years of age— or 24 million of the 34 million young people in our country—are ineligible to serve in the United States military. The...

BY: Arielle Kahn      03/16/18

Afterschool is perfectly situated to help: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. This is the second part of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. You can read part one here. In the second part, Nila describes the challenges and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/12/18

Health & wellness efforts face deep cuts in FY19 budget proposal

Afterschool and summer learning programs provide comprehensive programming to help improve the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of students. However, the recent release of President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 budget threatens to negatively impact children’s health and safety in...

BY: Tiereny Lloyd      03/06/18

Experts discuss afterschool's role in opioid abuse prevention

Opioid addiction plagues our country, deeply impacting adults and children alike. We at the Afterschool Alliance believe that afterschool has a huge part to play in mitigating this crisis through preventative measures. On Wednesday, February 27, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)...

BY: Arielle Kahn      03/02/18

The view from Ground Zero: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. Welcome to the first of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. In the first part, Nila describes the earliest signs of the opioid crisis impacting her community...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/18

Weekly Media Roundup: February 21, 2018

For Camden Teens, ‘Black Panther’ Lives Up to the Hype (Courier Post, New Jersey) Some 100 students from Camden area schools and afterschool programs were treated to an advance screening of the new ‘Black Panther’ film thanks to Campbell Soup Company’s Black...

BY: Luci Manning      02/21/18

Weekly Media Roundup: February 14, 2018

Henley Student Honored for After-School Program (Herald and News, Oregon) High school sophomore Nicole Cleland was recently honored with a $1,000 donation from U.S. Cellular to put towards the innovative afterschool program she developed for elementary school students. Cleland’s program...

BY: Luci Manning      02/14/18

Afterschool awesomeness prevails

When times feel uncertain, and our work seems never-ending, positive moments are all the more important. This can be especially true in advocacy, when a victory can be undone in a matter of minutes, and steps forward are often followed by leaps backwards. Endurance, hope, and determination...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/23/18

Afterschool funding preserved in proposed FY2018 spending bill, still under attack for 2019

  Update 2, March 23, 8 a.m.: After The House approved the $1.3 trillion FY2018 omnibus spending package on Thursday in a 256-167 vote, the Senate passed it just after midnight Friday in a 65-32 vote that averted a government shutdown. The bill now goes to President Trump for his...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/22/18

Secretary of Education DeVos fumbles when asked about afterschool funding

Something noteworthy happened on Tuesday, when Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified at a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. Midway through the contentious hearing, DeVos fumbled badly. She dismissed a question...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/21/18

100+ members of Congress call for increase in afterschool funding

This week Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) sent a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter signed by 111 members of Congress to House Appropriations Committee leaders Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) sending a clear message “…to support funding for...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/20/18

More than 600 organizations send a message to Congress: Afterschool works

On March 13, the Afterschool Alliance released a letter signed by 80 national and more than 550 state and local organizations representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C., calling on House and Senate appropriators to fund the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative at...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/16/18

Health & wellness efforts face deep cuts in FY19 budget proposal

Afterschool and summer learning programs provide comprehensive programming to help improve the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of students. However, the recent release of President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 budget threatens to negatively impact children’s health and safety in...

BY: Tiereny Lloyd      03/06/18

STEM bill passes House, could support afterschool STEM

On February 13, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the “Building Blocks of STEM Act.” The bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3397), sponsored by Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and cosponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/05/18

Experts discuss afterschool's role in opioid abuse prevention

Opioid addiction plagues our country, deeply impacting adults and children alike. We at the Afterschool Alliance believe that afterschool has a huge part to play in mitigating this crisis through preventative measures. On Wednesday, February 27, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)...

BY: Arielle Kahn      03/02/18

Administration slashes federal afterschool funding

Today the Trump administration released their fiscal year 2019 full budget proposal just days after Congress approved topline spending levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The full budget represents the president’s vision for how Congress should spend federal funds for the upcoming fiscal...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/12/18

What the bipartisan budget deal means for afterschool

Around 2 a.m. this morning the Senate and then the House passed a bipartisan budget deal and continuing resolution that extends government funding to March 23, doubles the federal investment on child care, and also raises the spending caps for non-defense and defense spending for FY2018 and...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/09/18

Weekly Media Roundup: April 4, 2018

As State’s First Lady Visits, After-School Programs Worry About Funding (KTVF, Alaska) Alaska First Lady Donna Walker, as part of her role as Honorary Chair of the Alaska Children’s Trust Board of Directors, toured Joy Elementary School in Fairbanks last week to learn more about the...

BY: Luci Manning      04/04/18

Afterschool awesomeness prevails

When times feel uncertain, and our work seems never-ending, positive moments are all the more important. This can be especially true in advocacy, when a victory can be undone in a matter of minutes, and steps forward are often followed by leaps backwards. Endurance, hope, and determination...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/23/18

Afterschool funding preserved in proposed FY2018 spending bill, still under attack for 2019

  Update 2, March 23, 8 a.m.: After The House approved the $1.3 trillion FY2018 omnibus spending package on Thursday in a 256-167 vote, the Senate passed it just after midnight Friday in a 65-32 vote that averted a government shutdown. The bill now goes to President Trump for his...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/22/18

100+ members of Congress call for increase in afterschool funding

This week Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) sent a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter signed by 111 members of Congress to House Appropriations Committee leaders Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) sending a clear message “…to support funding for...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/20/18

STEM bill passes House, could support afterschool STEM

On February 13, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the “Building Blocks of STEM Act.” The bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3397), sponsored by Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and cosponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/05/18

Administration slashes federal afterschool funding

Today the Trump administration released their fiscal year 2019 full budget proposal just days after Congress approved topline spending levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The full budget represents the president’s vision for how Congress should spend federal funds for the upcoming fiscal...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/12/18

New spending deal and CR within reach, child care funding could double

Update: Feb. 9, 7 a.m.: After a brief shutdown around midnight last night, the Senate and the House both passed the bipartisan budget deal and fifth continuing resolution. The government now remains funded at FY2017 levels through March 23, and new higher spending caps for defense and non...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/07/18

Federal funding battle triggers government shutdown

Update: Jan. 22, 3 p.m.: A little after noon (ET)  today (Jan 22), Senate Democrats accepted Majority Leader McConnell’s commitment to bring stand-alone immigration reform legislation to the Senate floor by February 8 for an up or down vote to include provisions to extend the...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/19/18

New Year, new budget, same federal spending quagmire

In less than ten days, Congress will again face a deadline to address FY 2018 federal funding. The third continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress in late December is scheduled to expire at midnight on January 19, 2018, and a way forward through the impasse has not yet emerged. While...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/12/18

The year in federal afterschool policy

Federal afterschool policy in 2017 had ups and downs, and plenty ‘firsts.’ It was the first time a president proposed complete elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative – the primary source of federal funding...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/17

Weekly Media Roundup: April 4, 2018

As State’s First Lady Visits, After-School Programs Worry About Funding (KTVF, Alaska) Alaska First Lady Donna Walker, as part of her role as Honorary Chair of the Alaska Children’s Trust Board of Directors, toured Joy Elementary School in Fairbanks last week to learn more about the...

BY: Luci Manning      04/04/18

Afterschool awesomeness prevails

When times feel uncertain, and our work seems never-ending, positive moments are all the more important. This can be especially true in advocacy, when a victory can be undone in a matter of minutes, and steps forward are often followed by leaps backwards. Endurance, hope, and determination...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/23/18

100+ members of Congress call for increase in afterschool funding

This week Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) sent a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter signed by 111 members of Congress to House Appropriations Committee leaders Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) sending a clear message “…to support funding for...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/20/18

Health & wellness efforts face deep cuts in FY19 budget proposal

Afterschool and summer learning programs provide comprehensive programming to help improve the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of students. However, the recent release of President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 budget threatens to negatively impact children’s health and safety in...

BY: Tiereny Lloyd      03/06/18

Administration slashes federal afterschool funding

Today the Trump administration released their fiscal year 2019 full budget proposal just days after Congress approved topline spending levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The full budget represents the president’s vision for how Congress should spend federal funds for the upcoming fiscal...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/12/18

What the bipartisan budget deal means for afterschool

Around 2 a.m. this morning the Senate and then the House passed a bipartisan budget deal and continuing resolution that extends government funding to March 23, doubles the federal investment on child care, and also raises the spending caps for non-defense and defense spending for FY2018 and...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/09/18

New spending deal and CR within reach, child care funding could double

Update: Feb. 9, 7 a.m.: After a brief shutdown around midnight last night, the Senate and the House both passed the bipartisan budget deal and fifth continuing resolution. The government now remains funded at FY2017 levels through March 23, and new higher spending caps for defense and non...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/07/18

Federal funding battle triggers government shutdown

Update: Jan. 22, 3 p.m.: A little after noon (ET)  today (Jan 22), Senate Democrats accepted Majority Leader McConnell’s commitment to bring stand-alone immigration reform legislation to the Senate floor by February 8 for an up or down vote to include provisions to extend the...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/19/18

New Year, new budget, same federal spending quagmire

In less than ten days, Congress will again face a deadline to address FY 2018 federal funding. The third continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress in late December is scheduled to expire at midnight on January 19, 2018, and a way forward through the impasse has not yet emerged. While...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/12/18

The year in federal afterschool policy

Federal afterschool policy in 2017 had ups and downs, and plenty ‘firsts.’ It was the first time a president proposed complete elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative – the primary source of federal funding...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/17