RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Get Afterschool Updates
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.
Afterschool Donation
Afterschool on Facebook
Afterschool on Twitter
Blogs We Read Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Recent Afterschool Snacks
JAN
22

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Incorporating restorative justice in afterschool

By Erin Murphy

 

On Jan. 14, with support from the Connecticut Afterschool Network, the Rhode Island Statewide Afterschool Network hosted a webinar, Incorporating restorative justice in afterschool settingsdefining restorative justice, explaining its benefits in the afterschool setting and addressing how it can be integrated into programs. The panel for this webinar was made up of high school student advocates who had experienced restorative justice systems in their own afterschool programs.

What is restorative justice?

Unlike punitive justice, which focuses on punishing the offender, restorative justice focuses on repairing harm done. The goal is to identify who was harmed, explore why it happened, and solve the issue by considering the needs of all individuals involved—the victims and offenders. Three important principles within restorative justice include: involving the entire community, encouraging equity, and utilizing a proactive strategy.

share this link: http://bit.ly/20je0Dh
learn more about: Youth Development
Comments: (0)
JAN
21

STEM
email
print

The latest research in how policy is influencing STEM learning

By Erin Murphy

With the end of 2015 came large victories for afterschool. The passing of the new Every Student Succeeds Act secured the authorization of the 21st CCLC programs for the next four years, and the passing of the FY2016 omnibus spending bill increased funds for 21st CCLC by $15 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The omnibus also includes funding increases for education, health and human services, child care, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), all of which contribute to the development of high-quality out-of-school programs.

With education policy on our minds, we wanted to draw your attention to these new research briefs from the Relating Research to Practice (RR2P) project outlining the influence of education policy on K-12 STEM education.

High-stakes tests and ripple effects for science education

For almost two decades, strict accountability measures for schools have been in place across the country. In this study, Anderson investigated the effect of accountability on K–12 science instruction. Looking across multiple studies, he found that curricula have narrowed, less time is being dedicated to science, teacher morale is lower, and expectations for disadvantaged students have increased.

KEYWORDS: EvaluationPolicyTeaching

share this link: http://bit.ly/1WyDk5R
learn more about: Digital Learning School Improvement Science
Comments: (0)
JAN
21

IN THE FIELD
email
print

"The First State" leads by example in the push for afterschool

By Jodi Grant

Executive Director Jodi Grant with Delaware House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst

I will forever remember 2015 as a year of momentous achievement for afterschool. Years of advocacy by the Afterschool Alliance and the afterschool field culminated in President Obama signing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, protecting the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative and strengthening afterschool programs across the nation for years to come.

We can’t rest on our laurels for long. Even as the Department of Education begins determining how to implement ESSA and fund programs like 21st CCLC, too many students—almost 20 million nationwide—are still left without an afterschool program.

With a major national hurdle behind us, one way to continue expanding access to students in need is by renewing our focus on expanding afterschool and summer learning programs with our partners and afterschool advocates at the state level. Delaware, “The First State,” provides a stellar example of one such effort to expand afterschool.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1OIBaeV
learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Legislation State Networks State Policy
Comments: (0)
JAN
20

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: January 20, 2016

By Luci Manning

Lafayette Woman Creates Diverse Library for Youths (Associated Press, Indiana)

Minority children don’t often see themselves represented in children’s books, but one librarian hopes to change that through diversity-focused afterschool and summer learning programs at an innovative new library. Cindy Eberts’ library, known as the Eberts Memorial Library, has collected about 300 books by minority authors and featuring a diverse cast of characters, which play heavily into its academic programs. The afterschool program, run by the Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM), hopes to both help close the achievement gap and give students a safe space to discuss race-related issues. “Given the many race-related problems in our nation… a place for children to learn about tolerance and diversity, on a regular basis, is a wonderful antidote,” LUM executive director Joe Mincon told the Associated Press.

Study Weighs Youth Service Programs (Corning Leader, New York)

A recent study highlighted the value of Steuben County’s youth service programs, which offer fun activities, nutritious food and academic assistance that students might not otherwise receive. For local afterschool providers, the value of their programs is already obvious. “I think we’re lucky to have the afterschool time programs,” Corning Area Youth Center director Carly Cushing told the Corning Leader. “The work we do serves more children, and that’s really the important thing.” The study, which came out of the Steuben County Youth Bureau, listed four programs as critical to the community: out-of-school time, seasonal recreational activities, youth leadership and empowerment opportunities and substance abuse treatment services.

‘Girls Rock Philly’ Helps Females Find Their Vibe (Philadelphia Daily News, Pennsylvania)

A Philadelphia nonprofit afterschool program is using music to empower young ladies. At Girls Rock Philly, students learn an instrument, form a band and write an original song together, which they perform for their peers at the end of the semester. Throughout the 30-week program, the girls use acting, singing and noise improvisation to become more confident and learn how to manage stress. “Being a young girl in the world is very hard,” program director Diane Foglizzo told the Philadelphia Daily News. “We set up Girls Rock Philly as a way girls could come together instead of tearing themselves down, and as a space to build relationships instead of feeling lost and alone.”

Benefits Work Both Ways as Kids Read to Dogs, Cats (Ventura County Star, California)

Libraries and animal shelters in the Ventura County, CA area are offering programs with dual benefits – nurturing animals while allowing kids who may be struggling at school to improve their reading comprehension. In the Reading to Animals program at the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (SPARC), Waggin’ Tales and Bark Buddies at the Simi Valley Library and Paws for Reading at the E.P. Foster Library, kids read books out loud to dogs and cats. The animals are calmed by human voices, helping them get used to people before adoption, and the kids can practice their reading skills in a judgment-free zone. “It gives them confidence to gain a voice,” SPARC volunteer director of educational outreach Denise Ritchie told the Ventura County Star. “They can make a mistake and the dog or cat doesn’t care.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/1ZBRCm9
learn more about: Media Outreach Arts Youth Development Literacy
Comments: (0)
JAN
20

POLICY
email
print

Bipartisan Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill proposes to streamline afterschool and summer meals

By Erik Peterson

This morning, the Senate Agriculture Committee marks up the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, which would reauthorize the federal child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Meals.  

The newly proposed bipartisan bill, crafted by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), includes a compromise on school lunch nutrition standards as well as changes to the way school lunch applications are verified. From an afterschool and summer learning perspective, the bill does the following:

share this link: http://bit.ly/1PFfX5o
learn more about: Advocacy Congress Health and Wellness Nutrition
Comments: (0)
JAN
20

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Join us in the Sunshine State for NAA16!

By Rachel Clark

The National AfterSchool Association’s 27th annual convention is just two months away. On March 20-23, we’ll be in Orlando presenting workshops, exhibiting, and serving as a proud sponsor of the event. We hope to see many of you there!

NAA will be announcing a full schedule of more than 170 sessions in February, but you can download a preview now. You can also check out NAA’s top ten must-see workshops—we’re honored to have our workshop on effective afterschool STEM messaging included among them. Anita Krishnamurthi, Afterschool Alliance Vice President for STEM Policy and an NAA Most Influential in STEM honoree, will join the Frameworks Institute's Jennifer Nichols to guide you through new afterschool STEM data and how you can use it to tell a story. It’s an excellent chance to learn to make the case for afterschool STEM.

In addition to dozens of engaging workshops, NAA16 will offer more than 20 hours of networking opportunities, more than 100 exhibitors, and several engaging keynote speakers. Among them is Dr. Angela Duckworth, a cutting-edge researcher and MacArthur Fellow. Dr. Duckworth will lead an engaging discussion on “grit,” the skill she believes is most closely tied to lifelong success. It's certain to be a thought-provoking talk exploring how afterschool can help students succeed in school and in life.

Don't miss the premier event for afterschool professionals. Be sure to register by February 1 to take advantage of the early bird rate. We'll see you (and 1,500 colleagues from across the country) in Orlando!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1OFOuRi
learn more about: Advocacy Events and Briefings Community Partners
Comments: (0)
JAN
19

IN THE FIELD
email
print

A new TV show inspires youth to engage in community service

By Robert Abare

Yesterday evening, Nickelodeon debuted the first episode of the inspirational new series “The HALO Effect.” The series features the stories of real teens, or “Champions,” who are Helping And Leading Others to make our world a better place for all. Each month, the show will challenge viewers and their families to get involved in a community-building project started by a HALO Effect Champion.

Yesterday’s episode featured the story of Jessica Collins, a 16-year-old from Shelbyville, Ky., who started the organization A Place to Sleep at age 10. By delivering bedding supplies to children in need, Jessica’s organization has since helped over 700 kids get beds of their own since she launched the project.

Jessica supports A Place to Sleep through a “Pajama Walk-and-Run” fundraiser, which brings together people in her community for a fun day of exercise in sleepwear, all while raising money and awareness for children who lack the proper materials to get a good night’s sleep.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1ZyDSsn
learn more about: Youth Development Community Partners
Comments: (0)
JAN
15

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Meet Tiereny Lloyd, our new Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives!

By Tiereny Lloyd

Hello, Hello, Hello! I am Tiereny Lloyd, the new Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives at the Afterschool Alliance. As the Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives, in collaboration with the Policy team, I am charged with directing a national, state and local level effort to progress health and wellness policy for children and youth in afterschool, summer learning and early care and education programs. In this role, I have the unique opportunity to not only work on behalf of the out-of-school time community but also support the early childhood community as well.

I have a deep commitment to advancing the comprehensive health and wellness of children, particularly those most at risk. Before coming to the Afterschool Alliance, I implemented a national physical activity program for Head Start children while working at the National Head Start Association, managed an oral health campaign to decrease pediatric dental disease while working at the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, and most recently served as the Senior Manager of Strategic Relationships at SHAPE America for Let’s Move! Active Schools. Although those roles afforded me a national perspective of child health and wellness’ standards and practice, it was through my previous roles as a local pre-school teacher and director that often grounds, influences, and provides practical meaning to my advocacy work. 

Given the Afterschool Alliance’s successful track record of afterschool advocacy and true commitment to increasing access to quality programming, it is an honor to become the newest member of the Afterschool Alliance policy team. I am energized and ready to support the out-of-school time and early childhood program providers and organizations with the promotion of campaigns that will advance state health and wellness policy. Together, let’s make our kids healthier!!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1n0Hozk
learn more about: Health and Wellness Inside the Afterschool Alliance
Comments: (0)