RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Subscribe to the Afterschool Advocate newsletter
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
FEB
27

POLICY
email
print

Upcoming webinar: How changes to CCDBG will impact school-age care

By Erik Peterson

Please join the Office of Child Care (OCC) at the Department of Health and Human Services for a webinar-based discussion of school-age afterschool and summer care issues, including the impact of the newly reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act.

Following a brief presentation by OCC on various pieces of the new law, there will be an opportunity to ask questions.  In advance of the webinar you can learn more here about the new Child Care Development Block Grant Act and potential changes.

All school-age care providers are welcome to join the free webinar, as are child care advocates and state-level groups.  You can register here for this webinar, which is scheduled for March 3, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. eastern time.

After registering you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar.

share this link: http://bit.ly/18ufsNN
learn more about: Events and Briefings Federal Funding Federal Policy
Comments: (0)
FEB
26

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Bright Ideas STEM from Today's Youth finalists to compete in Orlando

By Rachel Clark

After two rounds of voting and judging in the Bright Ideas STEM from Today's Youth contest, the competition will culminate on March 6 as six finalists face off in Orlando, Fla.  The Bright Ideas STEM contest invited young people from across Bright House Networks' six service areas to dream up innovative ideas solving some of the world's challenges, inspiring local youth to become tomorrow's innovators and inventors.

To reach next Friday's competition in front of a live studio audience, finalists made it through a round of online voting on their idea's "coolness factor" as well as a round of evaluation by four expert judges.  Next, the finalists will compete head-to-head in Orlando for the chance to work with leading innovation firm Fahrenheit 212—and potentially see their idea realized!

The six finalists are:

share this link: http://bit.ly/1LJBlF5
learn more about: Science
Comments: (0)
FEB
23

STEM
email
print

Cognizant awards 34 grants to provide Maker programming in out-of-school time

By Sophie Papavizas

Cognizant has announced its grantees for the 2015 Making the Future program.  The program provides grants to community based organizations to run hands-on, Maker Movement-inspired programs in afterschool or summer camp settings.  This year, the 34 total grants will provide Maker programming to 5,000 students across 54 sites.  Working in partnership with the Maker Education Initiative and the New York Hall of Science , Cognizant committed in 2014 to providing 1.5 million hours of making experiences to 25,000 youth in over 200 communities by the end of 2017. Maker programs allow to students to be exposed to a range of STEM activities in informal and creative environments.

For more information about Maker spaces and Maker programs in afterschool check out our webinar series on making in afterschool—part 1part 2, and part 3.  And stay tuned for a spring webinar about equity and making with the Exploratorium’s Afterschool Tinkering NetworkCommunity Science Workshops and the Computer Clubhouse!

The 2015 grantees are:

share this link: http://bit.ly/1B69hu3
learn more about: Science
Comments: (0)
FEB
19

POLICY
email
print

Senate Afterschool Caucus briefing highlights the value of afterschool programs

By Sophie Papavizas

A winter storm that shut down the federal government in Washington, DC on Tuesday, could not stop afterschool advocates from taking their message to the Capitol the next day.  On Wednesday, February 18th, the Senate Afterschool Caucus, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), hosted a briefing titled “America After 3PM: Supporting Student Success Through Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs.”  The briefing focused on recently released America After 3PM data on the need for high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs and experiences at the state and local level of how the 21st Century Community Learning Center initiative plays a critical role in providing young people with educational and engaging experiences to help them succeed in school and in life.

A packed room of Congressional staff from both the House and Senate as well as afterschool advocates from national, state and local organizations heard from the panel of experts.  The panels was moderated by Nicole Johnson, a member of the board of the Maryland Out of School Time Partnership, consultant for Extraordinary Changes, and previously Senior Director for Elev8 Baltimore, a full-service community schools initiative.

The panelists painted a comprehensive picture of the supports that afterschool  programs provide:

share this link: http://bit.ly/1Aa9KKV
learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Events and Briefings Federal Funding Federal Policy
Comments: (0)
FEB
18

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup  February 18, 2015

By Luci Manning

My Valentine to Operation Shoestring (Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi)

Mother of three Wytreace Clark wrote a column for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger about her sons’ experience with Project Rise, the afterschool and summer program at Operation Shoestring. She writes: “I love Operation Shoestring’s Project Rise because the staff there truly care about my sons… I love it because it’s connected by sons with mentors who guide them in becoming responsible young men who respect themselves and others… I love it because it is giving my children the chance to try things that are new to them, like horseback riding, fishing, kickball tournaments and soccer… Operation Shoestring… is making a huge difference for my family by allowing me to work, keeping my kids safe, and inspiring them to learn.”

Homework Club, Naval Hospital Sailors Give Back (Pensacola News Journal, Florida)

Anywhere between 30 and 50 students can be seen bouncing down the halls of West Pensacola Elementary School on Tuesdays and Thursdays, excited to spend time with some special guests. The students, part of an afterschool program called the Homework Club, get to receive tutoring from Pensacola Naval Hospital sailors in subjects such as math and reading. Laurie Cothran, West Pensacola curriculum coordinator and co-creator of the tutoring program, said she has seen a positive change in the students and their work ethic since launching the program. “I’ve talked to some of the teachers and they say the ones who are participating come to class a lot more prepared and they’re participating a lot more,” she told the Pensacola News Journal.

After-School Program at Six-Month Mark (Norfolk Daily News, Virginia)

“Aftershock,” a fledgling afterschool program at Norfolk Public Schools, is creating waves of enthusiasm among more than 200 students. The program includes 27 afterschool “clubs” that cover a wide range of interests from the arts to science to physical fitness, giving students ownership over their afterschool classes and, perhaps, their future careers. “It provides students with a safe, fun, learning environment during those key hours after school when many students could be unsupervised,” superintendent of schools Dr. Jami Jo Thompson, told the Norfolk Daily News. “It is also a great way for our students to connect with community members who have special talents or interests that our students might not otherwise be exposed to.”

A Second Chance at Success for Kingman Middle School Students (Kingman Daily Miner, Arizona)

For students at Kingman and White Cliffs middle schools, especially those with low or failing grades, the afterschool activities offered are a second chance at success. Not only do they teach students unexplored skills – like how to lift weights, play the guitar or build a raised brick garden bed – the learning centers also offer them a chance to improve their behavior, productively apply themselves and connect with the community. WCMS coordinator Laura Orendain said about 60 kids currently attend the afterschool program, and parents often take advantage of the learning center’s other services as well, such as family fitness activities and employment counseling. “This program is very beneficial and opens up opportunities for the school that we didn’t have before,” she told the Daily Miner. “We’re getting more involved in our families’ lives, and that’s changing things for the kids.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/1MxMYCc
learn more about: Health and Wellness Academic Enrichment
Comments: (0)
FEB
4

POLICY
email
print

Senate HELP Committee holds hearing on Fixing NCLB through Innovation

By Sophie Papavizas

On Tuesday, February 3, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a roundtable discussion on “Fixing No Child Left Behind (NCLB): Innovation to Better Meet the Needs of Students.”  This was the third and final scheduled hearing regarding NCLB reauthorization.  The first hearing covered testing and accountability while the second covered teacher and principal preparation and evaluation.  A recording of the hearing and full written statements from each of the seven witnesses are available on the Senate HELP Committee website.

Several witnesses were affiliated with schools and organizations receiving funds through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant program.  They included Ms. Henriette Taylor, a Community School Coordinator at the Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School in Baltimore, MD whose position is partially funded by the school’s 21st CCLC grant.  Ms. Taylor specifically mentioned how the different services supported by Title IV programs like 21st CCLC are crucial to her school and emphasized wraparound services as crucial with the rise of public school families living in poverty.

Also present were Mr. Josh Davis, Vice President of External Affairs at the Delta Health Alliance, a Promise Neighborhood grantee in Stoneville, MS, and Dr. James McIntyre, Jr., Superintendent of Knox County Schools in Knoxville, TN.  Mr. Davis discussed the need for federal funding to spark innovation and offer opportunities in areas in which state budgets are unable to invest.  In his written testimony, Dr. McIntyre describes Knox County Schools’ Community Schools initiative, a public-private partnership with local community organizations and universities, which is made possible in part by a 21st CCLC grant.  The Community Schools support expanded learning opportunities, health and dental care, and evening meals for both students and their families.  They have seen positive results with fewer discipline referrals, more parent involvement, and increased academic achievement.

21st Century Community Learning Centers have shown positive results in schools across the nation, but the grant program is eliminated in Senator Alexander’s draft bill for ESEA reauthorization.  Take action now to let Congress know that you support 21st Century Community Learning Centers!

share this link: http://bit.ly/16pxhf8
learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
Comments: (0)
FEB
4

LIGHTS ON
email
print

Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation celebrates Lights On Afterschool photo contest victory

By Rachel Clark

Last week, hundreds of children, parents and community leaders came together at Forest Dale Elementary to celebrate Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s Extended School Enrichment Program being named a winner in the national Lights On Afterschool photo contest, sponsored by Bright House Networks.  More than 9,000 votes were cast in the Facebook photo contest, which aimed to capture how afterschool programs engage and inspire youth while providing a safe learning environment during the dangerous hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 “We are proud to bring home a win for Indiana, especially on Bright House Networks home turf,” said Jennifer Brown, Assistant Director for Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s Extended School Enrichment program.  “But the real excitement comes with the impact of the national Lights On Afterschool photo contest.  This was a fantastic opportunity to recognize the impact of out of school time programs across the nation and their importance to children, families and communities.  By voting for these photos, a number of people have been exposed to information about our programs that they might not have known about otherwise.”

share this link: http://bit.ly/1xgMFk1
learn more about: Community Partners
Comments: (0)
FEB
3

STEM
email
print

Department of Education announces new interagency collaborations for afterschool STEM

By Sophie Papavizas

In a January 30th press release, the Department of Education announced increased interagency collaborations in support of STEM learning in 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC).  Following on the success of a pilot NASA partnership, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Park Service (NPS) will also partner with 21st CCLC programs to offer hands-on STEM learning based on real-world programs in out-of-school time.

See the press release for more details on the types of programming being offered and don’t forget to contact Congress to help protect the federal funding stream for 21st Century Community Learning Centers!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1x6KgIu
learn more about: 21st CCLC Federal Policy Science
Comments: (0)