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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.
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APR
18

FUNDING
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Time is running out to become a Summer Food Service Program sponsor

By Erik Peterson

Warm weather has returned and that means the kick-off of the Summer Food Service Program is just around the corner. This federally-funded program allows summer learning providers to serve free meals to eligible children while school is out for the summer.

Although many children qualify for this program, very few participate.

During fiscal year 2013, the National School Lunch Program provided an average of 21.5 million children a free or reduced-priced lunch each school day. When schools let out for summer, less than 10 percent of those students participated in the Summer Food Service Program.

Luckily for families who are struggling, the Summer Food Service Program is working with school districts, nonprofits and cities this summer to keep school cafeterias open and having community centers provide a site where children can get a delicious free meal.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Nutrition Summer Learning Community Partners
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APR
16

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - April 16, 2014

By Luci Manning

These Girls Cook Up Homemade Apps (Olympian, Washington)
A group of ambitious girls spent their spring break building computers, making apps, and learning about careers from women who work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields at the YWCA of Olympia’s Build Your Future camp.  The camp is just one part of the YWCA’s Girls Without Limits program, which offers numerous afterschool activities for girls throughout the year, giving girls the confidence to take on STEM projects.  Lily Storbeck, a sixth grader at Reeves Middle School told the Olympian that she “really liked making the computers. That was fun and very easy.”

Hamden Middle School Students Honor Veterans with Flowers (New Haven Register, Connecticut)
After months of anticipation, 1,000 yellow crocuses, carefully arranged in the shape of ribbons, are in full bloom outside Hamden Middle School.  Each year, members of the school’s Technology Student’s Association (TSA) afterschool program participate in community service, and this year they planted flowers to honor those who served our country.  In addition to planting flowers, the students also raised funds to purchase the bulbs and designed a computer template to achieve the perfect shape. Elissa Lupi, a member of the Veterans Commission, told the New Haven Register that “the veterans and other members of our commissions appreciate anything young people do.  It shows students have respect for veterans. And the respect is reciprocal.”

Masters Week Camp Lets Kids Play at Y (Augusta Chronicle, Georgia)
Five branches of the Family Y of Greater Augusta offered parents a helping hand when kids were out of school last week for spring break.  Millie Huff, the community relations director, told the Augusta Chronicle that the camp was simply an extension of their typical afterschool program.   Huff expressed how meaningful the program is to the community, saying that “the families are so appreciative of the care because it really does mean the difference between the children being at home by themselves versus having a safe place to go in the afternoon, having a snack and homework help and fun activities.”

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learn more about: Digital Learning Science Service
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APR
15

POLICY
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Thank you for making #3to6 Day a success!

By Erik Peterson

On March 26 (3/26) more than 3 million parents, young people and supporters of afterschool were reached through an online campaign that raised awareness about the value of afterschool programs and called for Congressional support of the Afterschool for America’s Children Act: S. 326 and HR 4086. 

Every afternoon between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. children nationwide should have the opportunity to participate in engaging afterschool programs that support their learning and development and spark their passions and creativity.  In recognition of the afterschool hours of opportunity from 3 to 6 p.m., on 3/26 friends of afterschool programs took to their social media networks to promote afterschool and build support for the Afterschool for America’s Children Act. 

The bipartisan Afterschool for America’s Children Act, S. 326 and HR 4086—led by Sens. Boxer, Murkowski and Murray in the Senate and by Reps. Kildee and DeLauro in the House—would reauthorize and strengthen the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative—the nation’s chief federal funding stream for afterschool and summer learning programs—by supporting innovative advances that support student success.

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learn more about: Advocacy Inside the Afterschool Alliance Media Outreach
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APR
3

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - April 3, 2014

By Luci Manning

One Good Reason to Support Renewing Fort Worth’s Crime Prevention Tax (Star-Telegram, Texas)

Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders makes a compelling case for why Fort Worth’s crime prevention tax needs to be renewed, citing the positive learning experiences at the Fort Worth After School (FWAS) program.  Miguel Garcia, an Afterschool Ambassador and program director of FWAS, told the Star-Telegram how the afterschool programs “provide a safe, positive learning experience for students at the end of the school day when many of them otherwise would be at home, or somewhere else, without adult supervision.”  Sanders calls the $1.1 million the FWAS program receives in Crime Control and Prevention District funding, “a small amount of money for all the benefit that comes from this exceptional program.”

Shabazz Napier Has Sturdy Base in Roxbury (Boston Globe, Massachusetts)

Roxbury coach Tony Richards was there many years ago when Shabazz Napier, point guard for the University of Connecticut, learned to play the sport he loved at the Roxbury YMCA.  Richards started coaching kids in Boston neighborhoods in his “No Books, No Ball” program to keep his son and nephew off the streets.  Richards told the Boston Globe, “You see these single mothers, you see these kids that need mentoring… that’s the energy that keeps me coming back.” Napier will play in this year’s Final Four on Saturday.

Checkmate: After-School Club Draws JHS Students (Jacksonville Daily Progress, Texas)

On any given Monday night, dozens of students are engaged in some friendly competition at Jacksonville High School’s chess club.  The newly formed club was intended not only for the students to improve their chess skills for the sake of winning the game, but to employ those skills in all areas of life.  Club co-founder Larry Richmond told the Jacksonville Daily Progress that to excel in chess, the students need to utilize logical thinking and a strong work ethic, qualities he believes are “the greatest value to academics.”  

‘Little Doctors’ Work Blood Drives (Hicksville Illustrated News, New York)

Donors at Hicksville blood drives were treated to snacks and juice from a special group of “little doctors.”  Students from seven Hicksville Elementary schools, who volunteer through the Little Doctors afterschool program, not only served refreshments but also assisted potential donors before clinicians took over the process.  “Little Doctors is an opportunity for students to learn the value of volunteerism and the importance of participating in community service,” Fork Lane School Principal Christopher Scardino told the Hicksville Illustrated News. 

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learn more about: Afterschool Ambassadors Youth Development
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MAR
18

IN THE FIELD
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New upcoming study on collective impact in three cities

By Nikki Yamashiro

Today the Wallace Foundation announced that they awarded a $799,000 grant to researchers at Teachers College, Columbia University to study if and how major community institutions can work together to address complex social and educational issues—such as educational reform—in Buffalo, New York, and two additional mid-sized cities.

The comparative study of collective impact—an approach that involves the collaboration of multiple sectors across a community to solve a complex social problem over an extended period of time—will examine the three cities’ efforts and discuss lessons learned, challenges and best practices.  Topics the research team will look at include:

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learn more about: Education Reform Equity Youth Development
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MAR
11

IN THE FIELD
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Who's afraid of digital learning?

By Ursula Helminski

One of the funnier slides from Jaime’s presentation

The use of technology raises a lot of contradictory and complex concerns: too much use; too little access; social disconnectedness; dismal STEM pipelines.  Jaime Casap, Google’s senior education evangelist, didn’t have answers for everything, but he made some compelling points during his presentation at the National AfterSchool Association Annual Conference on approaching learning today—something that, in his view, can’t be done without considering the role of afterschool, and the role of technology.  Here are a couple points I walked away with:

“Kids are wired differently these days.” Referencing what we know about evolution, Jamie took this one down pretty effectively, saying that brains are not now fundamentally different, and we should not look at our kids as though they are built differently.  Like us, they are not good at multitasking.  They can’t do two things at once any better than we can. 

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learn more about: Digital Learning Education Reform Events and Briefings Youth Development
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MAR
10

FUNDING
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Guest blog: Summer nutrition programs--providing energy and enrichment

By Alexis Steines

Signe Anderson is the senior child nutrition policy analyst at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

 

Summer should be an exciting time for all children, yet millions of low-income students lose access to healthful meals and enrichment opportunities when the school year ends. In summer 2012 only 1 in 7 low-income children who participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) had access to free summer meals. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) could assist summer programs in filling both voids of lost nutrition and lost enrichment opportunities for children who participate. Your program may be eligible to receive federal funding to provide healthful meals to children 18 years or younger in addition to the activities youre already providing. To be eligible, summer programs must be located in or near an elementary, middle, or high school where 50 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Once qualified, the program can provide meals to all participating students. Census data can also be used to qualify your program site for the meal program. A summer meal program site can exist anywhere children congregate during the summer months such as parks, pools, churches and schools.

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learn more about: Federal Funding Guest Blog Nutrition Summer Learning
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MAR
7

POLICY
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New House Budget Committee report fails to recognize recent 21st CCLC research and effectiveness

By Erik Peterson

On March 3, just one day before the president released his FY2015 budget proposal, the House Budget Committee issued a report on federal spending related to federal antipoverty efforts entitled The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later.  Among the 92 federal programs reviewed in the report is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative.   

The Budget Committee report seeks to examine the effectiveness of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson’s "War on Poverty" that was launched 50 years ago. According to the report, there are at least 92 federal programs designed to help lower-income Americans, including education and job-training programs, food-aid programs and housing programs.

The report does include a brief entry on the 21st CCLC initiative, the only coordinated federal effort that supports afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs delivered by local schools and community-based organizations. 21st CCLC programs provide students attending high-poverty schools with academic enrichment activities; a broad array of additional services designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program such as hands-on experiments to excite children about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), access to physical activity, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, art, music, opportunities to be creative, and technology education programs; as well as literacy and related educational development services to the families of children who are served in the program.  In addition, afterschool programs provide an infrastructure to bring in other resources to our children including access to mentors, tutors, and nutritious snacks and meals. 

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Budget Congress Evaluations Federal Policy Obama
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