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AUG
27

POLICY
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Jim Jeffords: A founder of the movement to expand afterschool programs, a hero to children and families

By Jodi Grant

This post was originally published on Huffington Post's Education Blog. Read the original post and share your thoughts with the HuffPost community.

 

Before former Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont introduced the first legislation to provide federal funding for afterschool in 1994, the federal government played essentially no role in providing meaningful support and programming for young people in the hours after the school day ended and before parents arrived home from work. Sen. Jeffords, who passed away on Aug. 18 at the age of 80, was a pioneer in the national afterschool movement. He worked tirelessly to build congressional and presidential support for a national afterschool and summer learning program infrastructure that lives on today as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative (21st CCLC).

Sen. Jeffords had many proud accomplishments, including chairing the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and helping to shape the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the No Child Left Behind Act and the Higher Education Act. But advocates for afterschool remember him best as one of the original authors of the legislation that created the 21st CCLC.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Afterschool Voices Congress Equity ESEA Federal Policy Media Outreach Sustainability Working Families Academic Enrichment
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AUG
20

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - August 20, 2014

By Luci Manning

Bronx Shelter Helps Kids Escape Tortures of Domestic Violence, Heals Emotional Wounds (Daily News, New York)

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.

Columbia Academy Students Travel Across Globe for Summer Learning (Daily Herald, Tennessee)

High school students from Columbia Academy had a summer to remember as they travelled to different locales as part of a summer learning programs geared towards exploring the students’ passions, reports the Daily Herald.  One student travelled 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.

Engaging a Problem: Auburn Girl Attends STEM Camp in Syracuse (Citizen, New York)

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.

Rising Second-Graders Shining ‘STARS’ This Summer (Brunswick Beacon, North Carolina)

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.”

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learn more about: Science Summer Learning Literacy Community Partners
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AUG
13

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - August 13, 2014

By Luci Manning

NMSU STEM Outreach Center Expands Summer Camps and Locations (Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico)

This year, New Mexico State University’s STEM Outreach Center expanded, giving more students the opportunity to participate in fun summer STEM activities.  Susan Brown, director of the NMSU STEM Outreach program, explained to Las Cruces News how crucial it is to get kids excited about STEM, and that out of school programs are the way to truly engage them because, “summer camps give students a real-project based, problem-solving, inquiry-based approach to the STEM fields.”  NMSU STEM also runs an afterschool program during the school year. 

Girls Interest in Helping Environment Gaining Momentum (Santa Fe New Mexican, New Mexico)

Two rising sixth graders at Desert Academy are doing all they can to help the environment through their Global Warming Express!  Marina Weber and Joanna Whysner created Global Warming Express and enlisted supportive adults to raise awareness about climate change.  The camp takes a hands-on approach to teaching elementary students about biology, earth science and sustainability and public speaking, so students can effectively advocate for their cause. So far the students have gotten their school to remove a vending machine to cut down on plastic bottle waste and presented before Environmental Protection Agency officials in Denver, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.  They hope to expand the camp into an afterschool program.

Book Retailer Teaming Up With Jessye Norman School to Build Library (Augusta Chronicle, Georgia)

Kids at the Jessye Normal School of Arts are getting a library!  The school teamed up with The Book Tavern to collect books this month to build a school library.  Collin Segura, counselor and publicity representative for the school, told the Augusta Chronicle that “the reading program would be a good way to prevent summer brain drain,” and has already been successful in getting its 27 participants to read 63 books in just three weeks. 

Award Winning SD 4-H 'Teens as Teachers' Releases Program Report (Rapid City Journal, South Dakota)

The award winning Teens as Teachers program helped nearly 300 elementary and middle school students throughout South Dakota to “Take A Stand” against bullying, reports the Rapid City Journal.  Teens taught younger students about conflict-resolution including lessons on communication, teamwork, social skills, empathy and cultural awareness and gained valuable inisight into teaching as a career.  The South Dakota State University Extension 4-H Youth Development partnered with the South Dakota Coordinated School Health and the South Dakota 21st CCLC on the anti-bullying program.  

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Robotics Science Summer Learning Sustainability Literacy Community Partners
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AUG
6

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - August 6, 2014

By Luci Manning

Rally Offers Pittsburgh Public Schools' Youth Chance to Grow Through Art (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania)

Once again, students in the Art Activism summer program displayed a wide range of artistic abilities at the annual MGR Youth Rally for Change.  The program provides free academic and artistic instruction for Pittsburgh students in grades K-8 and encourages them to pursue the art form they find most appealing.   Some chose to sculpt and take photographs, others, dance.  Art Activism does more than help the students learn these mediums, but also promotes using these new tools as a way to express themselves, giving them a voice or an outlet with which to cope with problems, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The Pittsburgh Public Schools' Summer Dreamers Academy offers free academic and arts instruction for k-8 students seeking to close the summer learning gap for children from economically disadvantaged families.

Go2College Gives Silver Spring Students the 411 (The Gazette, Maryland)

Middle school students in Silver Spring discovered this summer that it’s never too early to start thinking about college.  The new Go2College summer program introduced the students, many of whom would be the first in their families to go to college, to everything from college lingo and dorm rooms to questionnaires designed to help the students decide what careers would best suit them. Cynthia Rubenstein, executive director of Passion for Learning, one of the nonprofits supporting Go2College, told The Gazette that the program is intended to help the students understand what a college experience entails and what they can do to prepare for it, saying, “It’s become less abstract for them.”

Nourishing Kids' Stomachs and Minds in Treasure Valley Parks (Idaho Statesman, Idaho)

Lakeview Park is the place to be for kids in Nampa.  Through a combination of community efforts, the students get free lunch and entertainment to fill both summer nutrition and learning gaps.  After dining on nourishing lunches provided by Oasis Food Center, the Nampa Public Library’s Summer Literacy in the Park begins story time and other fun activities including science experiments and jump-rope.  The Idaho Statesman reports that the Summer Literacy in the Park has been so successful that it has expanded beyond Nampa, and now operates in 26 sites in Boise and Garden City. 

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learn more about: Nutrition Summer Learning Arts Literacy Community Partners
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AUG
1

IN THE FIELD
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Guest Blog: The summer camp's academic achievement link

By Sarah Simpson

George Garrow is the executive director of Concerned Black Men National.

This week, the CBM Summer Camp Experience comes to an end. Concerned Black Men National sponsors a “camp” for low-income elementary school kids in the nation’s capital every year. The children who attend the five week, day-long sessions come from families whose parents otherwise might not be able to afford to send their kids to a summer program that offers free meals, safety and structure, and equally important, a quality out-of-school-time experience. The young people in our program are wide-eyed and curious about the world like those who attend summer camps throughout the country.  They join the tens of thousands of children who attend a variety of camps or similar events during the summer months.

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learn more about: Advocacy Equity Guest Blog Summer Learning Sustainability Academic Enrichment
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AUG
1

IN THE FIELD
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New BGCA Great Futures Campaign elevates the role of out-of-school time

By Erik Peterson

This week the Boys & Girls Clubs of America launched the Great Futures Campaign to call attention to the crisis facing America’s young people and to "redefine the opportunity equation" by elevating the role of out-of-school-time programs in reversing negative trends like poor academic performance, obesity, drug use, and youth-related violence. The Great Futures Campaign seeks to mobilize the nation in support of afterschool and summer learning programs that tackle these issues to inspire and empower more youth toward success.

The campaign identifies out-of-school-time programs as a key component of the solution to America’s youth crisis—but emphasizes that every day, 15 million kids (1 in 4) leave school with no place to go, putting them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe. During the summer, an alarming 43 million (3 out of 4) kids in America lack access to summer learning programs, increasing their risk of learning loss and putting them at a disadvantage for the next school year.

The Afterschool Alliance supports the Great Futures Campaign in its mission to build additional support for afterschool, before school and summer learning programs. Research shows that out-of-school-time programs work: young people who attend afterschool and summer learning programs have better attendance, improved behavior, higher grades and improved test scores among other outcomes. Boys & Girls Clubs offer a variety of programs in the areas of education, health and nutrition, and character and leadership development at its more than 4,100 clubs nationwide. BGCA is also developing new programs to close the achievement gap for children most in need, including expanding programs like Summer Brain Gain to prevent summer learning loss, enhance STEM programs to nurture 21st century skills, and deploy a robust teen engagement strategy to ensure more young adults are on track to graduate from high school and become college- or career-ready.

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learn more about: Advocacy Celebrities Summer Learning Academic Enrichment Youth Development
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JUL
30

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - July 30, 2014

By Luci Manning

Young Kids Learn Spanish at Nebraska Summer Camp (Associated Press, Nebraska)
Students at Grand Island’s YWCA’s Immersion Ranch Summer Camp are finding that learning a foreign language is fun! The summer program is teaching young students Spanish through games and activities. Participating preschool and elementary aged students can only speak English freely for ten minutes per day during this weeklong program. The rest of the three hours is spent learning the basics, including directions, animals and much more. Instructor Lisa Brown-Olsen told the Associated Press that at this age, the children are predisposed to learning the language well because their minds are like sponges.

New York Students Are Spending Their Summer in City’s Top Kitchens (Wall Street Journal, New York)

This summer, Manhattan’s most elite kitchens are getting help from 85 high school students.  The aspiring chefs are part of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for at-risk young people to enter the food industry.  Chef Daniel Boulud told the Wall Street Journal, that for young people this program is essentially “like opening one of the greatest cookbooks and living through it.” The students gain valuable, real-life experiences, from honing their knife skills to balancing flavors to plating intricate dishes.

Young Riders Earn Their Bikes in Church Program (Cape Cod Times, Massachusetts)

Students graduating from John Wesley United Methodist Church’s Earn-a-Bike program can travel home in style this Friday.  As participants in the program, students will become the new owners of the bikes they have diligently repaired. The weeklong curriculum teaches students how to maintain bicycles and educates them on important safety lessons. Church Youth Director Jeremy Tagliaferre told the Cape Cod Times that they are hoping to expand the camp into an afterschool program in the fall.   

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learn more about: Summer Learning Community Partners
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JUL
23

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - July 23, 2014

By Luci Manning

Chambersburg Students Paint ‘Pathways to Diversity’ (Public Opinion, Pennsylvania)

Chambersburg students participating in the Kids Learning After School summer program celebrated the program’s 11th annual Diversity Day with a colorful poster display this week! The artwork showcased the themes in three posters illustrating people of all colors holding hands next to a globe.  When the Public Opinion asked Odalys Ramos what she learned at camp she replied, “We can all communicate in different ways and that we each are different, we love to do stuff together and we like getting to know each other and knowing who we are deep inside.”

YWCA Expands Its After-School Program at New Bresnahan Elementary (Newburyport News, Massachusetts)

A new building will house the YWCA afterschool program, allowing it to expand to accommodate all the families who have been eagerly waiting to get off the afterschool program’s waiting list, reports the Newburyport News. The maximum capacity of the space has doubled, enabling the Y to serve the community better than ever, providing a safe environment for many more Newsburyport children to learn through play.

A Boatload of Westerly Kids and a Whole Lot of Learning (Westerly Sun, Rhode Island)

Tower Street Community Center’s summer learning program, an extension of Westerly Public Schools’ Before and After School Enrichment Program, is partnering with Save the Bay, a local environmental organization, to teach students about science, water quality, habitats and biodiversity. The Westerly Sun reported on the program’s latest adventure—a trip aboard the Elizabeth Morris where students explored the ecology of the Little Narragansett Bay. The students, equipped with binoculars and maps, were excited to spot a cunner, a tautog, and a black-fingered mud crab.

Boxer Speaks at Anti-Bullying Presentation (Caller Times, Texas)

Local boxer Jerry Belmontes visited Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department’s Latchkey Program at Schanen Elementary School to give 130 children some heartfelt advice about bullying. Belmontes dropped out of prekindergarten and kindergarten because he was bullied and now he’s determined to help others. According to the Caller Times, Latchkey Program students have also heard from members of the military representatives from colleges about reading, nutrition and recycling.  

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learn more about: Summer Learning Community Partners
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