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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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MAR
24

POLICY
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Raise your voice for afterschool programs on 3/26

By Erik Peterson

This Weds., 3/26, raise awareness about the value of afterschool programs and support the Afterschool for America’s Children Act: S. 326! 

Every afternoon between the hours of 3 to 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 use your own social media network to promote afterschool and build support for Senate Bill 326—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. 

Quick ways you can take action!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1gjJEvo
learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Afterschool Voices Congress Legislation Media Outreach Sustainability
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MAR
14

FUNDING
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Corporate foundations providing vital afterschool funding

By Michael Burke

More and more corporate partners and foundations are recognizing the important role that afterschool programs play in helping kids reach higher academic achievement and college readiness, and develop essential skills for the 21st century workplace, particularly among low-income children and families.  To help augment the work that is already taking place in afterschool, the New York Life Foundation recently awarded a $4 million, four-year grant to After-School All-Stars. The grant will help After-School All-Stars expand its programming to middle school youth in six cities across the nation.

As part of its broader mission, The New York Life Foundation is committed to educational enhancement by supporting programs that focus on academic achievement for disadvantaged children and youth, and that help children during the critical out-of-school hours.  The foundation places a special emphasis on the needs of middle and high school students, which makes its partnership with After-School All-Stars an exemplary collaboration because it will leverage the ongoing work of both organizations.

Afterschool and summer learning programs are ideal places to provide kids with educational opportunities that help them improve academic performance and develop the skills they need to succeed in college and in life. Thanks to the valuable investments of corporate foundations such as the New York Life Foundation, afterschool programs across the nation are more able to provide vital educational opportunities beyond the school day that otherwise may not have existed.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Academic Enrichment
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MAR
12

IN THE FIELD
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Summer: Helping kids get a jump on the Common Core

By Jen Rinehart

There are plenty of images of jumping associated with summer—jumping rope, jumping into swimming pools, jumping for joy on the last day of the school year—but few folks think of the role that summer learning programs can play to help students get a jump on the Common Core.

We have given the Common Core and the role of afterschool programs in supporting kids under Common Core a fair bit of coverage here at the Afterschool Snack

Now there’s a resource out from the Summer Matters campaign that hones in on the role of summer programs.  Getting a Head Start on the Common Core  highlights a number of school districts in California, including Los Angeles Unified and Sacramento City Unified, which are relying on summer programs to introduce and reinforce the skills and habits of mind emphasized by the Common Core.

The report demonstrates that summer learning programs can prevent summer learning loss, while also providing students with a leg up to be successful under the Common Core.  Lastly, the report points out how summer learning programs can provide time and flexibility for teachers to experiment with new strategies and curriculum prior to implementing them in the school classroom.  

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learn more about: Summer Learning Academic Enrichment
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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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MAR
7

STEM
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Guest Blog: Quality afterschool STEM necessitates quality teaching and learning

By Melissa Ballard

Jeff Davis is the Program Director of STEM in OST Programs at the California AfterSchool Network.  This post originally appeared on the Click2SciencePD blog on Nov. 28, 2013.

 

 

 

The Expanding Minds and Opportunities compendium highlights persuasive evidence on the effectiveness of expanded learning (afterschool, summer, inter-session, etc.) opportunities.  In one article, the authors state:

“…Quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities work.  We know that quality expanded learning programs are associated with increased academic performance, increased attendance in school, significant improvement in behavior and social and emotional development, and greater opportunities for hands-on learning in important areas that are not typically available during the school day” (Peterson, Fowler, and Dunham, p. 357).

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learn more about: Guest Blog Science State Networks Youth Development
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MAR
4

POLICY
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Updated: The afterschool and summer learning perspective on the president's 2015 budget

By Erik Peterson

Today Pres. Obama released his budget request for the upcoming 2015 fiscal year, which begins this October.  With regard to support for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative, the president requested $1.149 billion—reflecting the same level for 21stCCLC as was in the FY2014 omnibus bill that passed in January. As was the case in his budget request last year, the president proposes to radically change 21st CCLC to a competitive grant at the federal level as well as to prioritize 21st CCLC grant funding for new purposes including adding time to the traditional school day or year, and for teacher planning and professional development.

According to the discussion of the budget request for the Department of Education:

Funds would support competitive grants to states, local education agencies, nonprofit organizations, or local governmental entities for projects that provide the additional time, support, and enrichment activities needed to improve student achievement, including projects that support expanding learning time by significantly increasing the number of hours in a regular school schedule and by comprehensively redesigning the school schedule for all students in a school. Projects could also provide teachers the time they need to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development within and across grades and subjects.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Budget Congress Department of Education Federal Funding NASA Obama Science Vista
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FEB
28

FUNDING
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This is what your colleagues are reading

By Sarah Simpson

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to the huge library of research and reports we publish on our website.  To help you out, we’ve compiled a reading list of the top 10 most-downloaded documents from our website in 2013. 

Even if you’ve read them all before, now is a great time to brush up on these popular afterschool topics for 2014:

  1. Afterschool Outcomes 1-pager 
  2. Afterschool Benefits Kids with Special Needs (2008)
  3. Afterschool: A Key to Successful Parent Engagement (2012)
  4. Afterschool: A Strategy for Addressing and Preventing Middle School Bullying (2011)
  5. Aligning Afterschool with the Regular School Day: The Perfect Complement (2011)
  6. English Language Learners: Becoming Fluent in Afterschool (2011)
  7. Quality Afterschool: Helping Programs Achieve it and Policies Support it (2011)
  8. The Importance of Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in Africa-American and Latino Communities (2013)
  9. Afterschool: Providing Multiple Benefits to Middle School Students (2010)
  10. Arts Enrichment in Afterschool (2012)
share this link: http://bit.ly/1d3dgLO
learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance Issue Briefs Working Families Arts Youth Development
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