Archives:

Select:

Afterschool biking programs build career skills and get kids active

READ FULL STORY

Afterschool biking programs build career skills and get kids active

America After 3PM data shows us that afterschool programs are keeping kids active in plenty of unique ways. To highlight just one of the many activities programs are leveraging, we’re celebrating National Bike to School Day by featuring some of the programs that are empowering physical activity through biking.

  • In Kansas City, the FreeWheels for Kids program helps middle schoolers stay active and also empowers them to become leaders for healthy change in their community by teaching them how to fix bikes, build nature trails, and raise their voices in support of a bike-friendly community.
  • iCan Shine partners with public school districts around the country to host afterschool bike programs to enrich the lives of people with disabilities by offering the opportunity to learn to ride a bike—according to the organization, over 80% of people with Autism and 90% of people with Down syndrome never learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle.
  • Cycles of Change offers youth in Alameda County, California, opportunities to learn bicycle mechanics, earn bikes of their own, and go on “pedal-powered adventures” that get youth active while exploring their neighborhoods.
  • In Chicago, a DePaul University senior has pioneered Four Star Bikes, a workshop-based afterschool program that offers career skills while promoting activity in the community by teaching high schoolers to repair and build bicycles for community members.

Interested in finding a youth-focused bicycle program in your community this National Bike Month?  The International Bicycle Fund offers a directory of youth programs in the United States, Canada, and around the world. 

Beacon House, Comcast help students thrive in Northeast D.C.

By Kareem Harris, student at Friendship Collegiate Academy and Beacon House. Comcast recently hosted a celebration of Internet Essentials at Beacon House in Northeast D.C. Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program, offering...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/30/18

Youth voice: The power of STEM learning opportunities

By Archika Dogra. Archika, 16, is a high school junior at the Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington who co-founded the EduSTEM Initiative, along with Evelyn Chen and Maya Srikanth, two juniors at Newport High School. Archika is also president of her school’s Technology Student...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/12/18

Guest blog: You are never too young to have a voice

By Kyra-Lee Harry, 4-H Collegiate Leader/National 4-H Youth Action Citizenship Pillar Winner. Growing up, I was always that student who volunteered to present, answer questions, or do something that involved interacting with my peers and using my voice. Even at a young age, I knew that I had a...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/24/18

Guest blog: Afterschool makes "cents" for Georgia

By Jessica Woltjen, policy & outreach manager at the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network.  When the clock strikes 3 p.m., thousands of Georgia’s youth head off to explore their interests, develop new skills, and build upon school day learning at afterschool and youth development...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/18/18

Guest blog: Branding tips your afterschool program needs to achieve success this school year

By Susan Le, Senior Marketing Manager at Peachjar, who strives to help after school programs elevate their marketing strategy so they can reach families more effectively and continue to make a meaningful impact in the lives of children. In addition to developing your program curriculum,...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/17/18

16 afterschool leaders named White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellows

Sixteen leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning nationwide have been selected as White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellows as part of a partnership between the Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Through deep discussion of...

BY: Jen Rinehart      09/11/18

In Baltimore, kids conquer uneven bars and bar graphs

To be able to guess what the students in the Barclay After School Program are doing for the three hours after the last bell rings, you’d have to keep up with a diverse and ever-rotating schedule of activities, from STEM contests to photography lessons, from arts programming to...

BY: Faith Savaiano      07/20/18

This is summer learning: Encouraging girls to be strong, smart, and bold

The weather is teetering between 90 and 100 degrees, and the sidewalks of D.C.’s iconic Shaw neighborhood are almost completely vacant. It is the heart of summer—when quality summer programs are especially important to keep children engaged. The D.C. affiliate of the national non-profit...

BY: Dayna Hood      07/16/18

Quality out-of-school time programs help keep youth on track for success

By Major General (Ret.) Peter Gravett, U.S. Army. This post was originally published by the Council for a Strong America. Read the original post here. We know the afterschool hours are a peak time for kids to commit crimes or become victims of crimes. While the typical school day routine is...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/05/18

Afterschool Spotlight: Career readiness event shakes up students' imaginations

By Charlotte Steinecke, communications manager at the Afterschool Alliance, and Sam Harp, site director at SOAR, the Camp War Eagle Afterschool Program. Every afternoon, the Jones Center in Northwestern Arkansas fills with children and young people shooting hoops in the gym, playing clapping...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      06/08/18

Promising practices: Coaching Corps’ strategy physical & social-emotional health

This blog post was adapted from a program spotlight in the Afterschool Alliance issue brief, “A Big-Picture Approach to Wellness: Afterschool Supporting Strong Bodies and Minds.” Established in the late 1990s as Team-Up for Youth, Coaching Corps works to ensure that children in...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/01/19

Building a trauma informed care approach for afterschool programs & community-based organizations

By Jennifer Smith, afterschool program manager at the Center for Community Health Advancement, Marshfield Clinic Health System. Recently, schools, afterschool programs, and community-based organizations have shared the increasing numbers of disruptive and challenging youth in their programs....

BY: Guest Blogger      03/22/19

Advancing equity in children's health: New messaging resource!

The Afterschool Alliance has released an Out-of-School Time (OST) Health Equity Messaging Resource in collaboration with Voices for Healthy Kids and We-Collab. Designed to be used in conjunction with the Voices for Healthy Kids Health Equity for Public Policy Messaging Guide, the OST Health Equity...

BY: Marisa Paipongna      01/31/19

Afterschool Heals Tennessee: A Q&A on the opioid crisis

To help shatter the myths during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, we bring you a story of how an afterschool state network is leveraging afterschool programs to support children, youth, families, and communities facing the opioid and substance use epidemic. In this Q&A with the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/25/19

Guest blog: Let’s shatter the myths about drugs and alcohol

By Brian Marquis, public liaison officer, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. Myths about drugs and drug use are pervasive, and for young people, it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. Out-of-school time (OST) programs can play a...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/07/19

5 tips for a fun and healthy winter break

This post is part of Healthier Generation’s #HealthyHolidays blog series, highlighting healthy ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season at home, school, and work. This post originally appeared on HealthierGeneration.org. View all posts in the #HealthyHolidays series here. The...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/20/18

The Body Project: Q&A on a body positivity afterschool program

The Body Project is a group-based intervention program facilitated through NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) that provides young girls the forum to push back against the body ideal and engage in the development of healthy body images. This body acceptance education curriculum has proven...

BY: Erin Hegarty      11/20/18

NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards streamlined in version 2.0

By Heidi Ham, Vice President, Programs and Strategy at National AfterSchool Association. Studies show that healthy, active children learn better, perform better academically and experience fewer behavioral problems. Afterschool and summer learning programs are well-positioned to be key partners...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/14/18

Fresh SEL and health & wellness resources live on our website

We’re excited to unveil the latest additions in our refreshed resources for field: our brand new Health & Wellness Initiatives and Social Emotional Learning pages. These pages are currently outfitted with tools, research, and information for program providers and researchers to...

BY: Faith Savaiano      08/17/18

Guest blog: 2018 state report cards on active kids and communities

By Margaux Mennesson, marketing and communications manager at Safe Routes to School National Partnership. A new report out from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the Y, Making Strides: 2018 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities,...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/17/18

Building a trauma informed care approach for afterschool programs & community-based organizations

By Jennifer Smith, afterschool program manager at the Center for Community Health Advancement, Marshfield Clinic Health System. Recently, schools, afterschool programs, and community-based organizations have shared the increasing numbers of disruptive and challenging youth in their programs....

BY: Guest Blogger      03/22/19

Afterschool takes a deeper dive into civic education

With the past few years have been full of inspiring displays of civic education and action from our nation’s youth, a brighter spotlight has been shone on the role that afterschool programs can play in supporting the youth who are inspired to take action in their own...

BY: Faith Savaiano      03/05/19

Guest blog: Fresh Air Fund offers city kids new experiences, connections every summer

By Alexis De La Rosa, an alum of The Fresh Air Fund in New York City. Alexis is a senior at Middlebury College in Vermont, and in Fall 2018, he studied abroad at Oxford. Alexis spent his summers with a Fresh Air Fund volunteer host family in Connecticut from the age of 7. Diversity, challenges,...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/29/19

Afterschool Heals Tennessee: A Q&A on the opioid crisis

To help shatter the myths during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, we bring you a story of how an afterschool state network is leveraging afterschool programs to support children, youth, families, and communities facing the opioid and substance use epidemic. In this Q&A with the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/25/19

The Body Project: Q&A on a body positivity afterschool program

The Body Project is a group-based intervention program facilitated through NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) that provides young girls the forum to push back against the body ideal and engage in the development of healthy body images. This body acceptance education curriculum has proven...

BY: Erin Hegarty      11/20/18

Using visual learning & history to strengthen reading skills

Identity in Montgomery County, Maryland, is no stranger to afterschool and summer learning. The organization acts as a safe and enriching community for Latino children and their families to receive all the tools they need to be successful in school and in life. This summer, Identity programs are...

BY: Dayna Hood      08/21/18

New federal opportunities to advance two-generation approaches

In a new SolutionSERIES brief, “New Federal Opportunities to Advance Two-Generation Approaches to Improving the Lives of Children and Parents,” Ascend at the Aspen Institute explores new funding and policy developments that can strengthen two-generation (2Gen) system...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      07/23/18

Kansas programs show strength of law enforcement and afterschool partnerships

This is a two-part blog series outlining Kansas’ commitment to establishing partnerships between law enforcement and afterschool programs. The previous post focused on the afterschool network and this post delves into specific programs. Rachel Willis, who I interviewed for...

BY: Arielle Kahn      06/19/18

Guest blog: 4 key elements to fostering mental health & wellbeing

By Sheila Savannah, director of mental health and wellbeing at Prevention Institute. Originally featured in a May 3 email, this blog was reposted with permission from the Prevention Institute.   May is Mental Health Month—an opportunity to take a fresh look at...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/15/18

The need to enhance kids' access to water in and out of school

By Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Director, Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Did you know that 1 in 4 kids drink no water in a day? Latino kids drink less water than their white peers. They also are more likely to perceive tap water as unsafe, and drink more sugary drinks, our research...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/30/18

The key to incredible STEM learning in libraries? Strong community connections.

For this post, Dan Gilbert, project manager at the Afterschool Alliance, spoke with Megan Burton, STEM and learning supervisor at the Kitsap Regional Library, about their efforts to provide family engagement, STEM learning, and afterschool and out-of-school time learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/28/19

Los Angeles libraries spark STEM learning and family engagement in OST

For this post, Dan Gilbert, project manager at the Afterschool Alliance, spoke with Eva Mitnick, director of the Engagement and Learning Division of the Los Angeles Public Library, about the library’s efforts to provide family engagement, STEM learning, and afterschool and...

BY: Dan Gilbert      02/28/19

In the field: Stand-out examples of quality STEM programming

Look no further for great examples of high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs! Our afterschool STEM program profiles feature 20 examples of afterschool programs providing innovative and impactful STEM programming to diverse populations of students. Each program...

BY: Leah Silverberg      02/14/19

The 2018 Computer Science Education Week is almost here!

“I personally do not have a computer science background, so much of my experience has been learning alongside my students and talking with them about their interests and motivations.” Last year’s CS Education Week didn’t prevent teachers and staff from trying their hand at...

BY: Chris Neitzey      11/29/18

Youth voice: The power of STEM learning opportunities

By Archika Dogra. Archika, 16, is a high school junior at the Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington who co-founded the EduSTEM Initiative, along with Evelyn Chen and Maya Srikanth, two juniors at Newport High School. Archika is also president of her school’s Technology Student...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/12/18

Guest blog: Bringing real-world experts and resources into your afterschool program

By Katie Lisowski, manager of Digital Education Partnerships at Discovery Communications.  Afterschool programs provide such unique opportunities to reach and inspire students. There’s freedom for students to try new things and explore the unknown without the pressures often felt...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/26/18

In Baltimore, kids conquer uneven bars and bar graphs

To be able to guess what the students in the Barclay After School Program are doing for the three hours after the last bell rings, you’d have to keep up with a diverse and ever-rotating schedule of activities, from STEM contests to photography lessons, from arts programming to...

BY: Faith Savaiano      07/20/18

From afterschool to geophysicist

For Maya Irvine, her afterschool program was the FIRST step toward a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (the subjects known as STEM). The Missouri Youth Afterschool Ambassador has been enrolled in the Camdenton FIRST LASER Robotics program for the past six years and recently...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/08/18

Webinar recap: Exploring the environment in afterschool

Earth Day 2018 has passed, but it is never too late to share an appreciation of our planet with environmental science education in your afterschool program. Teaching environmental science is a great way to help students develop core science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills —...

BY: Leah Silverberg      04/30/18

$1M from "Black Panther" proceeds to go to afterschool programs

Disney’s “Black Panther” not only gave boys and girls a few new heroes to look up to: it also gave them inspiration to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math. Now, Disney is helping those kids in real life by donating $1 million of the “Black...

BY: Shaun Gray      03/07/18

Promising practices: Coaching Corps’ strategy physical & social-emotional health

This blog post was adapted from a program spotlight in the Afterschool Alliance issue brief, “A Big-Picture Approach to Wellness: Afterschool Supporting Strong Bodies and Minds.” Established in the late 1990s as Team-Up for Youth, Coaching Corps works to ensure that children in...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/01/19

Advancing equity in children's health: New messaging resource!

The Afterschool Alliance has released an Out-of-School Time (OST) Health Equity Messaging Resource in collaboration with Voices for Healthy Kids and We-Collab. Designed to be used in conjunction with the Voices for Healthy Kids Health Equity for Public Policy Messaging Guide, the OST Health Equity...

BY: Marisa Paipongna      01/31/19

5 tips for a fun and healthy winter break

This post is part of Healthier Generation’s #HealthyHolidays blog series, highlighting healthy ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season at home, school, and work. This post originally appeared on HealthierGeneration.org. View all posts in the #HealthyHolidays series here. The...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/20/18

Beacon House, Comcast help students thrive in Northeast D.C.

By Kareem Harris, student at Friendship Collegiate Academy and Beacon House. Comcast recently hosted a celebration of Internet Essentials at Beacon House in Northeast D.C. Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program, offering...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/30/18

NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards streamlined in version 2.0

By Heidi Ham, Vice President, Programs and Strategy at National AfterSchool Association. Studies show that healthy, active children learn better, perform better academically and experience fewer behavioral problems. Afterschool and summer learning programs are well-positioned to be key partners...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/14/18

In Baltimore, kids conquer uneven bars and bar graphs

To be able to guess what the students in the Barclay After School Program are doing for the three hours after the last bell rings, you’d have to keep up with a diverse and ever-rotating schedule of activities, from STEM contests to photography lessons, from arts programming to...

BY: Faith Savaiano      07/20/18

Guest blog: 2018 state report cards on active kids and communities

By Margaux Mennesson, marketing and communications manager at Safe Routes to School National Partnership. A new report out from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the Y, Making Strides: 2018 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities,...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/17/18

Positive female role models: 5 voices from healthy afterschool

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, director of community partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Active kids learn better, but did you know that girls today are far less likely than boys to achieve the recommended amounts of physical activity? Healthier Generation’s #GirlsAre campaign...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/31/18

HEPA success story: Uniting stakeholders is key to victory

When Sheree Vodicka first heard of legislation passed in California to establish healthy out-of-school time (OST) programs, she realized there may be an opportunity to replicate that in North Carolina. As a recipient of the YMCA of the USA’s Pioneering Healthier Communities grant...

BY: Faith Savaiano      04/06/18

HEPA Success Story: The Alliance of New York State YMCAs

In recent years, many states across the country have started to seek government support to enact policies aimed at increasing healthy practices in out-of-school time environments. While many of these efforts are just beginning, few advocates have seen as much immediate success as the Alliance...

BY: Faith Savaiano      01/29/18

5 tips for a fun and healthy winter break

This post is part of Healthier Generation’s #HealthyHolidays blog series, highlighting healthy ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season at home, school, and work. This post originally appeared on HealthierGeneration.org. View all posts in the #HealthyHolidays series here. The...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/20/18

Making child hunger a priority—this month and beyond

September is Hunger Action Month, making this month an opportunity for people all over America to spread the word and take action on the hunger crisis, and dedicate ourselves to a solution. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), 41 million Americans live in households that...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/25/18

NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards streamlined in version 2.0

By Heidi Ham, Vice President, Programs and Strategy at National AfterSchool Association. Studies show that healthy, active children learn better, perform better academically and experience fewer behavioral problems. Afterschool and summer learning programs are well-positioned to be key partners...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/14/18

Summer meals are vital for children, but meal participation continues to decrease

Far too many children lose access to nutritious school meals when the school year ends, according to Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report, released June 13 by the Food Research & Action Center. The report finds that only 3 million children received a...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/22/18

HEPA success story: Uniting stakeholders is key to victory

When Sheree Vodicka first heard of legislation passed in California to establish healthy out-of-school time (OST) programs, she realized there may be an opportunity to replicate that in North Carolina. As a recipient of the YMCA of the USA’s Pioneering Healthier Communities grant...

BY: Faith Savaiano      04/06/18

The need to enhance kids' access to water in and out of school

By Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Director, Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Did you know that 1 in 4 kids drink no water in a day? Latino kids drink less water than their white peers. They also are more likely to perceive tap water as unsafe, and drink more sugary drinks, our research...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/30/18

Afterschool programs can play a big role in childhood nutrition

By Crystal FitzSimmons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at Food Research & Action Center. Hooray! It’s National Nutrition Month. Time to celebrate the important role that afterschool programs are and can play in supporting good nutrition among the children they...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/23/18

Two ways afterschool programs are feeding hungry kids

By Sukhjit Dhaliwal, Expanded Learning Opportunities VISTA for School's Out Washington. Childhood hunger is an unfortunate reality that reaches many parts of the United States. Many of our nation’s children and youth who rely on free and reduced-price school breakfast and lunches...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/13/18

HEPA Success Story: The Alliance of New York State YMCAs

In recent years, many states across the country have started to seek government support to enact policies aimed at increasing healthy practices in out-of-school time environments. While many of these efforts are just beginning, few advocates have seen as much immediate success as the Alliance...

BY: Faith Savaiano      01/29/18

How to make afterschool health and wellness resolutions a reality

At the beginning of each year, most of us set personal goals that we would like to accomplish. Although the list of New Year’s resolutions vary from person to person, eating better and exercising more are two of the most popular resolutions we make. As we start the year, let’s not only...

BY: Tiereny Lloyd      01/08/18

Guest blog: National Summer Learning Day is on July 12!

By Tyler Mattingly, Marketing Communications Coordinator at the National Summer Learning Association. National Summer Learning Day, July 12, is a national advocacy day aimed at elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school in...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/29/18

Guest blog: 4 key elements to fostering mental health & wellbeing

By Sheila Savannah, director of mental health and wellbeing at Prevention Institute. Originally featured in a May 3 email, this blog was reposted with permission from the Prevention Institute.   May is Mental Health Month—an opportunity to take a fresh look at...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/15/18

"I wanted to create something ... that shared the power and impact of my afterschool program"

By Kaleb Robertson. Kaleb is a senior at Green Bay West High School and was recently named a Youth Afterschool Ambassador for 2016-17 by the Afterschool Alliance. He has been attending the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay afterschool program for more than five years. This letter...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/11/18

"I want to be a beacon"

By Kevin Hamilton, vice president for communications at the Student Conservation Association. Welcome to the first post in our new blog series about the vital role that out-of-school time programs play in the social, emotional, and character development that youth need to navigate a complex,...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/19/17

How afterschool can support school meals: 3 activities

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation.This article was original published on December 5, 2017 on the Healthy Out-of-School Time New & Notable blog. Partnerships between school and afterschool educators are essential to...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/14/17

Youth-serving organizations can leverage a growing resource: volunteers age 50+

By Sarah McKinney, Content Marketing Producer at Encore.org’s Gen2Gen campaign.   Diana Amatucci volunteers after school and during the summers at her local Boys and Girls Club in Charlottesville Virginia. A retired teacher, Amatucci knows that kids need more champions...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/24/17

Guest blog: Afterschool-law enforcement partnership gives justice-involved youth a new path

By Rachel Willis, research project manager at the Kansas Enrichment Network. After celebrating early successes, the Spartan Explorers afterschool program will continue through the 2017-2018 school year. Begun in January 2017, the program is a partnership between Emporia High School and the...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/01/17

Guest blog: Closing the achievement gap for Latino kids

By Diego Uriburu, co-founder and executive director of Identity. By age 16, Elam had been out of school for two years. Although he’d dropped out of school the first time, he knew he needed to turn his life around and that the best way to do that was to complete his education. Going...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/19/17

Guest blog: Stop cuts to summer learning

By Rachel Gwaltney, Director of Policy and Partnerships at the National Summer Learning Association. Rachel leads development and implementation of services, projects and partnerships that strengthen summer learning policy and build capacity of state and national leaders and...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/12/17

Guest blog: Afterschool gave me hope of a future I'd never known

By Aaron Short, assistant head of staff at 21st Cranston Community Learning Center Bain +2/Kidventure Afterschool Program. Aaron attended the Youth Session of the 2017 Afterschool for All Challenge and spoke to his members of Congress about the impact of afterschool on his...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/11/17