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Facebook’s Engineer For The Week program showed my students they are leaders – and just how far their skills can take them

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Facebook’s Engineer For The Week program showed my students they are leaders – and just how far their skills can take them

By Afterschool Ambassador Andrea Bridges, executive director, The CARE Center, New Hope, Alabama.

I think afterschool programs have special powers when they partner with businesses and organizations to broaden students’ horizons. So when I was recently invited by the Afterschool Alliance to help pilot Facebook’s “Engineer For The Week” (EFTW) program, which teaches students about computer engineering while helping them tackle social issues, I jumped at the opportunity. I knew how transformative a program like this could be for my students – after all, this would be new for all of us!

My students live in a rural Alabama community and attend a small, Title I school. Typically, opportunities like this one go to larger, more affluent schools, and my students miss out because of their school’s small size. They don’t have all the electives some larger schools have, and none of them have access to coding classes during the school day.

I know any computer science we do in afterschool will be the only formal coding exposure they get. But I also know my students are just as capable and interested in these subjects as students in any other school, and that afterschool is a perfect space for them to discover these kinds of interests and skills. Facebook’s Engineer For The Week program gave us the resources and support we needed to spark those moments of discovery. I was blown away by how much this program grew my students’ confidence and inspired them to see themselves as leaders.

The Sprint

In Engineer For The Week, students ages 13 and older work in small teams to design and build a video game or chatbot to address a social issue in a three-week “sprint.” I chose to step back and truly be a facilitator and, right away, I was floored by students’ vision. They chose to design a video game to address bullying, and they laid out an ambitious, detailed plan for a game that would challenge the player to make positive choices throughout an in-game ‘school day.’

Quickly, though, they realized how difficult it was to turn their idea into reality. We were all learning about the technicalities of computer coding together, and it wasn’t easy. But my students were motivated because it was connected to a real-world issue. Soon, the one student in my program who did have experience with coding noticed they were struggling and chose to join the team to help.

I watched with pride as this student, who has autism, took on a leadership role in a project. He rallied the team, became the ‘go-to’ guy for coding issues, and worked to teach the other students and help them when they got stuck. Throughout the process, he got to have his specific gifts and talents shine. With important contributions from all three of the students, we submitted the final project to Engineer For The Week’s national competition.

Soon, we found out that our students had been selected as finalists, meaning Facebook would pay for them to travel to its headquarters in Menlo Park, outside of San Francisco, for a 48-hour challenge! Funny enough, when we got the email, it was April 1st. When we told the students, they were convinced it was an April Fool’s Day prank! They insisted they wouldn’t believe us until we told them again the next day. Sure enough, the sun rose on April 2nd and reality set in: Our three 13-year-olds were headed to the Bay Area to learn from real Facebook engineers and compete with students from around the country.

Going to California

I can’t overstate what a transformative and unique experience this trip was for our students, one of whom had never flown before. Throughout the trip, Facebook made a point of making our kids feel like the bright, capable young leaders they are. They were just about the youngest and the smallest team out of the bunch, but they truly rose to the occasion and thrived. They met Facebook engineers of all races and genders, and they were challenged with difficult projects like creating a new game from scratch and pitching their projects to a panel of judges.

One night, the program hosted a dinner reception to honor the hard work all the students had put in. We walked into the room and my students’ eyes grew wide at the beautiful setting. One student turned to me and exclaimed: “Miss Andrea, I’ve always wanted to feel like a princess, and tonight I do!”

Like each of them, she discovered her talents in a whole new way that weekend. Throughout the process she found herself drawn to the visual design of their projects and, at the end of the trip, she declared she wanted to be a graphic designer when she grew up. I’m fairly positive that when she went there, she didn’t know what that was! I watched as each of my students blossomed in this new environment. One student who is normally reserved and quiet at home took the lead in pitching the teams’ projects to the judges and explaining them to everyone we met. The experience confirmed his interest in computer engineering. The same went for our student who had previous experience with coding – he relished the difficult technical challenges and got to meet students from all over who shared his interests.

You don’t have to go to California to be a computer engineer or a graphic designer; you can build careers from those skills in Alabama. But my students went to California to figure that out, and thanks to Engineer For The Week, their worlds are bigger because of it. Partnering with Facebook helped my students see just what they were capable of and where their skills can take them. As an afterschool advocate, my hope is that all children will get that same opportunity, no matter where they live or the size of their school.

Interested in bringing EFTW to your youth or learning more? Sign-up here for the Fall Season

 

Recap: Annual Out-of-School Time Advisory Coalition meeting

This year’s Afterschool for All Challenge not only gathered passionate afterschool advocates together, but also included a meeting of advocates who support healthy eating and physical activity in the afterschool space. Through funding from Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint...

BY: Marisa Paipongna      06/28/19

For effective SEL, staff need to learn new skills, too.

By Heather E. Daly, Ph.D., director of Courageous Hearts, an organization committed to educating afterschool staff with drug education and prevention content; and Normandie Nigh, chief executive officer of A World Fit for Kids, whose mission is to prepare young people for fit and...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/31/19

Connecting the dots: Mental health and SEL in afterschool

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool programs support children and young people as they face challenges including trauma, ACEs, substance use, and beyond. Read the full series here. As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close, we here...

BY: Dan Gilbert      05/30/19

Strengthening our youth to face the teen vaping crisis

By Heather E. Daly, Ph.D., director of Courageous Hearts, an organization committed to educating after school staff with drug education and prevention content; and Normandie Nigh, chief executive officer of A World Fit for Kids, whose mission is to prepare young people for fit and fulfilling...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/16/19

It's SAMHSA Prevention Week

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool programs support children and young people as they face challenges including trauma, ACEs, substance use, and beyond. Read the full series here Every year in the third week of May, the Substance Abuse...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/13/19

There’s no health without mental health. Physical activity can help.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool programs support children and young people as they face challenges including trauma, ACEs, substance use, and beyond. Read the full series here. Per the World Health Organization’s summary report,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/09/19

Guest blog: Self-care ideas: Give 1/Get 8

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This blog post was originally published on March 21, 2019 on the BOOST Breakfast Club blog. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/07/19

Afterschool and ACEs: How Alaska promotes a trauma-engaged response

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool programs support children and young people as they face challenges including trauma, ACEs, substance use, and beyond. Read the full series here. This is the second of a two-part series on preventing and...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/03/19

In Alaska, prevention programming for marijuana use is a new priority

This is the first of a two-part series on preventing and responding to substance use and trauma in Alaska. The next part of the Afterschool Alliance’s conversation with Thomas Azzarella will be published in two weeks. Alaska is not like other states. For starters, it has its own time zone....

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/19/19

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

Share your yoice: Join the Let’s Talk About Election 2020 Youth Media Challenge

It is hard to believe, but the 2020 elections are just over a year away! Are you looking for civic engagement opportunities for youth in your afterschool program? Consider participating in Let’s Talk About Election 2020 youth media challenge, a free, standards-aligned program on KQED Learn,...

BY: Alexis Steines      11/12/19

Bill White’s afterschool legacy

Bill White (right) at the After School Summit of 2003, a gathering which helped spur the continued growth of afterschool and summer programs supported by 21st Century Community Learning Centers. On Wednesday, William S. White, the former president, CEO and board chair of the...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/11/19

Youth Afterschool Ambassador: "My parents were able to have peace of mind while I excelled in my education."

By Viridiana Gonzalez, Youth Afterschool Ambassador and junior at Texas Christian University. Although I grew up as a child in a low-income area with two working parents, I never knew the struggles that parents faced to keep their kids safe while trying to be financially stable. All I...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/30/19

Highlights from Utah's Capitol Hill Day and first-ever State of Afterschool report

By Kelly Riding, executive director of the Utah Afterschool Network. This past January, afterschool programs staff and students joined the Utah Afterschool Network for our second Annual Afterschool Day on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City to speak with legislators and advocate for afterschool. Many...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/12/19

A history of afterschool

Established fields have documented their history, and now thanks to Sam Piha, Temescal Associates, and the How Kids Learn Foundation, afterschool has its own historical documentary. I have been familiar with afterschool for more than 30 years and I still learned a LOT watching the one-hour...

BY: Jodi Grant      07/02/19

Sowing the seeds of afterschool programming in “afterschool deserts” in Illinois

By Susan Stanton, network lead, Afterschool for Children and Teens Now (ACT Now). Afterschool programs across our nation are doing incredible work and cover a wide array of services and outcomes. Yet the diversity in programming offerings can also make it difficult for program providers to...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/24/19

Guest blog: Self-care ideas: Give 1/Get 8

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This blog post was originally published on March 21, 2019 on the BOOST Breakfast Club blog. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/07/19

This Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, let’s celebrate helping students find their voice

Justin (center) and students at Loyola University in New Orleans By Justin Pinn, director, Strategic Initiatives, Teach for America Miami-Dade. In honor of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, the Afterschool Snack will feature stories from our Afterschool Ambassadors and other...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/25/19

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

For effective SEL, staff need to learn new skills, too.

By Heather E. Daly, Ph.D., director of Courageous Hearts, an organization committed to educating afterschool staff with drug education and prevention content; and Normandie Nigh, chief executive officer of A World Fit for Kids, whose mission is to prepare young people for fit and...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/31/19

Connecting the dots: Mental health and SEL in afterschool

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool programs support children and young people as they face challenges including trauma, ACEs, substance use, and beyond. Read the full series here. As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close, we here...

BY: Dan Gilbert      05/30/19

Help youth build empathy & earn an Amazon gift card

Looking for ways to engage your students with peers from different backgrounds to build social emotional skills? Look no further. Empatico connects groups of students ages 6-11 with peers domestically and around the world. Through a combination of live video and activities, youth have the...

BY: Alex Crooks      05/24/19

A deeper approach to drug use prevention

By Heather E. Daly, Ph.D., director of Courageous Hearts, an organization committed to educating after school staff with drug education and prevention content; and Normandie Nigh, chief executive officer of A World Fit for Kids, whose mission is to prepare young people for fit and...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/21/19

There’s no health without mental health. Physical activity can help.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool programs support children and young people as they face challenges including trauma, ACEs, substance use, and beyond. Read the full series here. Per the World Health Organization’s summary report,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/09/19

Afterschool and ACEs: How Alaska promotes a trauma-engaged response

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting the ways afterschool programs support children and young people as they face challenges including trauma, ACEs, substance use, and beyond. Read the full series here. This is the second of a two-part series on preventing and...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/03/19

In Alaska, prevention programming for marijuana use is a new priority

This is the first of a two-part series on preventing and responding to substance use and trauma in Alaska. The next part of the Afterschool Alliance’s conversation with Thomas Azzarella will be published in two weeks. Alaska is not like other states. For starters, it has its own time zone....

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/19/19

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

Q&A: Delivering SEL programming in Minneapolis

For this post, Nikki Yamashiro, director of research at the Afterschool Alliance, spoke with Hayley Tompkins, Beacons Network Specialist with the Minneapolis Beacons Network, about Beacons’ work to deliver social and emotional learning opportunities through their programs. This...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      01/03/19

Green Bay BGCA's advice for strong SEL programming

For this post, Dan Gilbert, project manager at the Afterschool Alliance, spoke with Eric Vanden Heuvel, chief academic officer, and Kaitlyn Endries, director of social emotional learning, from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, about their work to deliver social and emotional...

BY: Dan Gilbert      12/03/18

Youth Afterschool Ambassador: "My parents were able to have peace of mind while I excelled in my education."

By Viridiana Gonzalez, Youth Afterschool Ambassador and junior at Texas Christian University. Although I grew up as a child in a low-income area with two working parents, I never knew the struggles that parents faced to keep their kids safe while trying to be financially stable. All I...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/30/19

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

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

Afterschool Spotlight: Civic Nebraska invests in young people to encourage them to invest in their community

Consistently, voters between the ages of 18-29 are some of the least likely to make it to the polls in our local, state, and national elections. In 2018, less than 36 percent of all eligible young voters cast a ballot in our mid-term elections — despite young people reporting record...

BY: Chandler Hall      08/08/19

Youth Afterschool Ambassador: "My parents were able to have peace of mind while I excelled in my education."

By Viridiana Gonzalez, Youth Afterschool Ambassador and junior at Texas Christian University. Although I grew up as a child in a low-income area with two working parents, I never knew the struggles that parents faced to keep their kids safe while trying to be financially stable. All I...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/30/19

$1.35M for middle school out-of-school time programs

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the New York Life Foundation’s 2019 Aim High grant competition, representing a $1,350,000 investment in middle school out-of-school time (OST) programs serving disadvantaged youth in communities across the nation. The Aim High initiative is...

BY: Dan Gilbert      07/23/19

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

Boy Scouts of America helps young man to push pass adversity and achieve highest rank

By Hayley Cordaro, communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America This is the last post in our 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, interconnected world. This...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/14/18

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

TextLess Live More: An opportunity for student-led action in afterschool programs

By Anna Cheshire Levitan, mother of Merritt Levitan and a member of the TextLess Live More Board of Directors. Our students are the digital generation. For many, technology is always within hand’s reach, prompting young people to engage, respond, scroll, look up, browse and explore an...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/03/18

Afterschool works for me and my siblings

By Halie Gier, Youth Afterschool Ambassador from Eldon, Missouri. Helping working families, keeping kids safe, and inspiring learning: afterschool works. That was the message I brought with me during my trip to Washington D.C., where I was serving as the Youth Afterschool Ambassador...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/10/19

Youth Afterschool Ambassador: "My parents were able to have peace of mind while I excelled in my education."

By Viridiana Gonzalez, Youth Afterschool Ambassador and junior at Texas Christian University. Although I grew up as a child in a low-income area with two working parents, I never knew the struggles that parents faced to keep their kids safe while trying to be financially stable. All I...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/30/19

Introducing the 2019 class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors

Every year we recruit a cohort of program providers and advocates of special distinction through our Afterschool Ambassadors program and provide them with training, technical support, and modest funding to complete projects that raise the profile of afterschool in their communities. For the second...

BY: Erin Hegarty      05/06/19

Making music after school

By Sam Trevathan, education director at Kids’ Orchestra. In honor of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, the Afterschool Snack will feature stories from our Afterschool Ambassadors and other professionals in the field, sharing what they love about working in afterschool. As...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/26/19

This Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, let’s celebrate helping students find their voice

Justin (center) and students at Loyola University in New Orleans By Justin Pinn, director, Strategic Initiatives, Teach for America Miami-Dade. In honor of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, the Afterschool Snack will feature stories from our Afterschool Ambassadors and other...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/25/19

From law enforcement to afterschool

By Michael “Bull” Brown, program director/CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Coffee County Region, in Douglas, Georgia. In honor of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, the Afterschool Snack will feature stories from our Afterschool Ambassadors and other professionals...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/23/19

What makes afterschool professionally rewarding

Laticia (left) and Harli Jo at the 2018 Afterschool For All Challenge By Laticia Vacca, 21st Century Community Learning Centers program director, school psychologist, and special education director at Stratford Public Schools. In honor of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, the...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/22/19

My Ambassador experience

By Danielle Bowen, communications director at Education Data Research and Afterschool Ambassador Emeritus. For Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, we asked a number of alumni of our Afterschool Ambassador program to reflect on how their experience as Ambassadors shaped their work and...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/27/18

Afterschool Ambassadors reflect: Learning to use your voice for afterschool

For Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, we asked a number of alumni of our Afterschool Ambassador program to reflect on how their experience as Ambassadors shaped their work and careers. This is the third of four posts in the series. Angela Henry, Kansas, 2003-2004 Our afterschool...

BY: Matt Freeman      04/26/18

Afterschool Ambassadors reflect: “The greatest privilege in my 15 years in the field”

For Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, we asked a number of alumni of our Afterschool Ambassador program to reflect on how their experience as Ambassadors shaped their work and careers. This is the second of four posts in the series. Paula Adams, Hawai’i, 2011-2012 Ambassador...

BY: Lisa Lederer      04/24/18

Riley Institute at Furman University welcomes new class of policy fellows

Sixteen afterschool leaders began participating in the White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship this fall. Funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is a 10-month, national program designed to equip graduates with a real-world understanding of policymaking for...

BY: Jen Rinehart      11/04/19

Aspiring software engineers in a Texas afterschool program win trip to Facebook HQ

By Afterschool Ambassador Johanna L. Friedel, director, Afterschool Center of Education at Greenville ISD in Texas. Real world, career experiences are a daily part of 21st Century Community Learning Center programs thanks to Facebook’s Engineer For The Week project (EFTW). Recently,...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/06/19

Recap: Annual Out-of-School Time Advisory Coalition meeting

This year’s Afterschool for All Challenge not only gathered passionate afterschool advocates together, but also included a meeting of advocates who support healthy eating and physical activity in the afterschool space. Through funding from Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint...

BY: Marisa Paipongna      06/28/19

Strong community relationships are key to Providence Public Library's STEM learning success

For this post, Dan Gilbert, project manager at the Afterschool Alliance, spoke with Karisa Tashjian, education director at the Providence Public Library, about the library’s efforts to provide family engagement, STEM learning, and afterschool and out-of-school time...

BY: Dan Gilbert      06/04/19

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

Statewide Family Engagement Centers partner with afterschool to magnify impact

Eleven grantees were recently awarded Statewide Family Engagement Centers Grants. In the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) federal education law passed in 2015, Congress included a major focus on family and community engagement. Included in that was the creation of Statewide Family Engagement...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/15/18

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

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

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