Meet Faith Savaiano, our new Communications Associate

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Meet Faith Savaiano, our new Communications Associate

Hello! I’m Faith Savaiano, the new Communications Associate and the latest team member to be joining the Afterschool Alliance.

I could not be happier to be joining the dedicated and capable team here working to ensure quality and affordable afterschool for all. Growing up in a home with two working parents, the access I had to afterschool programming allowed them to work hard to support my family, while I could learn and grow in a safe environment. I’m looking forward to communicating the incredible value of these programs, supported by the excellent research and policy efforts that are being conducted here on a daily basis.

As a recent graduate of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, I’m happy to be returning to Washington D.C. after earlier experiences here at U.S. Department of State and public affairs agency, Powell Tate. I’m passionate about supporting public policy efforts that create opportunities for those who are often underserved in our communities. Here at Afterschool Alliance, I’m thrilled to be working toward creating greater opportunity for the most deserving group I can think of—our youth!

In my role, I’ll be largely handling the digital media portfolio, meaning that I get to engage with all of you through our site and social platforms. I look forward to connecting with all of you to learn and spread the word about the importance of afterschool in our homes and communities!

Have you thanked your library lately?

The first week of April is National Library Week, with today being National Library Workers Day. Take the opportunity today to visit your local library or send a message thanking the staff and administrators for all the work they do in your community! Across the country,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/03/18

It's Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®!

Today we’re excited to take part in celebrating Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® (AIKD)! AIKD is a national holiday that lifts up the kids and teens in our lives, and it was founded by Camp Fire in 1997. While we’ve enjoyed spotlighting the great work done at Camp Fire programs...

BY: Faith Savaiano      03/15/18

Free eBook available: The Afterschool Guide to Building English Language Learners' Literacy

By Heidi Ham, vice president of programs and strategy at National AfterSchool Association. For the more than 4 million English language learner (ELL) students who attend public schools nationwide, it’s more critical than ever to literacy skill development support both in and out...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/05/18

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

Pro sports can connect kids to afterschool STEAM learning

By Jesse Lovejoy, director of STEAM Education for the San Francisco 49ers and managing partner of EDU Academy. More information on 49ers STEAM programming is available here.  On its best days, informal and afterschool education is cool. It’s different. It lights fires. For many...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/29/17

Educators convene town hall against cuts to afterschool & summer

“Looking back, I don't know where I would have been without afterschool pushing me [and] showing me right from wrong." - Ashley, After-School All-Stars, AFT Tele-Town Hall On June 12, in a show of united concern and support, the education, afterschool, community school, and health...

BY: Ursula Helminski      06/22/17

Guest blog: Postcard project connects program providers with policymakers

By Sara Beanblossom, Director of Communications and Special Events at the Indiana Afterschool Network As part of our program provider advocacy initiative, the Indiana Afterschool Network is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to share stories about the power of afterschool....

BY: Guest Blogger      06/13/17

Apply to be a National Afterschool Matters Fellow

If you’re a committed mid-career out-of-school time professional who’s looking for your next professional development opportunity, the National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship could be right for you. The NASM Fellowship is a two-year professional and leadership development...

BY: Leah Silverberg      05/11/17

Keys to program success from afterschool professionals

This Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, we’re celebrating you: the educators who dedicate your careers to teaching and supporting youth during the out-of-school hours. To highlight the expertise of a few leading professionals in our field, and foster widespread sharing of best...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/27/17

Celebrating the professionals at the heart of afterschool

From April 24 to 28, it's Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week! Sponsored by the National Afterschool Association, the week "is a joint effort of community partners, afterschool programs, youth and child care workers, and individuals who have committed to declaring...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/24/17

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

Afterschool can help solve a national security crisis

We have a looming national security emergency, and it may not be the one that first comes to mind. 71 percent of Americans between 17 and 24 years of age— or 24 million of the 34 million young people in our country—are ineligible to serve in the United States military. The...

BY: Arielle Kahn      03/16/18

Afterschool is perfectly situated to help: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. This is the second part of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. You can read part one here. In the second part, Nila describes the challenges and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/12/18

Experts discuss afterschool's role in opioid abuse prevention

Opioid addiction plagues our country, deeply impacting adults and children alike. We at the Afterschool Alliance believe that afterschool has a huge part to play in mitigating this crisis through preventative measures. On Wednesday, February 27, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)...

BY: Arielle Kahn      03/02/18

The view from Ground Zero: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. Welcome to the first of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. In the first part, Nila describes the earliest signs of the opioid crisis impacting her community...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/18

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

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

New resources: Implementing and expanding afterschool programs for principals

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) recently launched a new online toolkit dedicated to providing principals and other school leaders with the tools they need to help support and expand quality afterschool and summer learning programs. Principals can play an...

BY: Leah Silverberg      03/19/18

Celebrating and supporting youth voice

The future is not about the children – it is the children. It is about time we listen to their authentic, genuine voices. They are thoughtful, they are creative, they are resilient, and they have more at stake than the rest of us, because the policies we adopt and the choices we collectively...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/14/18

Recapping Beyond School Hours 2018

From February 22 to 24, Orlando, Fla. was alive with the magic of afterschool, as nearly 1,000 out-of-school time professionals convened for the 21st annual Beyond School Hours Conference. The conference, hosted by the team at Foundations, Inc., draws attendees from across the country to...

BY: Alexis Steines      03/01/18

"I get the chance to meet people I never would have been able to before"

By Maya Irvine.  Maya is a freshman at Camdenton High School and was named a Youth Afterschool Ambassador in the fall for the 2017-2018 school year. Maya has attended Camdenton FIRST LASER Robotics program for the past six years. Her blog post highlights the science,...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/23/18

From D.C. to Johannesburg, music makes STEM learning sing

“If you’re passionate about anything, there really is no limit to what you can do,” says Lemond Brown, president and CEO of Swaliga Foundation. “That passion is contagious. People want to know ‘Well, why are they so passionate about that? How can I have that same...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/16/18

"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

Guest blog: Conquering the high school transition with Road Map to Graduation

By Roger Figueroa, program coordinator at Latin American Youth Center - Maryland Multicultural Youth Center.  The transition for rising ninth graders is one filled with twists, turns, pitfalls, and barriers: the new and often larger environment, changes in academic responsibility,...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/05/18

"Afterschool is so important to small, rural communities like our town"

By Harli Jo McKinney Welcome to our new blog series introducing the inaugural class of Youth Ambassadors! Building on the success of the Afterschool Ambassadors program, the Youth Ambassadors program connects five young people with alumni Afterschool Ambassadors to serve as...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/04/18

Highlights from 2017: A busy year for afterschool!

As the Afterschool Alliance team wraps up the last of our 2017 to-do items, we reflect back on a year that can only be described as ‘eventful’! News from the Hill In March, the president proposed complete elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers...

BY: Faith Savaiano      12/22/17

Introducing our inaugural class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors

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

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      11/10/17

"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

Guest blog: Afterschool programs change the lives of young refugees

By Susanna Pradhan, an alumna of ourBRIDGE for KIDS in Charlotte, N.C. Susanna is a rising sophomore at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and attended the Afterschool for All Challenge in Washington, D.C. as part of the Youth Track.  In 1998, I was born to a Bhutanese...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/23/17

Guest blog: Postcard project connects program providers with policymakers

By Sara Beanblossom, Director of Communications and Special Events at the Indiana Afterschool Network As part of our program provider advocacy initiative, the Indiana Afterschool Network is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to share stories about the power of afterschool....

BY: Guest Blogger      06/13/17

The view from Ground Zero: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. Welcome to the first of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. In the first part, Nila describes the earliest signs of the opioid crisis impacting her community...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/18

Introducing our inaugural class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors

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

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      11/10/17

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

Nominate a youth volunteer for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

For many middle and high school students, community service is a requirement for graduation—one that afterschool programs often assist with, giving students a chance to give back through volunteering, community beautification efforts, and tutoring younger students. As a result, afterschool...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/13/17

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: 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

Guest blog: How one rural town is investing in Alaska's future workforce

By Thomas Azzarella, director of the Alaska Afterschool Network. This blog was originally published on the Alaska Afterschool Blog on June 6. Nearly two-thirds of Alaska’s cities, towns, and villages are accessible only by plane or boat, which makes having a strong aviation...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/19/17

Not The Onion: Horses, surfboards, and cyberattacks in afterschool

Despite a wealth of research showing the importance of afterschool and widespread popularity with parents, students, teachers and community leaders, programs have never been more threatened. This week the president decided to double down on his call to eliminate afterschool funding in his 2018...

BY: Jodi Grant      05/26/17

Tools to Build On: Creating constructive climates in out-of-school time

The recent national dialogue and policy landscape has exposed children of all ages to complex discussions about immigration, religion, diversity, safety, and community. In a climate of uncertainty, students can end up feeling frustrated, hurt, alienated, or confused if these often-taboo subjects...

BY: Jillian Luchner      04/06/17

Afterschool Spotlight: Bainbridge Island Boys & Girls Club

This post is presented as part of the Afterschool Spotlight blog series, which tells the stories of the parents, participants, and providers of afterschool programs. This post is also an installment in our Afterschool & Law Enforcement series, which explores the ways...

BY: Elizabeth Tish      03/24/17

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 can help solve a national security crisis

We have a looming national security emergency, and it may not be the one that first comes to mind. 71 percent of Americans between 17 and 24 years of age— or 24 million of the 34 million young people in our country—are ineligible to serve in the United States military. The...

BY: Arielle Kahn      03/16/18

Afterschool is perfectly situated to help: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. This is the second part of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. You can read part one here. In the second part, Nila describes the challenges and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/12/18

$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

The view from Ground Zero: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. Welcome to the first of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. In the first part, Nila describes the earliest signs of the opioid crisis impacting her community...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/18

Former Ed Sec John B. King highlights educator superpower: We tell children they belong

Last week I attended a Title I Conference in Philadelphia. The “Title I” name may be as generic as they come, but it is one of the most important Titles in education policy. The purpose of Title I, which was recently reauthorized in 2015 in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is...

BY: Jillian Luchner      02/15/18

Guest blog: Conquering the high school transition with Road Map to Graduation

By Roger Figueroa, program coordinator at Latin American Youth Center - Maryland Multicultural Youth Center.  The transition for rising ninth graders is one filled with twists, turns, pitfalls, and barriers: the new and often larger environment, changes in academic responsibility,...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/05/18

"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

Los Angeles afterschool program builds 'a world fit for kids!'

25 years ago, riots exploded in South Central Los Angeles in the wake of the acquittal of four police officers charged with beating a prostrate taxi driver named Rodney King. The event called attention to issues of race and economic inequities, one element of which was cutbacks in the L.A. school...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/05/17

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

Recapping Beyond School Hours 2018

From February 22 to 24, Orlando, Fla. was alive with the magic of afterschool, as nearly 1,000 out-of-school time professionals convened for the 21st annual Beyond School Hours Conference. The conference, hosted by the team at Foundations, Inc., draws attendees from across the country to...

BY: Alexis Steines      03/01/18

Our hearts are broken

The Trump administration has zeroed out the budget for afterschool for the second year in the row. We're heartbroken by the news, but the budget battle isn't over yet and we're turning heartbreak into action. This Valentine's Day, use the resources on the We Love...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/13/18

Celebrating the professionals at the heart of afterschool

From April 24 to 28, it's Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week! Sponsored by the National Afterschool Association, the week "is a joint effort of community partners, afterschool programs, youth and child care workers, and individuals who have committed to declaring...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/24/17

Tools to Build On: Creating constructive climates in out-of-school time

The recent national dialogue and policy landscape has exposed children of all ages to complex discussions about immigration, religion, diversity, safety, and community. In a climate of uncertainty, students can end up feeling frustrated, hurt, alienated, or confused if these often-taboo subjects...

BY: Jillian Luchner      04/06/17

Guest blog: Sen. Barbara Boxer to be honored at BOOST Conference

By Meg Gneiting, Marketing Manager at BOOST Collaborative. "Barbara Boxer Keynote Announcement: BOOST Conference 2017" was originally published on the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog. It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2017 BOOST Conference Keynote Speaker, former Sen. Barbara...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/28/17

Guest blog: Youth share how out-of-school programming prepares them for the workforce

By Rachel Willis, Research Project Manager at the Kansas Enrichment Network. We all know the statistics from the last decade. Employment growth in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sectors is occurring at a faster rate than the growth rate projected for all occupations...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/10/17

Healthy eating and physical activity highlighted during MOST Conference

The Maryland Out of School Time Network held their seventh annual statewide conference on January 5 & 6 in Ellicott City, Md., celebrating the community of out-of-school time practitioners that MOST affectionately calls “OST Heroes.” The two-day conference was jam-packed with...

BY: Tiereny Lloyd      01/30/17

4 ways you can connect with newly elected officials

This month, elected officials around the country step into office. This is an important time to reach out to your newly elected officials and remind them of afterschool’s role in your community, district or state. Offer to be a resource on the issue, and invite them to come see your program...

BY: Elizabeth Tish      01/03/17

Achievement gap covered at children's opportunity town hall

On October 17, I joined leaders from across the country in Las Vegas to discuss the opportunity gap. I learned more about what organizations like the Children’s Leadership Council, Children’s Defense Fund, the National Council of La Raza and many more are doing to close the...

BY: Jodi Grant      12/05/16

New trends in afterschool covered at 21st CCLC Summer Institute

This past July, the U.S. Department of Education held the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) 2016 Summer Institute in Phoenix, AZ, where presenters shared their valuable experiences and insights about how to develop, implement and sustain successful 21st CCLC afterschool...

BY: Elizabeth Tish      09/27/16