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Success stories: The Burma Center

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Success stories: The Burma Center

Reflecting on the findings from our recent voter poll, "Afterschool a Priority for Asian American and Pacific Islander Voters," the Afterschool Alliance is amplifying the work of out-of-school providers supporting AANHPI students and their families.

The Burma Center is a community-based nonprofit serving the Burmese American population in Battle Creek and Springfield, Michigan. The Center offers wraparound services for all ages, including assistance with employment, translation services, access to vaccinations, referrals to primary care providers, mental health awareness and suicide prevention services, a virtual tutoring program, and a summer program.

The Center's virtual tutoring program is offered after school for students in grades K-8 and focuses on English Language Arts and math. Tutoring occurs three days a week, and tutors work with small groups of students in the same grade. The Summer Youth Program is offered for grades K-12 and includes summer scale, an academic component to ensure students stay caught up in reading and math, and STEAM activities. Another vital aspect of the program are activities that promote positive cultural learning and affirmation, like teaching the history of Burma, learning about Burmese Independence Day, Burmese language lessons, and engaging with the community by featuring guest speakers and taking field trips.

To create a college-going culture, the Center hosts a Graduation Night for High school and college graduates. The evening includes a dinner for students and families, a panel discussion with college graduates, and a graduation ceremony. The Center also has a cohort program with Grand Valley State University to recognize and celebrate students graduating from college and high school. Students participating in this program are automatically accepted into Grand Valley State University and four other partner universities nationwide. The Center also partners with two other community-based organizations, VOCES and the Urban League of Southwest Michigan, to host a college fair every year with interpreters available.

The Burma Center also hosts an annual AANHPI Heritage Month celebration each May that is free and open to the community and includes artistic performances by students and Burmese food, drink, and games.

Check out The Burma Center's website to learn more and take a look at the Afterschool Alliance's new graphic about AAPI voters.

Never giving up is the key to opening doors that have traditionally locked out disadvantaged children.

By Ava Havidic, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024.  As a shy eighth grader, I yearned to step outside my comfort zone. However, I did not know where to start. As soon as I attended an online webinar from Broward Youth Coalition (BYC) in the summer before ninth grade, I felt...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/30/24

My afterschool program helped me become an advocate for myself and my peers.

By Aurie-Anne Vixama, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. For the past two years, I’ve had the honor to participate as the youth advisory board president for South Florida After-School All-Stars. Being a part of an afterschool program has truly changed my life. At the young age of...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/26/24

My afterschool program always believed in me. We help each other become the best versions of ourselves.

By Issa Ouarid, Youth Afterschool Ambassador, class of 2024. I started Life Pieces in October 2011 at the age of three. I was very shy and struggled to make friends, but Life Pieces provided an environment for me to open up. In 2013, I lost my grandmother and my form of grieving caused me to...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/16/24

My afterschool program has evolved in amazing ways. I have, too.

By James Tonetti, Youth Afterschool Ambassador, class of 2024.  My exposure to afterschool programs came at an early age. I was just six years old when the note went home that I was to stay after school two days a week to work on reading. Snacks would be provided. I loved my afterschool...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/11/24

Meet our 2024 cohort of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors!

“We are so proud to announce the 2024 class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “In their applications, youth shared powerful perspectives about their afterschool experiences, and we can’t wait to help them share...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      10/13/23

Apply to become an Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador!

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BY: Elizabeth Bannan      07/25/23

U.S. Dept. of Ed. calls for more afterschool and summer supports

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BY: Ursula Helminski      07/17/23

Voters, parents, and youth agree: Afterschool supports mental health

“For me, the introduction to my culture and the feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself, goes hand in hand with a spark or an increase to my mental, spiritual, and physical health,” writes Sasha Neyra, 16. Sasha is a high school junior and Member of Big Lagoon Rancheria....

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/04/23

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To kick off Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week 2023, we are resharing the inspiring words of our 2021 Youth Afterschool Ambassadors about the positive impact the mentors and staff in their programs have made in their lives. The original blog was written by Tierra Easter...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/24/23

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BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/06/23

Find essential OST research on the new Wallace Foundation website

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BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/23/24

Culturally responsive STEM programming: Aim High awardee Geeking Out Kids of Color

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BY: Elizabeth Bannan      10/17/23

Guest blog: Sparking joy… districtwide

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BY: Guest Blogger      10/09/23

Connecting young people with high-quality arts programming in multipurpose OST settings

Welcome to our two-part series unpacking The Wallace Foundation’s recent report, “Setting the Stage: Practical Ideas for Implementing High-Quality Afterschool Arts Programs.” In this blog post, we will discuss the Youth Arts Initiative’s efforts to connect youth from...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      10/03/23

New podcast discusses youth perspectives on program design

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BY: Elizabeth Bannan      08/01/23

U.S. Dept. of Ed. calls for more afterschool and summer supports

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BY: Ursula Helminski      07/17/23

21st CCLC youth gain life and work skills

Parents and youth alike value the opportunities that afterschool and summer programs offer to develop life and work skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, and communications, as well as exposure to career paths. In a fall 2022 survey, 88 percent of parents said that afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      06/29/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

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BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

Guest blog: Help your students share their thoughts with World’s Largest Lesson education survey

By Michelle Mann, Director, Social Impact, NetApp. Each year, the World’s Largest Lesson creates learning opportunities for educators across the globe to engage students in exploring and problem-solving around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This school year, the lesson is...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/21/22

Never giving up is the key to opening doors that have traditionally locked out disadvantaged children.

By Ava Havidic, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024.  As a shy eighth grader, I yearned to step outside my comfort zone. However, I did not know where to start. As soon as I attended an online webinar from Broward Youth Coalition (BYC) in the summer before ninth grade, I felt...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/30/24

My afterschool program helped me become an advocate for myself and my peers.

By Aurie-Anne Vixama, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. For the past two years, I’ve had the honor to participate as the youth advisory board president for South Florida After-School All-Stars. Being a part of an afterschool program has truly changed my life. At the young age of...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/26/24

My afterschool program always believed in me. We help each other become the best versions of ourselves.

By Issa Ouarid, Youth Afterschool Ambassador, class of 2024. I started Life Pieces in October 2011 at the age of three. I was very shy and struggled to make friends, but Life Pieces provided an environment for me to open up. In 2013, I lost my grandmother and my form of grieving caused me to...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/16/24

My afterschool program has evolved in amazing ways. I have, too.

By James Tonetti, Youth Afterschool Ambassador, class of 2024.  My exposure to afterschool programs came at an early age. I was just six years old when the note went home that I was to stay after school two days a week to work on reading. Snacks would be provided. I loved my afterschool...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/11/24

Meet our 2024 cohort of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors!

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BY: Elizabeth Bannan      10/13/23

Apply to become an Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador!

We are thrilled to announce that we are seeking applicants for our Youth Ambassador program! Youth aged 13 and older are invited to apply by sharing their afterschool experiences by August 31, 2023. Each school year, the Afterschool Alliance recruits 7-10 youth to serve as Youth Ambassadors to...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      07/25/23

Voters, parents, and youth agree: Afterschool supports mental health

“For me, the introduction to my culture and the feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself, goes hand in hand with a spark or an increase to my mental, spiritual, and physical health,” writes Sasha Neyra, 16. Sasha is a high school junior and Member of Big Lagoon Rancheria....

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/04/23

Afterschool Ambassadors: Helping solve their communities’ greatest challenges

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BY: Lisa Lederer      04/27/23

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BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/24/23

Highlights from Youth Voice Week 2023

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BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/06/23

New podcast discusses youth perspectives on program design

In March of 2023, The Wallace Foundation released a three-part podcast series titled Beyond the Classroom, where youth research team members, out-of-school time (OST) practitioners, and field experts discuss the findings of a 2022 student-led study commissioned by The Wallace Foundation,...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      08/01/23

U.S. Dept. of Ed. calls for more afterschool and summer supports

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BY: Ursula Helminski      07/17/23

Creating a safe space in afterschool for LGBTQIA+ youth

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection Afterschool programs provide a safe space for youth to be their most authentic selves, with opportunities to engage with peers outside of the school day, connect with caring adults, and explore their interests and passions. But LGBTQ+ youth in...

BY: Maria Rizo      06/27/23

Activities and resources to celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month

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BY: Ursula Helminski      05/15/23

An afterschool program that feels like a family

By Trinity Ansley, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2023.  Hi everyone, my name is Trinity Ansley! My afterschool program is San Diego Urban League, Project Ready. Having been a member since freshman year and now being the chair of the program as a junior, I really appreciate this...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

Supporting young people to engage at the intersection of STEM & society

We are living through some challenging times—societies across the world have been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate is rapidly changing around us and making our planet less hospitable to human beings, technology is evolving at a dizzying rate with dramatic consequences, and a new...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      09/27/22

Guest blog: Advancing equity and inclusion in hiring and staff development in OST

By Angelica Portillo, National AfterSchool Association’s Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives, and Shawna Rosenweig, Camp Fire Chief Strategy Officer and member of the National AfterSchool Association's Board. For the last 20 years, out-of-school time (OST) has...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/28/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

Celebrating Juneteenth in afterschool programs

Image by William Adams from Pixabay Juneteenth National Independence Day also known as Freedom Day, or Jubilee day honors the emancipation of slaves in the United States. More than 150 years after its first celebration, the Juneteenth holiday provides an opportunity to learn and teach about the...

BY: Tierra Easter      06/17/22

The power of representation: Being a role model for the next generation

By Dawn Marie Johnson, MSW, Director of Leadership and Culture for the South Dakota Afterschool Network; School Board Member, Sioux Falls School District Dawn Marie Johnson has been involved in supporting young people and school and afterschool organizations for the past decade. Growing up...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/27/23

U.S. Dept. of Ed. calls for more afterschool and summer supports

The U.S. Department of Education’s Engage Every Student Initiative marked its one-year anniversary last week with the Raise the Bar Summit, a celebration of the progress made toward expanding afterschool and summer programs for youth across the nation and a platform to exchange...

BY: Ursula Helminski      07/17/23

Creating a safe space in afterschool for LGBTQIA+ youth

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection Afterschool programs provide a safe space for youth to be their most authentic selves, with opportunities to engage with peers outside of the school day, connect with caring adults, and explore their interests and passions. But LGBTQ+ youth in...

BY: Maria Rizo      06/27/23

Success stories: The Burma Center

Reflecting on the findings from our recent voter poll, "Afterschool a Priority for Asian American and Pacific Islander Voters," the Afterschool Alliance is amplifying the work of out-of-school providers supporting AANHPI students and their families. The Burma Center is a...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/26/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

January is National Mentoring Month

Afterschool programs are excellent places for young people to meet and engage with supportive adults and find mentors. From STEM superheroes introducing girls to 21st century STEM careers, to caring adults helping with homework and encouraging students realize their full potential, mentorship in...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/10/23

New video: This Is Afterschool

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BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/03/23

Celebrating 25 years of masterpieces with a masterpiece of a movie

“We want to show the softness.” – Mingotae Kebede, director and producer A filmmaker and former staff of a long running Washington, DC Afterschool program, Life Pieces to Masterpieces was asked to help the program create a small video to commemorate the program’s 25th...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/09/22

California celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Proposition 49

The energy was buzzing at Bell Gardens Intermediate as students, school leaders, and afterschool advocates including former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Proposition 49, the initiative that created...

BY: Emily Murtaugh      12/05/22

Program Toolbox recently updated for new, established, and growing programs

Starting a new program or working to grow a program can be exciting and fulfilling—but it can take hard work. We’ve created a toolbox of resources to help you at every point in the process. With a variety of guides, tools, case studies, and best practices from out-of-school time experts...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/22/22

Culturally responsive STEM programming: Aim High awardee Geeking Out Kids of Color

This blog is part of a series covering the work of New York Life Foundation Aim High grantees. Awardees receive support for their outstanding out-of-school time programs serving underserved middle school youth. The Aim High grant request for proposals is open now through February 1, 2024...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/02/24

Recapping NIEA's Convention: Education Sovereignty. It Begins with Us.

In October, advocates came together in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the National Indian Education Association’s 54th annual Convention and Trade Show. This year’s theme was "Education Sovereignty. It Begins with Us." The convention was filled with inspiring speakers and...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/03/23

The power of representation: Being a role model for the next generation

By Dawn Marie Johnson, MSW, Director of Leadership and Culture for the South Dakota Afterschool Network; School Board Member, Sioux Falls School District Dawn Marie Johnson has been involved in supporting young people and school and afterschool organizations for the past decade. Growing up...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/27/23

Success stories: The Burma Center

Reflecting on the findings from our recent voter poll, "Afterschool a Priority for Asian American and Pacific Islander Voters," the Afterschool Alliance is amplifying the work of out-of-school providers supporting AANHPI students and their families. The Burma Center is a...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/26/23

Activities and resources to celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month - a month to honor the accomplishments and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States while celebrating their diverse heritages. Here are a few resources and ideas to help you think about ways...

BY: Ursula Helminski      05/15/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

Celebrating 25 years of masterpieces with a masterpiece of a movie

“We want to show the softness.” – Mingotae Kebede, director and producer A filmmaker and former staff of a long running Washington, DC Afterschool program, Life Pieces to Masterpieces was asked to help the program create a small video to commemorate the program’s 25th...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/09/22

Guest blog: A book about everyday superheroes inspired Girlstart campers to pursue world-changing careers in STEM

By Alexa Brown and Hannah Winkler, coordinators at Girlstart. Girlstart aims to increase girls’ interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) — a mission accomplished through free summer camps and after-school programs across Texas,...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/12/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

Celebrating Juneteenth in afterschool programs

Image by William Adams from Pixabay Juneteenth National Independence Day also known as Freedom Day, or Jubilee day honors the emancipation of slaves in the United States. More than 150 years after its first celebration, the Juneteenth holiday provides an opportunity to learn and teach about the...

BY: Tierra Easter      06/17/22

Impact of belonging in out-of-school time learning

This information was provided by the team at Mizzen Education. Sign up for their newsletter today! At Mizzen, we celebrate how out-of-school time learning is all about inclusion and creating a community-driven adventure. As Mizzen CEO Carlos says, “Relationships absolutely shaped my...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/11/23

The five A's to navigating SEL from the inside out with older youth

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BY: Guest Blogger      08/14/23

Creating a safe space in afterschool for LGBTQIA+ youth

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection Afterschool programs provide a safe space for youth to be their most authentic selves, with opportunities to engage with peers outside of the school day, connect with caring adults, and explore their interests and passions. But LGBTQ+ youth in...

BY: Maria Rizo      06/27/23

January is National Mentoring Month

Afterschool programs are excellent places for young people to meet and engage with supportive adults and find mentors. From STEM superheroes introducing girls to 21st century STEM careers, to caring adults helping with homework and encouraging students realize their full potential, mentorship in...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/10/23

Program Toolbox recently updated for new, established, and growing programs

Starting a new program or working to grow a program can be exciting and fulfilling—but it can take hard work. We’ve created a toolbox of resources to help you at every point in the process. With a variety of guides, tools, case studies, and best practices from out-of-school time experts...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/22/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

$1.8M awarded to middle school out-of-school time programs

The New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance are pleased to announce the 2022 Aim High grant recipients. In its sixth year, the Aim High grant has provided a total of $7.95 million dollars to help fund afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs as they help middle school...

BY: Dan Gilbert      06/14/22

Guest blog: Social and emotional learning in the spotlight

By Jenna Tomasello, associate director at The Hatcher Group. This blog post was originally published on the Wallace Foundation blog on March 11, 2022.  The social isolation students experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures has shined a spotlight on unmet...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/21/22

Afterschool field creates resources to help support the mental health of young people

With year 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic now underway, mental health is recognized as one of the largest issues among youth today. The ways in which young people have suffered during the pandemic are heartbreaking - from increased anxiety and social isolation to coping with grief and loss. Fortunately,...

BY: Christopher Echevarria      03/15/22

Celebrating Black History 365 with Howard University Television

By Keisha Nelson, Education and Outreach Manager WHUT- Howard University Television. Black History Month may only last 28 days, but opportunities for learning don’t end in February. There are many ways to celebrate the past and present contributions of Black people to U.S. history,...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/28/22