By Rachel Clark
From research to policy to one of the biggest Lights On Afterschool rallies ever, 2015 has been a banner year for afterschool. To celebrate, we asked the field to share their favorite afterschool moments, memories, and milestones with us on social media.
Programs in West Virginia, Mississippi, and Florida highlighted brilliant Lights On Afterschool celebrations. Georgia welcomed the state’s first-ever afterschool standards. Some programs celebrated their inaugural year in 2015, while Haddonfield Child Care in New Jersey celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Here are a few of our favorite moments of 2015 here at the Afterschool Alliance:
March: Kids on the Move special report. We’ve known for a while that afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire learning, and help working families, but this special report in the America After 3PM research series illustrated that they’re also a critical weapon in the fight against childhood obesity.
March: The National After-School Summit. Students, mayors, entrepreneurs, education experts, technology leaders, and more joined us and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the University of Southern California’s Schwarzenegger Institute to highlight the importance of afterschool and call for greater investment in out-of-school time programs.
September: Full STEM Ahead special report. The world needs critical thinkers and problem solvers ready to meet our society’s modern challenges. Our first-ever America After 3PM STEM special report showed that afterschool programs are a natural fit for today’s kids to develop the skills to become tomorrow’s innovators, and the new Afterschool STEM Hub continues to empower advocates to spread the word.
October: Lights On Afterschool. October 22 saw one of our brightest Lights On Afterschool celebrations ever! With nearly 8,200 events worldwide, the rally has even continued into December with more than a million Americans coming together in support of afterschool.
December: ESSA signed into law. The very end of the year brought a landmark afterschool victory as President Obama signed ESSA into law, protecting and strengthening 21st CCLC. This was followed up just a week later by the passage of an omnibus spending bill including record high funding for afterschool!
There’s still time to share your favorite afterschool milestone or memory of the year. Use the hashtag #AfterschoolMoment to shout it out on social media, so we can share your afterschool story with the entire field—and the world!