"Don't Terminate Afterschool Programs"

by Ursula Helminski

So said former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the National After-Summit Summit, which sent a rallying cry across the nation to invest in the afterschool programs that are keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn and helping working families. Mayors, entrepreneurs, education experts, technology leaders and more spoke to the value of afterschool programs for children, families, communities and our nation. Even the audience—whether in the room or viewing online—took part in amplifying the call for more afterschool resources.  Using the Summit’s tweet4afterschool.com feature, more than 1,000 tweets were generated during the gathering, calling out key stats on afterschool outcomes to Members of Congress. 

Summit organizers have made plans to keep the momentum going. Tweet4afterschool.com will feature a new post weekly for advocates to click and send in one stroke. And a short video unveiled at the event is available for all in the afterschool field to download and use to help build support. 

 

More coverage will be coming in the next few days, but here are a few of our favorite quotes: 

FROM EDUCATION LEADERS

Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education:

  • “Afterschool is a different kind of learning environment, kids are more relaxed and more eager to learn.”
  • “Afterschool programs provide much greater value than just test scores.”
  • “You’d be hard pressed to find a better investment than afterschool.”

Michael Hanson, Superintendent, Fresno Unified School District:

  • “Afterschool is the great equalizer in our country.”

Christopher Steinhauser, Long Beach (CA) Unified School District:

  • “The metrics are in: Attendance is up and crime is at an all-time low.”

FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT

Frank Fowler, Police Chief, Syracuse, NY:

  • “Our young people are our most valuable resource and we have to invest in them. We pay now, or we pay later.”
  • “Afterschool programs are a place where communities and police can work together for kids.”
  • “Kids don’t stop learning after the bell rings. We need to intervene now and often.”
  • “Afterschool is a tremendous crime-fighting tool.”

FROM MAYORS

Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth, TX:

  • “Mayors have a bully pulpit and can raise awareness of how important afterschool programs are to get businesses to step up.”
  • “When kids aren’t in afterschool, crime rates go up – Fort Worth businesses always oppose cuts to afterschool because it protects against petty crime.”

Karl Dean, Nashville, TN:

  • “Afterschool is an opportunity to make school more engaging and a safe place to be and keep kids out of trouble.”

Cherie Wood, South Salt Lake City, UT:

  • “We found that almost everything we needed to fix in our community could be helped by afterschool programs.”
  • “Youth crime has dropped by 64% in South Salt Lake thanks to afterschool programs.”

FROM ENTREPRENEURS

Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote:

  • “I found my passion for computers afterschool.”
  • “Afterschool is a baseline for the workforce we need 20 years from now.”

Maggie Johnson, Director of Education, Google:

  • “Every single kid should have the opportunity to take part in an afterschool program.”
  • “Demand for STEM professionals is way, way out of sync with supply. Afterschool helps show STEM is for everyone.”

Tim Ferriss, author, entrepreneur, and angel investor:

  • “It’s not enough for us to solve problems, we have to create problem solvers.”

The National After-School Summit was held Tuesday, March 24 at the  University of Southern California by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, the Afterschool Alliance, and After-School All-Stars.   To learn more about the Summit or to watch a video of the proceedings, visit the Schwarzenegger Institute website.



© 2013 Afterschool Alliance