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Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
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SEP
30

RESEARCH
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Just released - Afterschool in Action: Promoting Middle School Success Through Innovative Afterschool Programs

By Nikki Yamashiro

The Afterschool Alliance and MetLife Foundation are proud to release “Afterschool in Action: Promoting Middle School Success Through Innovative Afterschool Programs.”  Released last week at the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Multi-State Conference in Louisville, Ky., this year’s compendium takes a reflective look at the six rounds of the MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Awards; features an in-depth profile on each of the five most recent MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Award winners, highlighting each program’s mission and goals, activities, history, evolution and expansion; and includes MetLife Foundation issue briefs covering the topics of the Common Core State Standards, supporting students with disabilities and other special needs, keeping kids safe and supported in the hours after school, and using data to better serve students.

It’s inspiring to view the MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Awards in its entirety—where close to 100 afterschool programs across 30 states and more than 60 cities have been highlighted for their work supporting middle school students,  their families and their community.  At the Afterschool Alliance, we know that this is a small sampling of the thousands of afterschool programs across the county that are providing integral supports to kids of all ages—exciting kids about learning, providing healthful snacks and meals, encouraging students to explore their interests and discover new skills, and providing supportive mentors. 

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learn more about: Issue Briefs MetLife Innovator Awards
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SEP
29

LIGHTS ON
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Senate passes Lights On Afterschool resolution

By Erik Peterson

On Sept. 17 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan resolution S. Res. 552 celebrating afterschool programs in honor of upcoming Lights On Afterschool Day on Oct. 23, 2014. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Afterschool Caucus, authored the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

Lights On Afterschool is celebrated by thousands of parents, students, leaders and educators around the country, who will join together in October to celebrate the power of afterschool programs to improve the lives of young people.  A large and growing body of evidence demonstrates improvements in school-day attendance, behavior, academic achievement and more among children who participate in afterschool programs. Researchers have also found that afterschool programs encourage increased parental involvement—an important building block for student success.

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learn more about: Afterschool Caucus America After 3PM Congress
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SEP
29

LIGHTS ON
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Take the Lights On Afterschool Webmaker Challenge

By Dan Gilbert

Mozilla has teamed up with the Afterschool Alliance to celebrate afterschool programs this October by creating the Lights On Afterschool Webmaker Challenge .  The Webmaker Challenge is a simple activity that gives you and your afterschool youth a chance to unleash your creativity—and learn some coding—by making your own digital afterschool posters.   

As an added bonus, six participating programs will be chosen at random to win $500!

On Oct. 23, more than 1 million people around the country will take part in the 15th annual Lights On Afterschool, and the Lights On Afterschool Webmaker Challenge is a great way to engage youth and the community while teaching kids valuable coding skills. Digital media and technology are constantly changing the way that children learn and interact with the world around them, and it’s vital that we give today’s youth the skills and know-how required to read, write, and participate effectively on the web.

Nobody is better suited to help teach young people to be digitally literate than Mozilla. Mozilla is the global, nonprofit organization behind Firefox, a free browser used by over half a billion people around the world. Mozilla works with a worldwide community to create open source products and programs in the belief that the Web is a shared public resource to be cared for. Their mission is to teach the world to be web literate through proactive exploration of digital tools and hands-on making, teaching and learning.

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learn more about: Digital Learning Funding Opportunity Arts
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SEP
25

STEM
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Awards to honor young women in computing & technology

By Taylor Moore

Do you know a young woman in your afterschool program with aspirations in computing? Does she enjoy designing, hacking, coding or anything in the world of computing and technology?  The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) has recently announced the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing to honor young women, like the one you may have in mind, who are active and interested in computing and technology and interested in further pursuing their passion in the field.

If chosen as an award recipient, the young woman will be recognized at an award event, receive scholarship and internship opportunities, access to a peer network of technical young women in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community, and various other prices.  Additionally, the award recipients receive $500, a laptop, and a trip to attend the Bank of America Technology Showcase and Awards Ceremony on March 7, 2015.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity
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SEP
24

POLICY
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House, Senate approve FY15 continuing resolution

By Erik Peterson

With 12 days remaining in the current federal fiscal year, both chambers approved a continuing resolution (CR) late last week ensuring that the federal government will be funded and operational through Dec. 11. The stopgap measure is funded at $1 trillion, which is less than the Senate would like but more than the Budget Control Act actually allows.  Once the bill expires in mid-December, Congress will have to decide whether to extend the CR a few more months until the next Congress gets organized, or to go ahead and fund federal operations for the remainder of the fiscal year. It's not too late to reach out to your representative and senators to encourage their support of afterschool programs.

Congress is now in recess until after the Nov. 4 election. The Senate has already announced its Nov. 12 return. When Congress returns it will resume as a lame duck session that could address a number of issues in addition to the CR. Many Members of Congress will be in their districts campaigning next month, which presents an excellent opportunity to invite incumbents and candidates to Lights On Afterschool celebrations as a way to raise awareness of  the impact that afterschool and summer learning programs have on children, youth, their families and communities.

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learn more about: Budget Congress Election Legislation
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SEP
24

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - September 24, 2014

By Luci Manning

Derrick Rose Gives $1 Million to Chicago Charity (Chicago Tribune, Illinois)
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is donating $1 million to After School Matters, a Chicago charity that arranges out-of-school apprenticeships for teens. “When Derrick looks at the kids we work really hard to serve, he sees himself or saw himself as one of those kids,” Vice Chairman of After School Matters Robbie Robinson explains to the Chicago Tribune. Rose grew up in the same area and told the Chicago Tribune, “To have a strong community of people who believe in your potential can make all the difference in the world. So many people have invested in me and I want to do the same for Chicago’s teens.”

Students Show Love for Cops on Police Appreciation Day (The Daily Home, Alabama)
Afterschool Students from First Baptist Church’s Child Development Center in Talladega adopted a new tradition: Police Officer Appreciation Day. The afterschool students created “survival kits” filled with candy and treats.  Students explained the special significance of each candy on the outside of the bag and presented the kits to the police officers, The Daily Home reports.

Kids 4 Kompany to Hold Food Drive (Times-Herald, Georgia)
Kids 4 Kompany Learning Academy in Newnan is organizing a food drive this month. Children in the academy are working on all aspects of the food drive: collecting non-perishable food items, organizing the food, and helping deliver it to a local organization in need. Denita Barnett, creator of the food drive, tells the Times-Herald, “I want to instill in the children here to give to others.” Barnett says she plans on making the food drive an annual event from here on out.

NOLA Access Grant Puts Technology Help Within Reach of Central City Youth, Adults (The Times-Picayune, Louisiana)
Thanks to a $19,600 NOLA Access Media Grant, students in Central City will get a chance to learn and develop their computer skills in a high-tech environment.  The afterschool program at the Israelite Baptist Church rapidly grew after the program was one of the few able to stay open after Hurricane Katrina.  Afterschool Program Director Eureka Harris told The Times-Picayune that the program aims to not only help students with homework and improve digital literacy, but also “to expand their belief in what is possible in their lives.” 

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learn more about: Celebrities Digital Learning Science Service
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24

LIGHTS ON
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Cable Co gives kids hands-on science for Lights On Afterschool

By Ursula Helminski

Bright House Networks is celebrating the 15th annual rally for afterschool programs by giving hundreds of afterschool youth an afternoon of fun, hands-on STEM learning at their local science centers. Grants of $1,500-$3,000 have been awarded to afterschool programs in seven communities across the nation to give underserved youth the opportunity to get excited and engaged in STEM learning.  Programs are targeting the funds to serve kids who might not normally be able to visit the science centers. The STEM experiences will take place in October, as part of  Lights On Afterschool festivities.

During their visits to the science centers, students will learn about topics such as solar energy and renewable resources, the history of the oil industry, and astronomy. They will conduct experiments, build robots, learn about STEM career opportunities, and more.

Bright House views the experiences as an investment in the company’s future.  Said Kimberly Maki, corporate vice president, corporate communications and public relations, “We hope that by providing afterschool students with opportunities to participate in hands-on activities that teach science and math, we can encourage more young people to consider careers in these crucial fields.”

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learn more about: Equity NASA Robotics Science Community Partners
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SEP
18

IN THE FIELD
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Happy anniversary! AmeriCorps turns 20

By Alexis Steines

Pres. Obama was joined by Former Pres. Bill Clinton last Friday for a special AmeriCorps swearing-in ceremony on the White House lawn in celebration of the program’s 20th anniversary.  Several thousand AmeriCorps volunteers were sworn into service at more than 80 ceremonies across the country.

The first class of AmeriCorps volunteers were sworn into service on Sept. 12, 1994.  Since that day, more than 900,000 volunteers have worked with community organizations across the country, particularly those providing afterschool and summer learning programs. AmeriCorps currently engages more than 75,000 men and women at more than 15,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community- and faith-based groups across the country.  During their year of service, AmeriCorps members help communities with a wide range of issues including disaster services, economic opportunity, education and healthy futures. AmeriCorps volunteers are a key part of the afterschool workforce.  They provide essential staffing for many programs, where they mentor, teach skills such as computer programming, and coach sports.  AmeriCorps members make it possible for afterschool programs to serve children and youth in many communities.

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learn more about: Equity Obama Vista Community Partners
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