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State tackles learning loss with new law on summer & afterschool STEAM engagement

With the federal government working hard to get much needed relief funds to states, including for education to help stem some of the harshest effects of COVID, states as well recognize their essential role in recovery. On February 9, Tennessee passed the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and...

BY: Jillian Luchner      02/18/21

What does a new president and Congress mean for afterschool STEM?

President Joe Biden was sworn into office on January 20, marking the beginning of a four-year term with the pandemic still front and center in the eyes of policymakers and the general public. The first steps for President Biden and Congress have been aimed at getting a handle on the pandemic, which...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/16/21

House Education Committee approves additional education, learning recovery support

This week, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the Education and Labor Committee’s portion of the FY21 budget reconciliation bill, which enacts President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. After a mark-up that began...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/10/21

Meet Afterschool Youth Ambassador Aundre Smith

Aundre Smith is 15 years old and lives in Galveston, Texas. He has attended the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston his whole life and appreciates the opportunities and sense of community that he has found at the Club. Whether it was taking a break after school to play basketball with his...

BY: Erin Hegarty      02/05/21

Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

The Learning Recovery Act of 2021 was introduced on January 28 in the House of Representatives as part of a three-bill package from the House Education and Labor Committee led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). The other two bills address school infrastructure needs and saving education jobs....

BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

Youth Voice Week: Join us in celebrating the power of youth voices!

Mark your calendars: starting Thursday, February 4 through Friday, February 12, the Afterschool Alliance will be shining a spotlight on our seven incredible Youth Ambassadors. During Youth Voice Week, each day will be dedicated to a different Youth Ambassador whose story we will be sharing on...

BY: Erin Hegarty      01/29/21

Community Learning Hubs: Coming together to support students during the pandemic

A guide to how Hubs work & examples in place  As schools began shutting their doors and moving to virtual classrooms last spring, afterschool programs and youth development organizations stepped up to help students and families with access to the internet, learning support, meals, and...

BY: Alexis Steines      01/28/21

Valley Heights Community Education: Helping their rural community through the pandemic

This blog post is adapted from a program spotlight in "How Afterschool is Supporting Learning and Recovery During COVID-19," a June 2020 issue brief from the Afterschool Alliance. Started in the mid-1990s as a response to more households having both parents working outside the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/21

President Biden proposes American Rescue Plan including education funding

On Thursday, January 15, President-elect Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package called the American Rescue Plan which is described as “…the first step of an aggressive, two-step plan” to “change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge towards economic...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/20/21

Federal afterschool policy update: Seizing the funding opportunities in the CRRSA

When the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act passed Congress and was signed into law in late December, the clock started ticking on a number of potential funding opportunities that can be used at the state and local level to support afterschool and summer...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/14/21

Weekly Media Roundup: February 24, 2021

Community Stepped Up When the Going Got Tough, Sandusky Register (Ohio) When the pandemic hit, the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Ohio immediately got to work to ensure students’ academic, physical and emotional needs were met. The Club partnered with Sandusky City Schools to...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      02/24/21

Weekly Media Roundup: February 17, 2021

Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Unified School District Present Encore of BRAVO! Program, Noozhawk (California) Through an ongoing collaboration with the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) has continued to provide a free afterschool program to...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      02/17/21

Weekly Media Roundup: February 10, 2021

A New Mural Was Created By Children And Artist At Reddick Elementary School In Wimauma, Osprey Observer (Florida) Students from migrant families in the Good Afternoon Friends and Amigos afterschool program in Wimauma, Florida spent four weeks creating a mural promoting kindness at a nearby...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      02/10/21

Weekly Media Roundup: February 3, 2021

Thousands of Dallas Children Are in Need of After-School Care, Survey Finds, The Dallas Morning News (Texas) The America After 3PM survey commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance found that more than 101,000 children in Dallas, Texas aren’t in afterschool programs, but would be if a...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      02/03/21

Weekly Media Roundup: January 27, 2021

MSCR Cares Program at Henderson Elementary Supports Students Indoors and Out, Wisconsin State Journal (Wisconsin) At Madison School and Community Recreation Cares sites in Madison, Wisconsin, about 650 elementary students spend their mornings doing remote learning with the support of trained...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/27/21

Weekly Media Roundup: January 19, 2021

More Than Just an Afterschool Program: Española Nonprofit Plans for Expansion, KRQE (New Mexico) Thanks to a $100,000 matching grant from the Thoma Art Foundation, Moving Arts Española   will soon open a teen center where middle and high school students can access career...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/19/21

Weekly Media Roundup: January 13, 2020

YMCA gives kids ‘a dose of normal,’ Martha’s Vineyard Times (Massachusetts) To help students overcome isolation and disconnection, the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard is providing in-person programming for students each afternoon. The program provides enrichment activities and...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/13/21

Weekly Media Roundup: January 6, 2020

Girls Inc. Takes Creative Approach to Programming During COVID-19, The Daily Times (Tennessee) At the in-person and virtual afterschool programs run by Girls Inc. of the Tennessee Valley, about 200 girls explore engineering, science, and agriculture, reflect on song lyrics, journal, learn about...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/06/21

Weekly Media Roundup: December 23, 2020

Lack Of Afterschool Program Access In Indiana Could Impact Education, Economic Recovery, WBAA (Georgia) A recent household survey commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, America After 3PM, found that more than 400,000 children in Indiana cannot access the afterschool programs they need....

BY: Magen Eissenstat      12/23/20

Weekly Media Roundup: December 16, 2020

Column: Hawaii Behind on Afterschool Programs, Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Hawaii) Although data from the household survey America After 3 PM showed Hawaii was a national leader in afterschool participation in 2009, the 2020 America After 3 PM report shows unmet demand for afterschool has...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      12/16/20

Community Learning Hubs: Coming together to support students during the pandemic

A guide to how Hubs work & examples in place  As schools began shutting their doors and moving to virtual classrooms last spring, afterschool programs and youth development organizations stepped up to help students and families with access to the internet, learning support, meals, and...

BY: Alexis Steines      01/28/21

Access to COVID-19 vaccines for out-of-school time program staff

Update: January 5, 2021: As an update to the request detailed in the blog below regarding out-of-school time workers being classified as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” for the purposes of COVID-19 vaccination eligibility, a change was made by the CDC Advisory Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/20

Now open: Grant opportunities of up to $100,000 from the New York Life Foundation for out-of-school time programs

The New York Life Foundation is seeking applications for $1,350,000 in grants to afterschool, summer, or expanded learning programs serving underserved middle-school youth. This is the fifth year of the Foundation’s Aim High grant competition, bringing the total amount awarded to $ 6.15...

BY: Marisa Paipongna      12/15/20

My afterschool experience: Before and during the pandemic

By Malika Ali, an 11th grader in New Jersey. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. I wake up around 6:30 AM to the sound of my blaring alarm clock and hear birds chirping faintly in the background. I somehow manage to get out of bed and start getting ready for school. I wake up my siblings, brush my teeth, change...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/14/20

Building Healthy Habits: New initiatives from Alaska that are helping to keep kids and families safe

Ensuring that children, youth, and families are healthy is a priority now more than ever due to the pandemic. Before the pandemic, afterschool programs already played key roles in making sure that youth stay healthy, providing opportunities to be physically active, offering snacks and meals to...

BY: Marisa Paipongna      12/07/20

Key findings from Wave 3 of our program provider survey

A few weeks ago, we concluded the third in a series of national surveys of afterschool providers in the pandemic, conducted by Edge Research and released by the Afterschool Alliance. Eight months into COVID-19, there are three key trends are shaping the landscape of afterschool programs across the...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/20/20

Report: Participation in afterschool meals program increased in 2019

A new report released on October 20 by the Food Research and Action Center highlights some good news about the federal Afterschool Meals Program. According to the report, Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation, more than 1.4 million low-income children participated in the Afterschool...

BY: Alexis Steines      11/02/20

Take a mindful moment next week during Lights On Afterschool

The Afterschool Alliance is extremely excited to announce that as a part of our week of virtual events for this year’s Lights On Afterschool, we will be partnering with Committee for Children, a global nonprofit organization that has developed the Second Step curriculum for social and...

BY: Dan Gilbert      10/16/20

Federal Policy Update: House passes 21st CCLC Coronavirus Relief Act

Just after noon on Sep. 16, the House of Representatives unanimously approved HR 8162, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020. The legislation provides much needed flexibility for the current 2020-2021 school year, allowing local afterschool programs...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/16/20

USDA extends child nutrition flexibility through December 31, 2020

On August 31, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend several school meal flexibilities through as late as December 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators, including community based afterschool...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/31/20

Introducing the Wallace Foundation's new SEL podcast

Released just this week, the Wallace Foundation’s new project, “The Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Podcast,” features in-depth conversations with school, school district, and out-of-school time leaders about their experiences working together to help children...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/25/21

February resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Welcome to the February installment of STEM resources from the Million Girls Moonshot. This month, Million Girls Moonshot resources are focused on diverse role models and mentors as a strategy to strengthen equity and inclusion in STEM programs. You’ll find podcasts, toolkits, and activity...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/22/21

Wrapping up: Afterschool in 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, I am hoping it is a year we will never have to repeat. At the same time, I reflect on this year with a tremendous amount of pride and gratitude for afterschool; I am blown away by the ability of our field, our allies, and our team to quickly pivot in the midst of a...

BY: Jodi Grant      12/28/20

The Impact of Summer: New report offers evidence of the short- and long-term value of investments in summer learning programs

As many in the out-of-school-time field know, the summer months have the potential to widen existing learning inequities contributing to the achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers, or serve as a valuable space to combat this exacerbation and not only prevent...

BY: Erin Hegarty      12/21/20

New resources to support Park and Recreation & OST professionals in the fight against substance use & mental health disorders

By Lauren Kiefert, NRPA program specialist. As parks and afterschool settings continue to play a larger and more substantial role in contributing to community health and well-being, the substance use and mental health epidemics are no exception. Combined with the negative impacts of COVID-19,...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/18/20

STEM resources to support engineering mindsets from Million Girls Moonshot

Every month we’ll be publishing a list of resources and activities for afterschool programs to better engage students in STEM. These monthly posts are developed with resources shared from our partners at the Million Girls Moonshot. If you are interested in becoming involved in the Million...

BY: Chris Neitzey      12/17/20

New report offers lessons for school-afterschool partnerships around SEL

Last month, the RAND Corporation published the first report on the Wallace Foundation’s expansive Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI), “Early Lessons from Schools and Out-of-School Time Programs Implementing Social and Emotional Learning.” PSELI is a...

BY: Dan Gilbert      11/13/20

Grad Nation report highlights challenges, solutions towards a 90% graduation rate

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash A recent webinar from Grad Nation, Building a Grad Nation: Meet the Moment 2020!, marked the release of their report, A Grad Nation 2020: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. The annual report discusses recent progress...

BY: Bella DiMarco      11/09/20

America is turning the Lights On for Afterschool today!

Adapted from a recent press release. Sorting donated food and disinfecting donated toys. Virtual STEM fairs and art contests. A car caravan to a State Capitol. Those are among the many activities that students, parents, educators, lawmakers, business and faith leaders, community members and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/22/20

New York City’s Empire State Building & landmarks across the country light up for Lights On Afterschool

This week, as America rallies for Lights On Afterschool for the 21st consecutive year, landmarks across the country are lighting up in yellow and blue to support the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and support working parents. Lights On Afterschool this year...

BY: Ursula Helminski      10/20/20

Wrapping up: Afterschool in 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, I am hoping it is a year we will never have to repeat. At the same time, I reflect on this year with a tremendous amount of pride and gratitude for afterschool; I am blown away by the ability of our field, our allies, and our team to quickly pivot in the midst of a...

BY: Jodi Grant      12/28/20

Learn to code with Engineer for the Week!

By Jennifer Chen, program manager at Facebook. On October 19, programs from across the country joined Facebook and the Afterschool Alliance to kick off a week of virtual Lights On Afterschool activities to learn about Engineer for the Week (EFTW) and participate in an online coding activity. Led...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/24/20

Meeting the moment: How afterschool programs kept the lights on through the COVID crisis

By Mark Cowsert, Associate Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Missouri AfterSchool Network. This article was originally published on Kids Win Missouri on October 21, 2020. The blog is reposted with the author's permission.   Mid-March, 2020 seemed like any other late winter,...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/05/20

What Lights On Afterschool 2020 revealed about the afterschool field

7 ways afterschool shined We’re tired. Challenged. Worried.  Our finances are strained, our staff face too many uncertainties. Yet our field continues to innovate, evolve, and serve kids, families, and communities. Why? Because people are counting on you, and you care for them...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/30/20

Amazing afterschool events for Lights On Afterschool 2020

Adapted from a recent press release. Youth-led virtual conversations. A webinar on re-imagining engineering, with girls leading the way. A fall festival with bicycle decorating and pumpkin bowling. Events focused on bridging the gap to the virtual world that include lessons about bridges and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/23/20

America is turning the Lights On for Afterschool today!

Adapted from a recent press release. Sorting donated food and disinfecting donated toys. Virtual STEM fairs and art contests. A car caravan to a State Capitol. Those are among the many activities that students, parents, educators, lawmakers, business and faith leaders, community members and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/22/20

NASA and STEM Next present Million Girls Moonshot: Meeting the Artemis Generation

By Shannon Olsen, NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. This web article was originally published on NASA's website on October 16, 2020. NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement aims to engage students in NASA’s mission by immersing youth in NASA’s work, enhancing...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/21/20

New York City’s Empire State Building & landmarks across the country light up for Lights On Afterschool

This week, as America rallies for Lights On Afterschool for the 21st consecutive year, landmarks across the country are lighting up in yellow and blue to support the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and support working parents. Lights On Afterschool this year...

BY: Ursula Helminski      10/20/20

Billboards around the country illuminate the work of afterschool programs

Clear Channel Outdoor Supports Lights On Afterschool 2020 The National League of Cities, the National Summer Learning Association and the Afterschool Alliance have teamed up with Clear Channel Outdoor to launch a campaign across more than 1,000 digital billboards nationwide as part of the...

BY: Ursula Helminski      10/19/20

Senate unanimously passes bipartisan Lights On Afterschool Resolution

On October 2, bipartisan resolution S. Res. 731 passed the U.S. Senate unanimously calling for the recognition of Lights On Afterschool, a celebration of afterschool programs nationwide. The lead sponsors of the resolution, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.),...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/19/20

February resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Welcome to the February installment of STEM resources from the Million Girls Moonshot. This month, Million Girls Moonshot resources are focused on diverse role models and mentors as a strategy to strengthen equity and inclusion in STEM programs. You’ll find podcasts, toolkits, and activity...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/22/21

What does a new president and Congress mean for afterschool STEM?

President Joe Biden was sworn into office on January 20, marking the beginning of a four-year term with the pandemic still front and center in the eyes of policymakers and the general public. The first steps for President Biden and Congress have been aimed at getting a handle on the pandemic, which...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/16/21

STEM resources to support engineering mindsets from Million Girls Moonshot

Every month we’ll be publishing a list of resources and activities for afterschool programs to better engage students in STEM. These monthly posts are developed with resources shared from our partners at the Million Girls Moonshot. If you are interested in becoming involved in the Million...

BY: Chris Neitzey      12/17/20

From the STEM field: An innovative model to deliver STEM learning to under-served youth during the COVID-19 era

By Stephen White, Vice President of External Affairs, Strategic Initiatives, and Business Development and Allie Greiwe, Director of External Affairs at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, OH. This blog is a continuation of our series of case studies examining how informal STEM...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/10/20

Views from VISTAs: Updates from November 2020

AmeriCorps’ Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) work to alleviate poverty by providing indirect service to their communities. Our afterschool VISTAs and the work they do are essential to the expansion of afterschool access for the children who need it most, especially in the fields...

BY: Marisa Paipongna      12/03/20

Out-of-school STEM during a pandemic: An interview with leaders from FIRST, Learn Fresh, and Girlstart

By Gemma Lenowitz, associate program officer for Inspired Minds at the Overdeck Family Foundation. This article was originally published on the Overdeck Family Foundation's website on November 30, 2020. It is reposted here with the author's permission. Erica Fessia is vice president of...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/01/20

Learn to code with Engineer for the Week!

By Jennifer Chen, program manager at Facebook. On October 19, programs from across the country joined Facebook and the Afterschool Alliance to kick off a week of virtual Lights On Afterschool activities to learn about Engineer for the Week (EFTW) and participate in an online coding activity. Led...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/24/20

The Afterschool Alliance joins Aspen Institute’s K12 Climate Action Coalition

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash The Afterschool Alliance is excited to announce our membership as part of the Aspen Institute’s new K12 Climate Action Coalition. In a normal year in the United States, the public education sector operates 98,000 schools, utilizes  480,000 diesel school...

BY: Leah Silverberg      11/17/20

How STEM learning is adapting in COVID-19

This blog post comes to us Rachael Van Schoik, Science Action Club Manager at the California Academy of Sciences. Over the coming months we’ll be highlighting how STEM programs have adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue serving students with STEM activities, and what lessons we can...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/26/20

NASA and STEM Next present Million Girls Moonshot: Meeting the Artemis Generation

By Shannon Olsen, NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. This web article was originally published on NASA's website on October 16, 2020. NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement aims to engage students in NASA’s mission by immersing youth in NASA’s work, enhancing...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/21/20

What does a new president and Congress mean for afterschool STEM?

President Joe Biden was sworn into office on January 20, marking the beginning of a four-year term with the pandemic still front and center in the eyes of policymakers and the general public. The first steps for President Biden and Congress have been aimed at getting a handle on the pandemic, which...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/16/21

Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

The Learning Recovery Act of 2021 was introduced on January 28 in the House of Representatives as part of a three-bill package from the House Education and Labor Committee led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). The other two bills address school infrastructure needs and saving education jobs....

BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief package finalized and passed

After almost a week of lengthy negotiations concluded on Sunday evening, December 20, the House and Senate approved final text on Monday night for the FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and a new COVID-19 relief bill. This package differs from the one unveiled last Monday by a group of bipartisan...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/20

Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

This Friday, December 18, 2020, is the new deadline for Congress to pass a FY 2021 spending bill (or another short-term continuing resolution) to ensure the federal government continues to operate. To meet that deadline, both House and Senate leadership are convening this week in an effort to build...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/16/20

Senate funding bills released with flat funding for afterschool

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their twelve Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) spending bills. The government is currently being funded under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on Dec. 11. A spending deal must be reached by that date to avoid a government...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/12/20

Two new Community School bills introduced in Congress this fall

For community school adherents, school has always had a central function as a hub of integrated student supports. The COVID health emergency has not only impacted how, where, and when education is delivered but also reinforced the idea of schools as a conduit for children and families to other...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/10/20

Election 2020 – a first look at the results from an afterschool policy perspective

Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash As of the afternoon of November 6, there was yet to be a definitive result in the 2020 US election at the Presidential, Senate, or House levels. One clear conclusion, however, is that while there are deep divisions in the electorate and in the political system,...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/06/20

Bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 introduced in Senate, would provide $1.2B in additional funding

On October 26, 2020, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced S. 4868, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, which is designed to expand access to supervised learning for students through the remainder of the...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/27/20

Senate unanimously passes bipartisan Lights On Afterschool Resolution

On October 2, bipartisan resolution S. Res. 731 passed the U.S. Senate unanimously calling for the recognition of Lights On Afterschool, a celebration of afterschool programs nationwide. The lead sponsors of the resolution, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.),...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/19/20

Federal Policy Update: Status of FY21 Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief

With October knocking on the door and the 2020 federal fiscal year winding down, legislative activity in Congress has heated up again. In particular it is a good time for an update on the appropriations process for federal fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) as well as an update on the status of a possible...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/29/20