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Staffing takes top spot as primary challenge for afterschool program providers in new survey

“COVID-19 has put stress on an already stressed programming system. I feel like this has put a spotlight on the need for our programs and the staffing issue” one survey respondent reports in Afterschool Alliance’s most recent survey of afterschool program providers. Another says,...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      01/27/22

Understanding “comprehensive afterschool” in the American Rescue Plan

In the American Rescue Plan, funds are allocated specifically for “the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/22

2021: A momentous, challenging, inspiring year for afterschool and summer learning

As 2021 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for the incredible people working in and supporting the afterschool and summer learning field. In another year marked by the pandemic and recovery efforts, our field has worked tirelessly to ensure that programs have the...

BY: Jodi Grant      12/23/21

👏 Supporting learning: Afterschool leaders rise to the challenge

As part of our campaign this holiday season to show our gratitude for afterschool professionals, we are sharing some of the extraordinary efforts undertaken by our Afterschool Ambassadors and their programs to support kids and families throughout the pandemic. We thank them, and the many...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/17/21

👏 Meeting the crisis: Afterschool leaders rise to the challenge

As part of our campaign this holiday season to show our gratitude for afterschool professionals, we are sharing some of the extraordinary efforts undertaken by our Afterschool Ambassadors and their programs to support kids and families throughout the pandemic. We thank them, and the many...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/16/21

Ohio Afterschool Network is unleashing student creativity, and fostering pandemic recovery, through entrepreneurship

At RISE Afterschool, which is expanding entrepreneurial education with help from the Ohio Afterschool Network and YEI, students are cultivating entrepreneurial skills as they create a garden business with raised beds. Photo: CBI Middletown, Inc. By Laurie Posner. Laurie Posner is a...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/14/21

Recapping impressive OST work in summer 2021—and looking ahead to summer 2022

As the winter air blows in, it’s the perfect time to warm up with thoughts of summer. In fact, many school districts and afterschool programs know that planning for summer begins in the fall. Fortunately, the hard work programs, partners, and schools undertook during summer 2021 provided...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/07/21

Afterschool programs can help young people access vaccines

With the COVID-19 vaccine recommended by the CDC for everyone aged 5 and older, afterschool programs are positioned to help their communities’ young people access vaccines. The U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, has traveled to various schools, including afterschool programs, to...

BY: Nicole Pettenati      12/06/21

Making learning outside of school count

What do learning math concepts through boatbuilding, shadowing a teacher to see classroom management practices in action, and building software skills studying video game and mobile app development all have in common? Although wildly diverse, these examples showcase the broad range of...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/23/21

House of Representatives passes Build Back Better Act

On Friday, November 19, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act by a vote of 220-213. The legislation invests in programs that support human infrastructure and includes parts...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/22/21

Weekly Media Roundup: January 26, 2022

Children of the Valley After-School Program Comes to Sedro-Woolley, Go Skagit (Washington) An afterschool program that boosts students’ academic, social and emotional skills recently opened a new site in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. At the Children of the Valley afterschool program, students...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/27/22

Weekly Media Roundup: January 19, 2022

Season for Sharing Grant Used by MentorKids for Afterschool and Tutoring Programs, Arizona Republic (Arizona) More than 300 students in Phoenix, Arizona benefit from afterschool and summer programming provided by MentorKids, supported in part by a grant from the Arizona Republic’s Season...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/19/22

Weekly Media Roundup: January 12, 2021

ACE Clubs Offer Unique After-School Activities, Academic Support, Herald Bulletin (Indiana) Each afternoon, students at ACE Clubs in Anderson, Indiana enjoy a variety of activities, including publishing their own books, leather crafting, cooking classes and painting. “We’re always...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/12/22

Weekly Media Roundup: January 5, 2022

Woodstock Day School Media Arts Program Awarded Grant, HudsonValley360 (New York) Thanks to a $49,500 grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, students in Ulster County, New York will have the opportunity to learn filmmaking at a new media arts afterschool program at Woodstock Day...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      01/05/22

Weekly Media Roundup: December 22, 2021

Virginia Beach Before & After School Programs Saved After Surge of Applicants, WTKR (Virginia) After the approval of a pay rate increase, the Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Department received hundreds of applicants seeking employment at its before and afterschool programs. The influx...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      12/22/21

Weekly Media Roundup: December 15, 2021

With Toys, Books and Love, Granny's House Provides After-School Programs to Children, Columbia Missourian (Missouri) Each day at the Granny’s House afterschool program in Columbia, Missouri, children enjoy outdoor activities, homework assistance, science clubs and field trips with...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      12/15/21

Weekly Media Roundup: December 8, 2021

Weekly Media Roundup, December 8, 2021 Cleveland County Family YMCA Addresses Learning Loss, The Star (North Carolina) To help students catch up on reading skills amidst the pandemic, the Cleveland County Family YMCA in North Carolina is partnering with Learning Ovations, a community literacy...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      12/08/21

Weekly Media Roundup: December 1, 2021

Lincoln County Afterschool Center Thrives From Community Support, Idaho Ed News (Idaho) Throughout the summer, AmeriCorps volunteers, businesses and community members helped refurbish a former church in Lincoln County, Idaho into a thriving community center offering child care, meals,...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      12/01/21

Weekly Media Roundup: November 24, 2021

'We're All Family Here': Columbus Community Center Pilots Program to Connect with Students, The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) At a new afterschool program in Columbus, Ohio, seventh- and eighth-graders get academic support, work on goal-setting, play sports, connect with mentors and more....

BY: Magen Eissenstat      11/24/21

Weekly Media Roundup: November 17, 2021

‘Worst-Case Scenario’: VB Parks & Rec Closing 14 Before/Afterschool Childcare Programs Due to Staffing Shortage, WAVY-TV (Virginia) Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation announced it will close three before-school and 11 afterschool programs starting January 3 due to ongoing...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      11/17/21

The Million Girls Moonshot is launching its inaugural Flight Crew!

The Flight Crew is a cohort of youth advocates, ages 13-18, who are committed to creating equity for girls in STEM through elevating youth voices and inspiring future STEM leaders. We are looking for young scientists, engineers, inventors, builders, and leaders who have been inspired by their...

BY: Leah Silverberg      01/28/22

Why afterschool programs need social and emotional learning now

This article was originally published on The Wallace Foundation blog on January 19, 2022. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, educators around the country are seeing an increasing need to support young people who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, fear, trauma, food insecurity or...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/24/22

Anti-discrimination Take Action guides are available for free from Nickelodeon!

Sooner or later, most adults will find themselves needing to discuss big topics with young hearts and minds. While many parents and educators are comfortable acting as role models and guiding young people through certain aspects of their lives, issues like anti-racism and combatting LGBTQ+...

BY: Shaun Gray      01/18/22

January resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Quality Trainings Audience: For programs and program staff in your state Share with Network STEM Staff, Key Partners, and Program Leaders in your state interested in becoming Dimensions of Success Certified. More information found here. Dimensions of Success (DoS) Certification...

BY: Chris Neitzey      01/14/22

How to make universal afterschool a reality in your state

By Holly Morehouse, Executive Director, Vermont Afterschool. Across the country, afterschool programs have been chronically underfunded for decades, and the unmet demand among families has reached an all-time high. In Vermont, more than 26,000 youth are waiting for an available program. This...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/11/22

December Resources from Million Girls Moonshot

December brings us the opportunity to reflect on our successes and explore how we might do more as we head into a new year. Below we bring you the December assets from the Million Girls Moonshot, and encourage you to share these resources with your networks and partners. If you are interested in...

BY: Chris Neitzey      12/20/21

How four cities expanded summer learning

Summer learning programs provide enrichment opportunities for youth, allowing them to increase math and reading comprehension skills, connecting them with mentors and peers, providing nutritious meals and helping them gain workforce experience. Unfortunately, more work needs to be done to ensure...

BY: Tierra Easter      12/13/21

Recapping impressive OST work in summer 2021—and looking ahead to summer 2022

As the winter air blows in, it’s the perfect time to warm up with thoughts of summer. In fact, many school districts and afterschool programs know that planning for summer begins in the fall. Fortunately, the hard work programs, partners, and schools undertook during summer 2021 provided...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/07/21

CyberStart America: A free computer science/cybersecurity program for afterschool

By Kate Straus, National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. The digitized and online world we now live in has revolutionized how we work, seek entertainment, stay informed and connect with each other. Unfortunately, it has also revolutionized how cyber criminals can target us! Whether temporarily...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/03/21

Now open: Grants Up to $100,000 from the New York Life Foundation for Out-of-School Time (OST) programs

The New York Life Foundation is seeking applications for $1,800,000 in grants to afterschool, summer, or expanded learning programs serving underserved middle-school youth. This is the sixth year of the Foundation’s Aim High grant competition, and the Foundation has increased the total...

BY: Dan Gilbert      12/01/21

Understanding “comprehensive afterschool” in the American Rescue Plan

In the American Rescue Plan, funds are allocated specifically for “the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/22

2021: A momentous, challenging, inspiring year for afterschool and summer learning

As 2021 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for the incredible people working in and supporting the afterschool and summer learning field. In another year marked by the pandemic and recovery efforts, our field has worked tirelessly to ensure that programs have the...

BY: Jodi Grant      12/23/21

House of Representatives passes Build Back Better Act

On Friday, November 19, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act by a vote of 220-213. The legislation invests in programs that support human infrastructure and includes parts...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/22/21

State child care stabilization grants open with many afterschool programs eligible

As the afterschool field continues to navigate the American Rescue Plan (ARP) opportunities for K-12 funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) at the state and local level, ARP also designated $24 billion in child care funding to states to help stabilize the...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/18/21

ARP ESSER state plans are in! More funds are hitting the ground at the state and local level

With the 2021-2022 school year in full-swing, the federal American Rescue Plan relief funds are making important impacts in states and communities. At this point, all 50 states have submitted their Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) plans. The Department of Education is...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/11/21

Senate Democrats LHHS bill proposes $50 million increase to 21st CCLC as FY2022 Appropriations process continues

This week Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released the nine remaining fiscal year FY 2022 appropriations bills that the Senate has not yet addressed, including the FY 2022 Labor-HHS-Education bill.  The bills are partisan in nature, and the Committee is unlikely...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/21/21

What could the Build Back Better Act mean for afterschool and summer learning?

This week the House of Representatives finished work at the Committee level on the Build Back Better Act legislation that invests in programs that support human infrastructure and includes parts of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. The bill is progressing on...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/17/21

New learning loss recovery guidance and survey data suggest strong role for afterschool

Last week, as students across the country continued to return to in-person learning, new survey data released from AASA – The School Superintendents Association, as well as additional guidance on learning loss recovery from the US Department of Education, suggests there is more work to be...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/09/21

Appropriations, budget resolutions, and infrastructure—oh my!

Historically the month of August is a slow one in Washington, D.C., with Congress taking off for a summer break. While the House and Senate are now in a recess for a several weeks, that break did not come before a frenzy of legislative work that is worthy of a recap. In late July, before...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/16/21

IRS: Monthly Child Tax Credit payments began July 15

A message from the Internal Revenue Service. We are publishing this information about the Advance Child Tax Credit so that afterschool and summer learning programs can share this information with the families they serve. The families served by your afterschool  or summer program may be...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/09/21

Announcing winners of the afterschool staff gratitude campaign

As 2021 came to a close, the Afterschool Alliance launched a gratitude campaign across social media to encourage the field to recognize the amazing work of afterschool professionals. From teaching critical life skills outside of the classroom to “shaping the next generation of leaders,”...

BY: Maria Rizo      02/01/22

Mentorship "show[ed] me my self-worth... the value that I have as a human."

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash The impact of afterschool and summer programs last well beyond a student’s formative years. The relationships that afterschool youth build with the adults in their programs often lead to academic success and future leadership opportunities. Mentored youth...

BY: Tierra Easter      01/25/22

Understanding “comprehensive afterschool” in the American Rescue Plan

In the American Rescue Plan, funds are allocated specifically for “the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/22

Afterschool as a teacher pathway

By Sam Piha, founder and co-director of Temescal Associates and The How Kids Learn Foundation, both organizations dedicated to promoting the learning and healthy development of youth. Our national teacher shortage predated COVID-19, however there is growing evidence that suggests that the...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/20/22

How to make universal afterschool a reality in your state

By Holly Morehouse, Executive Director, Vermont Afterschool. Across the country, afterschool programs have been chronically underfunded for decades, and the unmet demand among families has reached an all-time high. In Vermont, more than 26,000 youth are waiting for an available program. This...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/11/22

👏 Meeting the crisis: Afterschool leaders rise to the challenge

As part of our campaign this holiday season to show our gratitude for afterschool professionals, we are sharing some of the extraordinary efforts undertaken by our Afterschool Ambassadors and their programs to support kids and families throughout the pandemic. We thank them, and the many...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/16/21

Spotlight on youth voice: What afterschool mentors did for me

There’s no doubt that afterschool programs provide myriad benefits for students and communities. While the afterschool curriculum can provide rich and engaging content, from STEM learning to health and wellness, it is the people who run these lessons who often have the greatest impact on...

BY: Tierra Easter      12/10/21

This Giving Tuesday, we're giving thanks for the afterschool staff who have risen to the moment!

This holiday season, we are celebrating the people who make afterschool great! Join our gratitude campaign and thank afterschool staff who are making a difference in the lives of youth and families, or share the “why” driving your own commitment to afterschool. Afterschool programs...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/30/21

How well are afterschool programs serving children with special needs or disabilities?

In afterschool programs, children of all abilities can take part in hands-on learning experiences, have time to collaborate with peers, snack on healthy eats, and are able to be active and outdoors in the care of knowledgeable and supportive staff. The flexible and responsive nature of afterschool...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      10/11/21

Join us for virtual Lights On events: Celebrating youth voice

We are counting down the weeks until Lights On Afterschool, the nation’s largest rally for afterschool programs. In a typical year, 1 million people join together at more than 8,000 events nationwide to celebrate the impact and value of afterschool. This year, programs rose to the moment...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/07/21

Mentorship "show[ed] me my self-worth... the value that I have as a human."

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash The impact of afterschool and summer programs last well beyond a student’s formative years. The relationships that afterschool youth build with the adults in their programs often lead to academic success and future leadership opportunities. Mentored youth...

BY: Tierra Easter      01/25/22

Why afterschool programs need social and emotional learning now

This article was originally published on The Wallace Foundation blog on January 19, 2022. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, educators around the country are seeing an increasing need to support young people who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, fear, trauma, food insecurity or...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/24/22

Understanding “comprehensive afterschool” in the American Rescue Plan

In the American Rescue Plan, funds are allocated specifically for “the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/22

Anti-discrimination Take Action guides are available for free from Nickelodeon!

Sooner or later, most adults will find themselves needing to discuss big topics with young hearts and minds. While many parents and educators are comfortable acting as role models and guiding young people through certain aspects of their lives, issues like anti-racism and combatting LGBTQ+...

BY: Shaun Gray      01/18/22

Celebrate afterschool and summer learning mentors this January

January is National Mentoring Month! Mentorships provide a multitude of benefits for both mentor and mentee—fostering communications skills, interpersonal relationships, and support. This January, join us as we celebrate the power of mentorships. In the afterschool setting, mentors help young...

BY: Tierra Easter      01/07/22

Racial equity: Learning for justice

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Sieb and nappy.co. By Dr. Jackie Thomspon. This blog post was originally published on the Utah Afterschool Network's blog on March 11, 2021. Langston Hughes, a great poet from the Harlem Renaissance, is one of my favorite poets. When I think about racial...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/06/22

👏 Supporting learning: Afterschool leaders rise to the challenge

As part of our campaign this holiday season to show our gratitude for afterschool professionals, we are sharing some of the extraordinary efforts undertaken by our Afterschool Ambassadors and their programs to support kids and families throughout the pandemic. We thank them, and the many...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/17/21

👏 Meeting the crisis: Afterschool leaders rise to the challenge

As part of our campaign this holiday season to show our gratitude for afterschool professionals, we are sharing some of the extraordinary efforts undertaken by our Afterschool Ambassadors and their programs to support kids and families throughout the pandemic. We thank them, and the many...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/16/21

Ohio Afterschool Network is unleashing student creativity, and fostering pandemic recovery, through entrepreneurship

At RISE Afterschool, which is expanding entrepreneurial education with help from the Ohio Afterschool Network and YEI, students are cultivating entrepreneurial skills as they create a garden business with raised beds. Photo: CBI Middletown, Inc. By Laurie Posner. Laurie Posner is a...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/14/21

Spotlight on youth voice: What afterschool mentors did for me

There’s no doubt that afterschool programs provide myriad benefits for students and communities. While the afterschool curriculum can provide rich and engaging content, from STEM learning to health and wellness, it is the people who run these lessons who often have the greatest impact on...

BY: Tierra Easter      12/10/21

👏 Supporting learning: Afterschool leaders rise to the challenge

As part of our campaign this holiday season to show our gratitude for afterschool professionals, we are sharing some of the extraordinary efforts undertaken by our Afterschool Ambassadors and their programs to support kids and families throughout the pandemic. We thank them, and the many...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/17/21

Afterschool programs can help young people access vaccines

With the COVID-19 vaccine recommended by the CDC for everyone aged 5 and older, afterschool programs are positioned to help their communities’ young people access vaccines. The U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, has traveled to various schools, including afterschool programs, to...

BY: Nicole Pettenati      12/06/21

Report finds 1.5M children receive meals in Afterschool Nutrition Programs — but we can do more!

By Clarissa Hayes, Interim Deputy Director, School and Out-of-School Time Programs at Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). The Afterschool Nutrition Programs offered an important opportunity to combat hunger during the 2020–2021 school year as communities and families...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/29/21

Prioritizing youth voice in COVID-19 recovery strategies: An interview with Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation

We spoke with Summer Haran, Chief Developmental Strategist of Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation to discuss how her organization adapted to meet youth needs throughout the pandemic, what aspects were most important when thinking about the future, and how Snider Hockey was able to expand critical...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/16/21

Afterschool programs help boost vaccination efforts

Photo by CDC on Unsplash The approval of COVID-19 vaccinations for children age 12 and older has provided a ray of hope to families and schools nationwide as way to help ensure students’ health and safety as they return to the in-person classroom. In August, the Biden administration...

BY: Nicole Pettenati      10/15/21

How well are afterschool programs serving children with special needs or disabilities?

In afterschool programs, children of all abilities can take part in hands-on learning experiences, have time to collaborate with peers, snack on healthy eats, and are able to be active and outdoors in the care of knowledgeable and supportive staff. The flexible and responsive nature of afterschool...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      10/11/21

My hometown is fighting a hidden opioid epidemic, and so is my family

Art by Aidan Ventimiglia/VOX ATL By Kalliope Samaltanos, high school junior and student at VOX ATL's afterschool program. This article was originally published on VOX ATL on August 25, 2021 and is republished with their permission. We are sharing this opinion piece as part of our...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/07/21

Tips for safe, positive sports in your afterschool program

Are you ready to get kids active and playing sports this year? Our partner Coaching Corps is ready to help with free tools and resources from coaching tips based on youth development principles, to operating safely and supporting social-emotional well-being. Read on to sample some of their top...

BY: Ursula Helminski      09/03/21

40+ ARP ESSER plans submitted, 28 approved: Supporting afterschool and summer enrichment (Part 3)

Two months after state education agencies were asked to submit their proposed state plans for the use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Funds to the US Department of Education, almost half of all states have had their plans approved. The...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/13/21

Supporting and promoting mental health in out-of-school time

The National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) recently released a practice brief, “Supporting and Promoting Mental Health in Out-of-School Time,” that explores some of the current mental health needs of youth, their families, and the out-of-school time (OST)...

BY: Bella DiMarco      07/20/21