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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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Snacks by Ursula Helminski
DEC
12
2017

FUNDING
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Grants up to $100,000 for middle school OST programs

By Ursula Helminski

The New York Life Foundation is seeking applicants for $1,050,000 in grants to middle school afterschool, summer or expanded learning programs serving disadvantaged youth. This is the second year of the Aim High grant competition. In all, 26 awardees will be selected based on their ability to help youth transition successfully to 9th grade. Programs may apply to one of three opportunities - take a look to see which is a good fit for you, and apply!

Grant categories:

  • $100,000 over two years – 8 awards to be made to organizations with annual budgets of $500,000 or greater and annual program budgets of $250,000 or greater
  • $50,000 over two years – 8 awards to be made to organizations with annual budgets of $250,000 or greater
  • $15,000 one-year grant – 10 awards will be made to programs to help them better serve with disabilities or special needs; applicants must have annual budgets of $150,000 or greater

Read the full application and eligibility requirements, and join our webinar on January 11 at 2 p.m. ET to learn more about this opportunity. Applications are due January 26, 2018.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity
JUN
22
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Educators convene town hall against cuts to afterschool & summer

By Ursula Helminski

“Looking back, I don't know where I would have been without afterschool pushing me [and] showing me right from wrong." - Ashley, After-School All-Stars, AFT Tele-Town Hall

On June 12, in a show of united concern and support, the education, afterschool, community school, and health communities came together for a national tele-town hall to discuss the devastation that President Trump’s proposed cuts would wreak on Americans, and what we can do about it. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) organized the call-in event, in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance, the Coalition for Community Schools, Learning Forward, and the National Association of School Nurses.

Teachers, nurses, afterschool youth, working parents, and community school leaders shared personal stories about the programs and supports that will be lost if the cuts are made.

JUN
20
2017

IN THE FIELD
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$750K awarded to middle school out-of-school time programs

By Ursula Helminski

On June 20, the New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance announced $750,000 in grant awards to 18 middle school out-of-school time (OST) programs serving disadvantaged youth in communities across the nation. The grants mark the first awards made under the Foundation’s new $1.95M “Aim High” initiative, aimed at supporting organizations doing outstanding work to help underserved middle school students reach ninth grade on time.

The selection of grantees was highly competitive, with more than 475 applications submitted. Recipients are all afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs, and include a broad range of approaches and communities served, from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Tacoma, Washington; San Antonio, Texas to San Francisco, California; and Burns, Oregon to Brooklyn, New York.

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learn more about: Awards Special Populations
APR
25
2016

IN THE FIELD
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Tomorrow Together: A call for service, empathy and unity this 9/11

By Ursula Helminski

This September marks the 15th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. We are proud to join 9/11 Day and a coalition of more than 20 other organizations to encourage service, empathy and unity through a new initiative called Tomorrow Together. Tomorrow Together will include large-scale service projects across the nation on September 11, 2016, bringing together a diverse community of people to help address hunger in America and other important societal issues:  

  • In Washington, D.C., volunteers will help pack more than one million meals for at-risk seniors, children, veterans and others.
  • Millions of educators will receive free educational service-learning materials that assist in teaching empathy, through a collaboration with the Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative and the National Youth Leadership Council.  
  • At the college level, The George Washington University will help organize other universities and colleges to participate in 9/11 Day.

9/11 Day is also releasing public service announcements (PSAs) featuring 14-year-old Hillary O'Neill from Norwalk, CT, one of more than 13,000 children born in the United States on the day of the tragedy, September 11, 2001. In the PSAs, O'Neill urges the nation to see the anniversary of 9/11 as a day to work together to do good deeds. View her message on YouTube.  

9/11 Day co-founder and executive vice president Jay Winuk perfectly summed up the goal of the effort. Winuk's brother, Glenn J. Winuk, an attorney and volunteer firefighter and EMT, died in the line of duty as a rescuer on 9/11. Jay said, "As someone who lost a loved one on 9/11, I was truly inspired by the remarkable way our nation came together in the months following the attacks. We owe more than division and discord to those who perished from the attacks and those who served in its aftermath. The anniversary of 9/11 should be a reminder to us all about our common humanity and the opportunity we have to help people and communities in need."

What can afterschool programs do for 9/11 Day?

Plan your own service activity, or reach out to service organizations in your community. And stay tuned, the Afterschool Snack will share resources and activities as they are developed.

9/11 is an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance. More than 30 million Americans now observe September 11 each year through charitable service and good deeds, transforming 9/11 Day into the largest annual day of charitable engagement in America.  

OCT
30
2015

LIGHTS ON
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The partnerships that turn Lights On Afterschool

By Ursula Helminski

A student turns Lights On Afterschool in Honolulu, Hawaii.

As we look back on Lights On Afterschool, one thing that struck us was the many varied partnerships that formed the core of this year’s celebration and made it a huge success. From businesses and government agencies, to educators and youth development experts, to funders and elected officials, all came together  to celebrate the afterschool programs that support our children, families and communities.

These unique and creative partnerships fuel our nation’s afterschool programs every day. Public and private interests join to invest resources. The expertise of arts and STEM institutions are applied to youth development principles to engage and excite youth. Families and local officials lend support and involvement. School leaders and afterschool staff unite to meet the needs of their students.

Partnerships allow afterschool programs to provide an incredible range of creative, engaging, hands on activities, and do so in an incredibly cost-effective manner. 

Here’s just a taste of the many partners that came together for our nation’s rally for afterschool:

47 governors and the mayor of Washington, D.C. issued official proclamations and letters of support for Lights On Afterschool. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski kicked off the nation’s celebration at a 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool program in Fairbanks, Alaska, and First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe toured a program to highlight the important role programs play in preventing childhood hunger.  

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SEP
16
2015

STEM
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Calling all afterschool tinkerers: High school inventors wanted!

By Ursula Helminski

2015 Bright Ideas Winner Ashley Chico, Invention: "Chico HealthCare Software."

We are proud to support Bright Ideas STEM from Today's Youth, a multi-state competition where students dream up the coolest inventions to make their own life, community or even the world more awesome and show how STEM—that's science, technology, engineering and math—can bring their ideas to life!

We know that STEM comes to life for many students in the out-of-school hours, at programs and internships where students put school day lessons into practice building robots, designing apps and researching solutions to community challenges.

The Bright Ideas contest gives youth a chance to see their ideas develop into reality. The competition is open to all public, private and parochial high school students or homeschooled students, ages 14 to 19, within any Bright House Networks service area (for markets, see Contest Rules).

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learn more about: Competition Science
JUN
30
2015

IN THE FIELD
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Check out our new look @ afterschoolalliance.org

By Ursula Helminski

Last week, we rolled out a new look at afterschoolalliance.org.  Don’t worry, all the resources you’ve come to expect on policy, research, advocacy, funding and communications are still here – but in a new and improved format. 

We’ve worked hard to make it easier to find the information you need, with brand new search features to make our best research more accessible and a revamped Afterschool Toolbox full of practical tools to strengthen (or start!) a program. We've also added new visuals to make your visits to our site more enjoyable.

There will be a few hiccups here and there during this transition.  We thank you in advance for your patience.  If you notice something awry while you're exploring, post a comment or drop us a line at info@afterschoolalliance.org so we can address it right away.

We hope you enjoy surfing around the new afterschoolalliance.org, and we want to hear from you! Do let us know what you think in the comments section below, and provide any suggestions you have for our site.  We will be rolling out more improvements throughout the summer!

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MAR
25
2015

IN THE FIELD
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"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. 

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