RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Get Afterschool Updates
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.
Afterschool Donation
Afterschool on Facebook
Afterschool on Twitter
Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Snacks by Luci Manning
JAN
17
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: January 17, 2018

By Luci Manning

Students Learn How to Create Meals with Sparse Resources (Tahlequah Daily Press, Oklahoma)

A Hulbert High School senior is helping her peers learn to cook delicious, creative meals through Kayla’s Teen Cooking Club. Kayla Rooster runs the club through the Hulbert Community Library, working with fellow students to prepare everything from cupcakes to pizza grilled-cheese sandwiches, emphasizing how to prepare tasty food without fancy resources. “I feel like people my age need to be more educated on cooking,” Rooster told the Tahlequah Daily Press. “That’s why people should come here. It’s a great way to learn how to make really neat food, be around your friends and enjoy yourself.”

Middle-School Girls Learn to Lead Via Improv After-School Program (Youth Today)

An afterschool improv program in Queens is doing more than just teaching girls to be funny and creative – it’s teaching them how to be leaders. Funny Girls helps middle-schoolers improve their self-awareness, empathy, collaboration, resiliency and agency, all skills that the program’s parent organization, the Harnisch Foundation, sees as essential to effective leadership. The program gives girls the chance to develop these skills in a safe space where they can experiment and make mistakes. “Funny Girls is an opportunity and an outlet to express themselves in ways they didn’t think they could,” Global Kids director of middle school programs Lisalee Ibenez told Youth Today.

Gwinnett Resident’s Sewing Studio Teaches Confidence, Pride and Skills (Gwinnett Daily Post, Georgia)

Lifelong sewing aficionado Courtenay Christian recently opened her own studio, where she shares her love for the craft with teens and preteens through afterschool classes. Lessons at her studio, Threaded from Heaven, are geared for children ages eight and up, and teach students how to measure, follow patterns and think creatively. “Sewing gives kids so much more than just what they sewed,” Christian told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “It makes you work with your cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, concentration and things of that nature. But you also see this sense of accomplishment in the kids when they’ve sewed something and the pressure is off from the school environment.”

PeacePlayers Strive for Equality On, Off Court (Baltimore Sun, Maryland)

A conflict resolution-focused basketball program started in South Africa is helping mend police-community relations in Baltimore. Through PeacePlayers International, city police officers serve as volunteer basketball coaches to elementary and middle school students, helping the youths improve their game while serving as mentors. The program teaches students to resolve conflicts peacefully and gives them lessons in leadership and self-awareness that they can apply off the court. “We teach them how to be leaders, how to have responsibility, how to resolve conflicts,” detective Joseph Bannerman told the Baltimore Sun. “To watch them grasp those concepts and use them… while on the basketball court, but also in the classrooms and in the community, that’s the ultimate goal. To be better citizens and better kids.”

JAN
10
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: January 10, 2018

By Luci Manning

Harvard Law Grad Helps Low-Income Students Aim High (Christian Science Monitor)

A Queens-based afterschool program is helping low-income students apply to and prepare for elite higher education. Legal Outreach offers writing courses, SAT prep and workshops, and even helps get students placed in summer internships with prestigious law firms. “For our kids, going to college is as different as going to another country,” co-director Bethsheba Cooper said. “Knowing what’s coming and having the tools to deal with it allows them to navigate this new world.” Once they get into college, Legal Outreach students typically outperform their peers, with some 93 percent of students graduating within six years compared to 18 percent of students from comparable high schools, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Cunningham Students Learn How to Rap through Hip-Hop Literacy Program (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa)

Ten fourth-graders at Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence are improving their writing, researching and public speaking skills through a hip-hop literacy program. The students work in groups to conceptualize and write a rap, with each person composing their own stanza, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Students have already had the opportunity to turn their ideas into a reality by recording their songs at the Teknitions studio in downtown Waterloo.

Red Bank's Community School Marks One-Year Anniversary (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee)

Hamilton County’s first community school marked its one-year anniversary this week, celebrating its successful efforts to provide wraparound services to students and parents. Red Bank Community School houses afterschool programs, academic help, parent engagement and community partnerships. “Schools can’t do it alone,” principal Ellen Harper told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Students need support outside the classroom in order to thrive. Education is a community effort and a community responsibility.”  

Alley to celebrate 20 years (Dodge City Daily Globe, Kansas)

The Alley afterschool program opened its doors in 1997 after the shooting death of teen Justin Mercado and intended to give young people a safe space to spend their afternoons. Twenty years later, the nonprofit has afterschool programming four days a week for middle school students, offering activities ranging from cooking classes to discussions with community leaders. “It’s been amazing to be here and watch kids who needed something and someone and see them change for the better,” board member Monica Astorga told the Dodge City Daily Globe. “You would see kids come in here with their heads hanging low and by the time they leave here and become adults, their head is held high.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/2EvBHTj
learn more about: Arts Community Schools Older Youth
JAN
3
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: January 3, 2018

By Luci Manning

Neighborhood Center Is a Hit with Residents (Chico Enterprise-Record, California)

Anaheim’s new community center at Ponderosa Park is attracting locals of all ages to its afterschool programs, nutrition classes and educational workshops. The newly refurbished center opened last month and features a dance studio, a gym with a full basketball court, a kitchen, classrooms and a special area for teens, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record. The center’s afterschool program will give students a chance to get homework help, participate in physical activities and explore new hobbies.

New Music Program Aims to Boost Kids’ Self-Esteem (Palm Beach Post, Florida)

Musicians from the Symphonia, a renowned South Florida chamber orchestra, are sharing their love of music with members of the Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach through afterschool violin lessons. The Building a String Orchestra and Self-Esteem program aims to reach underprivileged children who may not have opportunities to play the violin to show them how versatile the instrument can be while building their self-confidence. “Music is such a significant way to help youth learn and excel in school, gain confidence, and become productive citizens in society,” club director Janice Clemmons told the Palm Beach Post. “It teaches discipline without the kids even realizing it.”

New After-School Program Promotes Healthy Eating Habits (Columbus Telegram, Nebraska)

Megan Owens, a Columbus Community Hospital dietetic intern, will be teaching elementary children about healthy foods, exercise and body positivity in a new afterschool program beginning this month. In “Food, Fitness & Fun,” students will participate in interactive nutrition and fitness activities, learn to make healthy snacks and build a positive relationship with food and exercise. “We’ll talk about what goes into making healthy choices, appropriate portions and avoiding mindless eating while sitting watching TV,” Owens told the Columbus Telegram. “We also want kids to know that getting their bodies moving can be fun.”

New LGBTQ+ Program Planned in Athens (Athens Messenger, Ohio)

Athens’ first-ever afterschool program geared specifically towards LGBTQ+ students will begin next week, providing marginalized adolescents a safe place to spend time after the school day ends and a chance to build a community among their peers. The program, PRISM, will be free and open to students of all genders, and will be run entirely by adult volunteers from the community, according to the Athens Messenger. PRISM will offer students activities in art, music and other areas of interest, and allow them to make connections with other youths and adults who have experienced the same struggles that they have. 

DEC
20
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: December 20, 2017

By Luci Manning

Obama Dons Santa Hat, Brings Holiday Cheer to DC Kids (CNN, District of Columbia) 

Afterschool students from the Boys & Girls Club of D.C. celebrated the holidays with a special visitor last week – former President Barack Obama. After arriving in a Santa hat with a sack over his shoulder, Obama handed out gifts and took photos with about 50 local children, according to CNN. “There’s no better time than the holiday season to reach out and give back to our communities,” Obama tweeted about his visit.   

Casper Elementary Students Decorate Christmas Trees for Families Who Can’t Afford Their Own (Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming) 

Cottonwood Elementary School students in the Casper Family YMCA afterschool program are getting into the holiday spirit and learning about the importance of giving back through a special project. Students have decorated eight Christmas trees to give to families who could not afford their own. “They know that they’re doing this for somebody else,” third-grade teacher Maureen Fretland told the Casper Star-Tribune. “That’s a big thing for me, is to let them know that this is a way they can give to someone else who doesn’t have their own.” Community members also donated gifts that will accompany the trees when they arrive at their new homes. 

Kids Provide Goody Bags for Police Officers (Florence Times Daily, Alabama)  

Students ages 6 to 15 showed their appreciation for Sheffield police officers last week by handing out goody bags that the officers can take with them on patrols. The bags include a variety of snacks and personalized notes from some 60 children in the Ekklesia Pre-School and Child Development Center afterschool program. Director Kateina Fitzgerald said giving back to the police force is important to do, especially during the holiday season. “They serve us on a daily basis,” she told the Florence Times Daily. “When we think about giving, we think of family and friends, but our giving should be an extension to all of those who have done so many wonderful things for our youth throughout the year.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/2p07x7N
learn more about: Service Learning In The News
DEC
13
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: December 13, 2017

By Luci Manning

Contest Pitting Students Against JPL Engineers Draws a Vast Pool of Contenders (La Cañada Valley Sun, California)

Students from around the world, including those in Los Angeles afterschool programs, faced off against teams of engineers from La Cañada’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory last week as part of JPL’s annual Invention Challenge, an initiative meant to inspire future STEM professionals. This year’s challenge was to build a device that could load ten plastic balls into a tub six meters away within one minute, according to the La Cañada Valley Sun. “Being at JPL has brought [engineering] into my horizon,” 16-year-old participant Cristian Bonilla said. “Even though we didn’t do as great as other people, it feels great to have come this far.”

Community Schools a New Tradition for Education (Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico)

Mary Parr-Sanchez, Truancy and Dropout Prevention Coach at Las Cruces Public Schools, and David Greenberg, Education Initiative Director at Ngage New Mexico, praise the community schools model in the Las Cruces Sun-News: “For many years, community schools have been expanding the role of schools. Instead of shutting down in the evenings, weekends and summers, community schools have remained open to serve a variety of needs…. Community schools are not about doing something ‘to’ a school, but supporting a school and community to facilitate change from within…. We are grateful that local leadership on our School Board and City Council are moving this work forward so that in the near future, every child will have opportunity to attend a community school.”

Church to Pick Up the Tab for After-School Care (Eastern Express Times, Pennsylvania)

The Life Church has offered to pay for an afterschool program at Paxinosa Elementary School to offer disadvantaged students enrichment opportunities and give a break to their working parents. The Easton Area School District is now looking for an organization to run the program, without having to worry about costs. “We felt called there,” church spokeswoman Tara Craig told the Eastern Express Times. “We feel it’s where we’re supposed to be and are excited to see it happen.”

‘Three Little Pigs’ Tale Helps Teach North Charleston Kids Money Smarts (Post & Courier, South Carolina)

An afterschool reading program in North Charleston recently added financial literacy to its curriculum, to teach children how to manage their finances at an early age. The Felix Pinckney Community Center drew lessons from stories like “Three Little Pigs” to teach students about the importance of saving money and sharing with those in need. Dorothea Bernique, founder of the Increasing H.O.P.E. Financial Training Center, told the Post & Courier, “It’s not about the amount, but establishing a new behavior that can literally change your life and help break that cycle of poverty.” 

DEC
6
2017

CHALLENGE
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: December 6, 2017

By Luci Manning

New Club Allows Urbandale Students to Use Lessons in the Real World (WHO, Iowa)

Urbandale High school senior Maya Sims wanted to make a difference in her community, so she created a new afterschool program focused on giving back. Hope in Action gives students the opportunity to participate in community service projects, like creating a free library in a local neighborhood and working with the Iowa Youth Homeless Center. “When we talk about spreading hope, what we are really talking about is social responsibility, and just recognizing we as human beings have the responsibility to take care of each other,” Sims told WHO.

Springfield Students Will Learn How to Talk to Computers in New Course (Springfield News-Sun, Ohio)

This month, the Career Connected Center’s Maker Space afterschool program is offering a course on computer coding and computer sciences based on the Hour of Code. The program will give students an advantage in future careers by teaching them about computation communication and the basics of how computers work. “We have different themes, and it teaches different concepts in the STEM field,” Career Connect ED program coordinator Rene Stratton told the Springfield News-Sun. “You need it in all aspects of life, whatever your job is.”

Dawson After-School Program Opens Christmas Store for Kids (WALB, Georgia)

The Positive Direction afterschool program got into the holiday spirit last Monday by opening its 13th Annual Spirit of Christmas store. Students in fourth grade and younger received up to three gifts from the event, and older students were given gift cards to spend on gifts during an upcoming field trip. The gifts were supplied by Toys “R” Us and local businesses. “They are so excited, in fact when they choose their gifts today they want to take them home right then, but we can't let them take them home. And for us, as well as the children, the impact it has made on us and the children, it is just phenomenal,” Executive Director Dorothy Tomlin told WALB

Mentoring Program for Former Foster Children Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary (KETV, Nebraska)

Foster teenagers and young adults are learning fundamental job skills and customer service as employees of The Bike Union and Coffee. The bike repair and coffee shop is a nonprofit providing health and wellness, mindfulness training, cooking classes, a book club and more for its young employees. Participants commit to working for one year with 20 hours of work and activities each week, all focused on how to live a successful life. “When they're finished, you'll notice a change. For example, when you first met at their interview, their posture was very sunken in and they didn't make a lot of eye contact. When they leave, they sit up straight and they look everyone in the eye,” program manager Curtis Wilson told KETV.

share this link: http://bit.ly/2AC7TUi
learn more about: Computer Science In The News
NOV
29
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: November 29, 2017

By Luci Manning

Lynn Firefighter Do a Good Deed and Feed Local Kids Thanksgiving Meal (The Daily Item, Massachusetts)

300 Greg Neighborhood House afterschool students had the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with Lynn firefighters last Wednesday. Lynn Firefighters Local 739 has been hosting the annual meal since 2010, cooking up a traditional Thanksgiving meal and covering all the associated costs. The event is meant to bring the community together for the holiday and give the firefighters a chance to give back. “I think it’s (the meal) amazing because a lot of families don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and Gregg House gives an opportunity for kids to eat,” Gregg House member and middle schooler Janeyssi Morillo told The Daily Item.

Western Youth Network Celebrates Mentor Pairs with Thanksgiving Meal (The Mountain Times, North Carolina)

The Western Youth Network mentoring program celebrated its annual Thanksgiving feast earlier this month. The afterschool program, one of the largest of its kind in the state, pairs adult mentors and youths between the ages of six and 17 for weekly meetings where they spend quality time together. Students in the mentoring program often see improvements in academics and behavior and increase their desire to graduate from high school. “I think this organization is doing exceptional work for youth in this county who need a helping hand and need somebody to talk to,” Thanksgiving feast sponsor Billie Howell told The Mountain Times.

High School Mentors Help Dora Erickson Kids Learn (Idaho Falls Post Register, Idaho)

Compass High School students are volunteering to help Dora Erickson Elementary students with their studies through an afterschool program known as the Compass/Erickson interns program. The high schoolers serve as peer role models to the elementary students while providing academic support. The teachers at Dora Erickson benefit from the assistance, while youths learn leadership skills and receive homework help. “I really like helping them,” sophomore Nikki Ritter-Truxal told the Idaho Falls Post Register about being a mentor. “It’s fun just getting to help and making new friends seeing their excitement when they come back.”

New Tech Partnership Brings Coding, Drone Programming Classes to Memphis Kids (The Commercial Appeal, Tennessee)

Chandler Park is offering Memphis students free tech classes through a new partnership between computer science and mentoring non-profit CodeCrew and mobile tech facilities company Building Box. The courses are giving students of all ages a chance to explore robotics, coding, drone programming, 3D printing and more during afterschool hours. “This is an outstanding opportunity to help these kids learn more about technology and show them how they can use their imaginations to accomplish anything,” CodeCrew Executive Director Meka Egwuekwe told The Commercial Appeal.

share this link: http://bit.ly/2AIKgwk
learn more about: In The News
NOV
22
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: November 22, 2017

By Luci Manning

Program Helps Students Deal with Trauma, Stress at Home (Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada)

Nonprofit Healing Hearts’ afterschool program has made a big difference helping youths work through their stress, anger, anxiety and depression. The Teens in Action program addresses trauma and students’ emotional and mental issues by giving them an outlet for their frustration through fun activities, one-on-one counseling and group discussions. “A lot of them are broken, they don’t feel like they’re being listened to,” school counselor Annetta Bonner told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “They don’t feel like they’re loved; they don’t feel like anybody cares about them; they feel like they’re all alone. So we want to heal their hearts; we want to make them whole again.”

Big League Players Pitch in to Renovate Fields, Mentor Youth (Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Hawaii)

Three Major League Baseball players are getting their hands dirty to help children stay active by renovating the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s youth baseball fields. Through the nonprofit More Than A Game, which encourages professional athletes to pursue community service, the players have cleared out the overgrowth on the fields and will soon get to work repairing fences and replacing worn-out turf. “A lot of kids don’t have access to these opportunities,” Boston Red Sox infielder Mike Miller told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “It’s good to let them know there’s people out there rooting for them. I’ve seen kids take off with just a little bit of love.”

Marble Falls ACE Program Helps Students Become Better English Speakers through Writing (River Cities Daily Tribune, Texas)

Spanish-speaking students in the Marble Falls ACE afterschool program are not only learning to speak English, but also will soon write and publish their own books in their second language. ACE uses the Write Brain program to help students get a start writing their books by providing them with pre-illustrated pages on which to base their story. First, they will write a Spanish book as a team, then next semester they’ll work on their own English stories, getting a hang of the nuances of the language and building their confidence. “Seeing their name on the book, being an author, that’s going to mean a lot to them,” site coordinator Amanda Fulton told the River Cities Daily Tribune.

Students Explore Arts, Careers and Recreation with In Real Life (Mountain Xpress, North Carolina)

After a 2007 listening tour about how to address Asheville’s juvenile crime epidemic, the nonprofit Asheville City Schools Foundation developed Lights On After School: In Real Life (IRL) to give youths a safe, enriching place to spend their time once classes let out, according to Mountain Xpress. Students in the program can engage in dozens of activities like Latin dance, pottery, physical fitness and engineering, allowing them to explore their existing passions and discover new ones. The program serves 250 students at Asheville Middle School and is a result of a partnership with area businesses, nonprofits and volunteers.