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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 Sarah Simpson
OCT
27

LIGHTS ON
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A million people rallied to keep the lights on after school

By Sarah Simpson

On the heels of the new America After 3PM study that found that, despite rapid growth in afterschool participation, 1 in 5 children in the United States is unsupervised in the afternoons, students, parents, educators, community leaders, policy makers, business leaders and others rallied for afterschool programs on Thursday as part of the 15th annual Lights On Afterschool. The only nationwide rally for afterschool programs included more than 8,100 events in every corner of the country, and at U.S. military bases worldwide to highlight the many ways quality afterschool programs support children, families and communities.

America After 3PM found that there is huge unmet demand for afterschool programs; the parents of 19.4 million students said they would enroll their child, if an afterschool program were available. In response, in classrooms, community centers, science museums, parks and recreation centers, malls and other settings, more than one million people came together to celebrate and support the quality afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.

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learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Voices Events and Briefings Inside the Afterschool Alliance State Networks Community Partners
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OCT
27

LIGHTS ON
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49 governors recognize Lights On Afterschool

By Sarah Simpson

Throughout the month of October, thousands of afterschool programs rallied their communities to build support for the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families. 

And governors across the country got in on the action, too! In all, 49 governors and the mayor of Washington, D.C., recognized Lights On Afterschool—some proclaimed Oct. 23 as Lights On Afterschool Day in their state, others issued public letters of support and recognition of the good work being done in the state to support students and working families during the hours after school.  A few others went above and beyond and declared the entire week—or month!—to be a celebration of Lights On Afterschool.

We want to extend a special thank you to all of the governors who took the time to help make Lights On Afterschool 2014 such a special event. Here’s the list of governors who proclaimed Oct. 23 to be Lights On Afterschool Day in their state; different actions are noted:

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learn more about: Media Outreach State Policy
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OCT
17

RESEARCH
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Guest blog: Why the afterschool learning context matters when using technology with at-risk students

By Sarah Simpson

Kamila Thigpen is the Digital Learning Policy and Advocacy Manager at Alliance for Excellent Education.

 

The nation’s 23.8 million minority students comprise nearly half of the school population, and many of them are underserved by their school systems. Try walking into one of these schools and you’ll notice very little changes in modern classrooms and those from more than a century ago. Although SMART Boards may have replaced black boards and a handful of computers may be visible around the room, in most cases there are few differences in the actual teaching and learning process.

After the school day and school year ends, disparities in access to technology are further compounded. Only 3 percent of teachers in high-poverty schools agree that “students have the digital tools they need to effectively complete assignments while at home,” compared to 52 percent of teachers in more affluent schools. As students get older and afterschool participation decreases, opportunities to engage in high-quality digital learning are few and far between for high-school aged students who need it most.

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learn more about: Digital Learning Education Reform Equity Guest Blog
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OCT
17

LIGHTS ON
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Snap a photo at your Lights On event to win $2k!

By Sarah Simpson

As you gear up for your Lights On Afterschool event this week, be sure to keep in mind the great photo opps you’ll have with your students, families and event guests—it could earn you $2,000!

Bright House Networks is once again helping us shine a light on the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families with the Bright House Networks Photo Contest on Facebook

From dancing to designing robots, we want to see all of the cool ways that afterschool programs engage kids.  All you have to do is submit a photo of an afterschool activity that engages youth in your community.  The photos with the top votes at the end of the public voting period will be eligible to win up to $2,000. 

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learn more about: Competition Funding Opportunity Media Outreach
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OCT
10

LIGHTS ON
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New York City skyline will shine for afterschool

By Sarah Simpson

On the evening of Oct. 23, for the eighth year in a row, the iconic Empire State Building will be lit up in yellow to celebrate Lights On Afterschool.

We’re truly honored to have the Empire State Building—a proud national landmark—as a lighting partner for Lights On Afterschool for the eighth year in a row. Every day, afterschool programs keep the lights on for students, and every October, we honor and celebrate all that they do for children, families, communities and the country. To have the Empire State Building celebrate with us for another year is a tribute to the many ways afterschool programs support learning and expand students’ horizons, as well as to the Empire State Building’s commitment to students and families.

See how afterschool programs near the Empire State Building will be celebrating while taking in the skyline! Search for local Lights On Afterschool events. 

Remember to register your own Lights On Afterschool event and let us know how you’ll be celebrating!

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learn more about: Media Outreach
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SEP
18

FUNDING
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Student volunteers: Apply to win a Spirit of Community Award & up to $5,000 for you & your program

By Sarah Simpson

Does your afterschool program provide service-learning opportunities? Now through Nov. 4, middle- and high-school students who volunteer can apply for 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The program honors students in grades 5-12 who make meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service. Top honorees earn cash prizes and all-expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C., for four days of national recognition events.

Over the past 19 years, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have been given to more than 100,000 middle and high school students across the country for helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment, and serving their communities through many other volunteer activities. Today, the search begins to identify thousands more who have made meaningful contributions to their communities over the past 12 months, as the awards program kicks off its 20th year.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Service
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AUG
22

LIGHTS ON
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Play out loud for Lights On Afterschool!

By Sarah Simpson

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learn more about: Events and Briefings Health and Wellness Inside the Afterschool Alliance Community Partners
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AUG
22

FUNDING
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New toolkit lays out attendance strategy

By Sarah Simpson

We know that students who miss too much school suffer academically at every age and every grade. Equally important, we know absenteeism is a problem we can solve if districts and schools identify the students most at risk and then work with parents and community partners, like afterschool programs, to turn around attendance and achievement.  Research has shown that regular attendance at an afterschool program helps to improve school day attendance. Afterschool programs are also important partners in engaging parents and offering needed supports to students and families that may help to combat chronic absenteeism.

A new toolkit from Attendance Works, The Power of Positive Connections, calls for using absenteeism records from past years and from the first month of school to connect the most at-risk students to personal relationships and positive supports—the kind they receive every day in high-quality afterschool programs—that motivate them to show up to class every day.

As students head back to school, the toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to a data-driven strategy and resources known as PEOPLE—Priority Early Outreach through Positive Linkages and Engagement.

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learn more about: School Improvement Youth Development
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