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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
APR
9

FUNDING
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What are your summer reading plans? Tell Scholastic and win free books!

By Sarah Simpson

My Books Summer, in partnership with the Scholastic Summer Challenge would like to motivate afterschool and summer learning programs to promote reading during the summer in their communities.  As a reward for sharing their plans to inspire summer reading, My Books Summer will choose the top three Summer Reading Projects and donate summer reading book packs to the organization of the winners’ choice. 

On April 28, Scholastic will chose the top three summer reading project ideas based on innovation, community connectivity and overall engagement and provide free book packs.

Learn more on Facebook.

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learn more about: Summer Learning Literacy
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MAR
28

FUNDING
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Guest Blog: Benefits of exercise for school-aged children

By Sarah Simpson

David Reeves is Marketing Manager of Playland Inc. in Carrollton, GA. Playland Inc., is a total solutions manufacturer and supplier to many industries, with its roots deep in the park and playground markets including churches, schools, and day care centers.

 

As kids spend more time watching TV, they spend less time exercising and playing. Just like adults, kids need exercise, and there are plenty of benefits of exercising for school-aged children. As you may know, one hour of physical activity per day is the commonly suggested amount for kids to get the most out of these benefits.

Some benefits of exercise for school-aged children are pretty obvious, such as weight control. Kids who exercise also fulfill a great number of vital emotional, social and cognitive needs. Play helps kids feel better, act better and think better. They feel less stressed, and higher levels of physical fitness also improve confidence. They sleep better at night and are ready to learn more in school. Exercise helps kids build and keep healthy bones, muscles and joints. Kids who exercise with their peers also learn teamwork and goal setting, and the chance of developing diseases later in life is greatly reduced.

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learn more about: Guest Blog Health and Wellness
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MAR
28

IN THE FIELD
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Guest Blog: Building trust in afterschool drug and alcohol education programs

By Sarah Simpson

This guest post is by Saint Jude Retreats, a non-12 step non-treatment alternative to traditional drug and alcohol rehab. The program concentrates on self-directed positive neuroplastic change and positive self-change as an alternative to traditional alcohol and drug treatment. 

 

America After 3PM found that nearly one-quarter of American children are left unsupervised after school each day. Creating accessible afterschool programs and encouraging youth attendance can help promote better well-being for thousands of children. Afterschool programs also provide an opportunity for interaction with trusted adults outside the classroom, making them a rich space for discussing issues such as drug and alcohol use and prevention.

Encourage Trust

A study published in the Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education found that building and maintaining trust is essential in effective drug and alcohol prevention programs. The middle school students interviewed for the study overwhelmingly cited the importance of trusting educators in the effectiveness of the program for two important reasons: quality of information and confidentiality. On one hand, the students recognized the need for good information regarding drugs and alcohol. On the other hand, students perceived that asking questions about drugs and alcohol could be tantamount to an admission of using drugs or alcohol, or at least considering it. Many students in the study considered their teachers trustworthy when it came to the quality of the information, but had doubts about their confidentiality. Students with these doubts were worried about their teacher's or peers' opinions about them and if asking a question would affect their academic and social futures. In some cases, they were more likely to talk to a D.A.R.E. officer than their teacher, even though the officer was a police representative.

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learn more about: Guest Blog Health and Wellness Youth Development
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FEB
28

FUNDING
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This is what your colleagues are reading

By Sarah Simpson

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to the huge library of research and reports we publish on our website.  To help you out, we’ve compiled a reading list of the top 10 most-downloaded documents from our website in 2013. 

Even if you’ve read them all before, now is a great time to brush up on these popular afterschool topics for 2014:

  1. Afterschool Outcomes 1-pager 
  2. Afterschool Benefits Kids with Special Needs (2008)
  3. Afterschool: A Key to Successful Parent Engagement (2012)
  4. Afterschool: A Strategy for Addressing and Preventing Middle School Bullying (2011)
  5. Aligning Afterschool with the Regular School Day: The Perfect Complement (2011)
  6. English Language Learners: Becoming Fluent in Afterschool (2011)
  7. Quality Afterschool: Helping Programs Achieve it and Policies Support it (2011)
  8. The Importance of Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in Africa-American and Latino Communities (2013)
  9. Afterschool: Providing Multiple Benefits to Middle School Students (2010)
  10. Arts Enrichment in Afterschool (2012)
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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance Issue Briefs Working Families Arts Youth Development
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FEB
11

RESEARCH
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The Hill op-ed: After-school activities empower kids

By Sarah Simpson

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama called for preschool programs for every 4-year-old—an idea that 30 states are funding. Providing early education for youngsters who haven’t started school is an idea whose time has come. So is supporting after-school programs for elementary school students. Researcher Deborah Vandell explains why.

Read the full op-ed published by The Hill.

Vandell, founding dean of the School of Education at the University of California-Irvine, is a distinguished education researcher focusing on issues of P-20 education and longitudinal studies of development.

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learn more about: Evaluations Media Outreach Obama
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FEB
7

FUNDING
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Searching for inspirational young people to serve as healthy living ambassadors!

By Sarah Simpson

Does your afterschool program inspire youth to live healthfully?

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a nonprofit organization founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, is searching for young people excited to share their commitment to healthful living and inspire their friends, families, schools and communities to take action and help stop childhood obesity.

Applications are now being accepted for the Alliance’s Youth Advisory Board (for 2014-2015). Board members serve as ambassadors for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, share feedback on Alliance programs and activities, and promote health and wellness in their communities.

Applicants must be between the ages of 8 and 17 years old when membership begins in June 2014 and live in the United States. Interested youth can visit www.healthiergeneration.org for more information.
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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Health and Wellness Nutrition
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FEB
3

FUNDING
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Do you know a teen making an impact? Nominate for a TeenNick HALO Award

By Sarah Simpson

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Funding Opportunity Service
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FEB
3

STEM
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Teach computer science (for free!)

By Sarah Simpson

If your students enjoyed the Hour of Code, they will be happy to hear that was just the first one hour of Code.org’s longer 20-hour Intro to Computer Science course.

It’s completely free, and just like the 1-hour activity, it’s self-guided (w/video lectures by stars like Bill Gates and Chris Bosh), and features artwork from popular games Angry Bird and Plants vs. Zombies. It also includes “unplugged” activities for students to work collaboratively in groups with no computer at all.

It also comes complete with a free, online information sessions to help get you started. And an educator dashboard allows you to easily track student performance and send them a screenshot when they’re stuck on certain levels.

Sign up now to continue to help your students learn these life-changing skills!

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learn more about: Celebrities Digital Learning
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