Guest blog: Inspiring New Mexico’s Youth STEMbassador program

By Julie Hernandez, STEM Afterschool Expansion VISTA for New Mexico. Science introduced me to a world of possibilities. I see scientists as modern day explorers, discovering worlds we’ve never seen and providing answers to questions we didn’t even know to ask. Science also...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/09/18

Weekly Media Roundup: June 20, 2018

Campers build confidence at Bricks 4 Kidz (The Bakersfield Californian, California) At a day camp in Bakersfield, children spend their days building all kinds of structures with LEGO® bricks, learning STEM concepts along the way. With a different theme to inspire them each week, campers at...

BY: Emily Hecker      06/20/18

Weekly Media Roundup: June 13, 2018

Morristown’s New After-School Program Praised by Assemblywoman Jenne (North Country This Week, New York) The Green Rockets Rising afterschool program was recently visited by Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, who praised the impact the program has on students at Morristown Central School....

BY: Emily Hecker      06/13/18

Weekly Media Roundup: June 6, 2018

Gwinnett Mom’s Programming Venture Gives Kids A Code for Fun (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia) After noticing the lack of STEM-related education programs in her children’s school, Nidhi Jain, a skilled programmer, decided to take matters into her own hands. Using a free...

BY: Emily Hecker      06/06/18

From afterschool to electrician

Today, we shine a light on Colby Holmes from New Hope, Alabama. Then a senior in high school, Colby attended the 2017 Afterschool for All Challenge in Washington, D.C. and took the time to tell his story: how his afterschool program has inspired his future career in a STEM field and fueled his...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/11/18

Weekly Media Roundup: May 9th, 2018

Forestview After-School STEM Clubs Highlight Need, Booming Popularity (Pine and Lakes Echo Journal, Minnesota) The afterschool programs at Forestview Middle School are overwhelmingly geared toward STEM. Many students are currently participating in the robotics club; others are learning to...

BY: Emily Hecker      05/09/18

From afterschool to geophysicist

For Maya Irvine, her afterschool program was the FIRST step toward a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (the subjects known as STEM). The Missouri Youth Afterschool Ambassador has been enrolled in the Camdenton FIRST LASER Robotics program for the past six years and recently...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/08/18

Weekly Media Roundup: May 2, 2018

How an After-School Program Helps Girls of Color See Themselves as Beautiful (Lansing State Journal, Michigan) After moving to Detroit, Sheri Crawley, a mother of two girls of color, noticed a glaring lack of role models for her daughters. She decided to take matters into her own hands by...

BY: Emily Hecker      05/02/18

Webinar recap: Exploring the environment in afterschool

Earth Day 2018 has passed, but it is never too late to share an appreciation of our planet with environmental science education in your afterschool program. Teaching environmental science is a great way to help students develop core science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills —...

BY: Leah Silverberg      04/30/18

Grants for eco education from Captain Planet Foundation

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BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/16/18

Kansas programs show strength of law enforcement and afterschool partnerships

This is a two-part blog series outlining Kansas’ commitment to establishing partnerships between law enforcement and afterschool programs. The previous post focused on the afterschool network and this post delves into specific programs. Rachel Willis, who I interviewed for...

BY: Arielle Kahn      06/19/18

Invest in kids for #ChildrensWeek2018 and beyond

This week we are celebrating Children’s Week, a seven-day call to action coordinated by First Focus, the Children’s Budget Coalition, and others, to bring attention to key issues faced by children in America. The week-long campaign seeks to educate the public, engage policymakers,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/13/18

Join us for the Summer Care Week of Action

This week, the Afterschool Alliance is partnering with the Center for American Progress, Child Care Aware, Every Child Matters, and many other youth-serving organizations for the Summer Care Week of Action! From June 11 to 15, parents, educators, advocates, and policymakers are invited to highlight...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      06/11/18

Afterschool and summer learning are solutions for public safety

The National League of Cities recently released a series of briefs (two of which we described in a previous blog post) including “Afterschool and Summer Learning: A City Strategy for Public Safety,” which highlights afterschool programs as a cost-effective prevention and youth...

BY: Arielle Kahn      06/01/18

Have you thanked your library lately?

The first week of April is National Library Week, with today being National Library Workers Day. Take the opportunity today to visit your local library or send a message thanking the staff and administrators for all the work they do in your community! Across the country,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/03/18

More than 600 organizations send a message to Congress: Afterschool works

On March 13, the Afterschool Alliance released a letter signed by 80 national and more than 550 state and local organizations representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C., calling on House and Senate appropriators to fund the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative at...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/16/18

It's Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®!

Today we’re excited to take part in celebrating Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® (AIKD)! AIKD is a national holiday that lifts up the kids and teens in our lives, and it was founded by Camp Fire in 1997. While we’ve enjoyed spotlighting the great work done at Camp Fire programs...

BY: Faith Savaiano      03/15/18

Free eBook available: The Afterschool Guide to Building English Language Learners' Literacy

By Heidi Ham, vice president of programs and strategy at National AfterSchool Association. For the more than 4 million English language learner (ELL) students who attend public schools nationwide, it’s more critical than ever to literacy skill development support both in and out...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/05/18

Overdeck Family Foundation renews efforts to support STEM learning

Updated March 2 to include a quote from Overdeck Family Foundation Program Officier Brian Carter.  Advancing supportive afterschool policies, regardless of the focus area, requires a collaborative, multi-pronged approach. As such, we are delighted to continue our partnership...

BY: Stephanie Rodriguez      01/26/18

Weekly Media Roundup: December 13, 2017

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...

BY: Luci Manning      12/13/17

Youth-serving organizations included in Senate CTE law update

On June 26, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held an executive session to markup the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The  bill would reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education (Perkins CTE) Act,...

BY: Jillian Luchner      06/28/18

Federal afterschool funding update, June 27

June 29, 2018: Yesterday the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed their FY2019 education spending bill, sending it on to the Senate floor with full funding for 21st CCLC afterschool programs. See Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant’s statement here:...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/27/18

Federal afterschool funding protected in FY2019 House education spending bill

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee met to mark up the FY2019 education-funding bill on the morning of June 15. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/18/18

Invest in kids for #ChildrensWeek2018 and beyond

This week we are celebrating Children’s Week, a seven-day call to action coordinated by First Focus, the Children’s Budget Coalition, and others, to bring attention to key issues faced by children in America. The week-long campaign seeks to educate the public, engage policymakers,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/13/18

Sec. DeVos testifies in front of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

  On Tuesday, June 5, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing on the US Department of Education (ED) FY 2019 budget proposal featuring testimony from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/07/18

June appropriations update: Current outlook for federal afterschool funding

 As we enter June, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and full Committees are in the midst of an aggressive FY 2019 schedule with the goal of passing all 12 spending bills by September 30, 2018, the end of the current federal fiscal year. The Labor, Health and Human Services,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/04/18

Senate Afterschool Caucus to host briefing on afterschool, summer learning programs' response to opioid, substance abuse

Four experts in afterschool and summer learning programs from around the nation will speak at an informational congressional briefing on Tuesday, May 22, focusing on the role afterschool and summer learning programs play in combating the opioid crisis and preventing substance. These experts will...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/17/18

Newly passed legislation will help afterschool programs ensure program safety

While it did not make any headlines, one important piece of legislation tucked into the FY2018 Omnibus Spending bill that passed last month was the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA). CPIA is common sense, bipartisan legislation that attempts to close gaps in access to FBI fingerprint...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/07/18

Support our kids on Capitol Hill!

Today is the Afterschool for All Challenge! Right now, brave kids—including our inaugural class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors—are on Capitol Hill with afterschool professionals, supporters, parents, and community members to tell Congress: Afterschool keeps kids safe, inspires them to...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/19/18

3 ways to advocate for afterschool

We’re just two days away from the Afterschool for All Challenge! Brave kids from across the nation, including our inaugural class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors, are heading to D.C. to take the case for afterschool direct to their members of Congress. While they’re on Capitol Hill,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/17/18

Summer meals are vital for children, but meal participation continues to decrease

Far too many children lose access to nutritious school meals when the school year ends, according to Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report, released June 13 by the Food Research & Action Center. The report finds that only 3 million children received a...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/22/18

Weekly Media Roundup: June 20, 2018

Campers build confidence at Bricks 4 Kidz (The Bakersfield Californian, California) At a day camp in Bakersfield, children spend their days building all kinds of structures with LEGO® bricks, learning STEM concepts along the way. With a different theme to inspire them each week, campers at...

BY: Emily Hecker      06/20/18

Weekly Media Roundup: June 6, 2018

Gwinnett Mom’s Programming Venture Gives Kids A Code for Fun (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia) After noticing the lack of STEM-related education programs in her children’s school, Nidhi Jain, a skilled programmer, decided to take matters into her own hands. Using a free...

BY: Emily Hecker      06/06/18

Positive female role models: 5 voices from healthy afterschool

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, director of community partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Active kids learn better, but did you know that girls today are far less likely than boys to achieve the recommended amounts of physical activity? Healthier Generation’s #GirlsAre campaign...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/31/18

Making the case for afterschool as a protective factor against substance use, opioid addiction

In communities nationwide struggling with opioid and other substance use, afterschool and summer learning programs are playing a critical role by increasing resilience among young people, supporting positive youth development, and preventing future substance use among children and youth. On May 22,...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/24/18

This is Afterschool: Promoting Healthy Futures

Across America, 1 in 5 kids are alone and unsupervised from 3 to 6 p.m.1  These are the hours when juvenile crime, victimization, and drug use peak—and many parents are still at work.2 Studies show just how risky the hours after school can be: Youth who are not involved in...

BY: Jen Rinehart      05/18/18

How afterschool can fit with BE BEST

Recently the first lady, Melania Trump, launched a child-focused initiative titled BE BEST. The official BE BEST website states that ‘the mission of BE BEST is to focus on some of the major issues facing children today, with the goal of encouraging children to BE BEST in their individual...

BY: Tiereny Lloyd      05/17/18

Guest blog: 4 key elements to fostering mental health & wellbeing

By Sheila Savannah, director of mental health and wellbeing at Prevention Institute. Originally featured in a May 3 email, this blog was reposted with permission from the Prevention Institute.   May is Mental Health Month—an opportunity to take a fresh look at...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/15/18

OST offers opportunity for positive changes for children’s health

By Patricia Patrick and Sarah Sliwa of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Whether working to curb infectious disease, support emergency preparedness, or promote healthier lifestyle behaviors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) public health approach involves...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/14/18

Weekly Media Roundup: May 2, 2018

How an After-School Program Helps Girls of Color See Themselves as Beautiful (Lansing State Journal, Michigan) After moving to Detroit, Sheri Crawley, a mother of two girls of color, noticed a glaring lack of role models for her daughters. She decided to take matters into her own hands by...

BY: Emily Hecker      05/02/18

Afterschool after 30 years: Q&A with Dr. Milbrey McLaughlin, part II

By Sam Piha, founder and principal of Temescal Associates, a consulting group dedicated to building the capacity of leaders and organizations in education and youth development who are serious about improving the lives of young people.  Milbrey McLaughlin has been a leading...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/26/18

National partnership frames strategies for creative youth development

This spring the Creative Youth Development National Partnership, together with more than 650 cross-sector stakeholders nationally, called for all young people to have equitable access to opportunities to realize their creative potential, live richer, fuller lives, and develop the critical learning...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/15/18

Afterschool and summer learning supporting cities nationwide

Two new briefs from the National League of Cities' (NLC) Insitute for Youth, Education, and Families highlight the ways in which afterschool and summer learning programs help develop students’ college and career readiness and in turn support the economic success of cities. For students,...

BY: Leah Silverberg      05/29/18

Weekly Media Roundup: March 28, 2018

Immokalee Teens Earn Scholarship Money Through Mentor/Tutor Program (WJCT, Florida) The nonprofit Guadalupe Center is working to break the cycle of poverty in the Immokalee farmworker community by offering scholarships to high school students who tutor local elementary schoolers. The teenagers...

BY: Luci Manning      03/28/18

The view from Ground Zero: Q&A on the opioid crisis

By Nila Cobb. Welcome to the first of a two-part question-and-answer session with Nila Cobb, healthy lifestyles specialist and assistant director of the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network. In the first part, Nila describes the earliest signs of the opioid crisis impacting her community...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/18

Promising practices: Hybrid tech/analog system grows STEM mentoring

During CS Ed Week, we wanted to highlight an initiative that pushes the envelope on excellence in computer science and STEM. Keshia Ashe, the co-founder and chief executiver officer of ManyMentors, sat down to talk about afterschool, STEM mentoring, and fostering the growth of underrepresented...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/07/17

"Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool" highlights promising practices for all ages

The next generation of the American workforce is growing up right now and afterschool programs are vital partners in helping young people discover new passions and work towards their dreams. As in so many other subjects, the variety and versatility of afterschool programming offers opportunities...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      11/14/17

Introducing our inaugural class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors

Through our Afterschool Ambassadors program, every year we recruit a cohort of program providers and advocates of special distinction and provide them with training, technical support, and modest funding to complete projects that raise the profile of afterschool in their communities. This year,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      11/10/17

Youth-serving organizations can leverage a growing resource: volunteers age 50+

By Sarah McKinney, Content Marketing Producer at Encore.org’s Gen2Gen campaign.   Diana Amatucci volunteers after school and during the summers at her local Boys and Girls Club in Charlottesville Virginia. A retired teacher, Amatucci knows that kids need more champions...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/24/17

Nominate a youth volunteer for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

For many middle and high school students, community service is a requirement for graduation—one that afterschool programs often assist with, giving students a chance to give back through volunteering, community beautification efforts, and tutoring younger students. As a result, afterschool...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/13/17

Exciting bill aims to facilitate college student work-study participation in afterschool programs

I volunteer each Tuesday at a program called For Love of Children (FLOC) in Washington, D.C. along with volunteers of all ages, including a good-sized contingent of undergraduate student tutors from a work-study program at George Washington University. The college students are an enormously...

BY: Jillian Luchner      07/03/18

Youth-serving organizations included in Senate CTE law update

On June 26, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held an executive session to markup the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The  bill would reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education (Perkins CTE) Act,...

BY: Jillian Luchner      06/28/18

Federal afterschool funding protected in FY2019 House education spending bill

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee met to mark up the FY2019 education-funding bill on the morning of June 15. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/18/18

Understanding ESSA Title IV-A: The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants program

In March 2018 a budget deal was signed into law that included a significant increase to the flexible block grant program under Title IVA of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants program. Increasingly, local advocates have been...

BY: Stephanie Rodriguez      06/12/18

Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) state plans open for stakeholder comments

Update: June 21 at 5 p.m.: A final pre-print has been released and can be seen here, changes from the earlier pre-print are noted in this red-lined final pre-print document. Update: June 13 at 5 p.m.: The federal Office of Child Care at the Administration for Children and Families...

BY: Jillian Luchner      06/12/18

June appropriations update: Current outlook for federal afterschool funding

 As we enter June, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and full Committees are in the midst of an aggressive FY 2019 schedule with the goal of passing all 12 spending bills by September 30, 2018, the end of the current federal fiscal year. The Labor, Health and Human Services,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/04/18

Sec. DeVos testifies for the first time before House Education Committee

On May 22, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce heard testimony from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, her first appearance before the committee since becoming secretary 16 months ago. The “Hearing on Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/24/18

This is Afterschool: Promoting Healthy Futures

Across America, 1 in 5 kids are alone and unsupervised from 3 to 6 p.m.1  These are the hours when juvenile crime, victimization, and drug use peak—and many parents are still at work.2 Studies show just how risky the hours after school can be: Youth who are not involved in...

BY: Jen Rinehart      05/18/18

Newly passed legislation will help afterschool programs ensure program safety

While it did not make any headlines, one important piece of legislation tucked into the FY2018 Omnibus Spending bill that passed last month was the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA). CPIA is common sense, bipartisan legislation that attempts to close gaps in access to FBI fingerprint...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/07/18

Strategies to fight cuts highlighted in afterschool policy webinar

On Wednesday, the Afterschool Alliance hosted the webinar "Déjà Vu: The President's Budget Eliminates Afterschool Funding. What Happens Now?" providing the field with a blueprint of the challenges facing afterschool funding and what can be done to fight elimination of...

BY: Faith Savaiano      04/12/18

Quality out-of-school time programs help keep youth on track for success

By Major General (Ret.) Peter Gravett, U.S. Army. This post was originally published by the Council for a Strong America. Read the original post here. We know the afterschool hours are a peak time for kids to commit crimes or become victims of crimes. While the typical school day routine is...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/05/18

Afterschool Spotlight: Career readiness event shakes up students' imaginations

By Charlotte Steinecke, communications manager at the Afterschool Alliance, and Sam Harp, site director at SOAR, the Camp War Eagle Afterschool Program. Every afternoon, the Jones Center in Northwestern Arkansas fills with children and young people shooting hoops in the gym, playing clapping...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      06/08/18

Mapping afterschool in New Mexico

By May Sagbakken, executive director of the New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network All children and youth deserve access to high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs that prepare them for school, college, careers, and life. While many students across the country are receiving valuable...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/05/18

So grateful and proud!

One of the many joys associated with the Afterschool for All Challenge last week was seeing so many of our Afterschool Ambassadors in person. For nearly 20 years, the Afterschool Ambassador program has been the pride and joy of the Afterschool Alliance and it has had an out-sized impact on our...

BY: Jodi Grant      04/23/18

Weekly Media Roundup: April 18, 2018

After-School Programs Empower Kids, but Need Exceeds Funding (Yakima Herald, Washington) Students in Washington State’s various out-of-school time programs have the chance to explore possible careers, develop positive relationships with adults and mentors and avoid getting into trouble in...

BY: Luci Manning      04/18/18

New resources! National and state-level fact sheets on afterschool

As spring finally arrives in Washington, D.C., so does a suite of new resources highlighting key facts and stats on afterschool!   The first resource is a new fact sheet on afterschool, which summarizes positive outcomes for students who participate in programs, as well as the supports...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      04/13/18

Bonnie Reiss: A friend, a champion, a hero

The afterschool community lost one of its greatest champions when Bonnie Reiss passed away on Monday, April 2. I am proud to call Bonnie a friend, a mentor, a collaborator and a board member who made the Afterschool Alliance even more strategic and powerful. Our achievements were her achievements...

BY: Jodi Grant      04/10/18

We asked, and you answered.

The State of Afterschool Survey for 2018 closed in February with a total of 920 responses. To those who participated, thank you for taking the time to let us see the afterschool field from your point of view. To those who missed it, don’t worry – throughout the year, we’ll be...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/09/18

Guest blog: 33 boys. Zero girls.

By Jothi Ramaswamy, founder and CEO of ThinkSTEAM. “33 boys. Zero girls.” Four words. That’s all it took to transform my 13 year old perspective on society. I was talking with my brother over dinner when he iterated this gender ratio in his undergraduate C++ coding...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/29/18

New resources: Implementing and expanding afterschool programs for principals

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) recently launched a new online toolkit dedicated to providing principals and other school leaders with the tools they need to help support and expand quality afterschool and summer learning programs. Principals can play an...

BY: Leah Silverberg      03/19/18