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Weekly Media Roundup - April 27, 2011

By Luci Manning

After-School Program Club Jaguar Provides Opportunities for Students (Faribault Daily News, Minnesota)
The Club Jaguar afterschool program, run by Afterschool Ambassador Lisa Wetzel, invited parents, teachers and community members to their program last week.  They started the afternoon by signing a petition asking legislators not to cut funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers.  Read about the rest of their afternoon and watch a video of the afterschool program’s students performing for the guests.

Out-of-School Time Cited as Strategy for School Turnaround (Education Week’s Beyond School Blog)
A new report shows that 70 percent of schools in Midwestern states include out-of-school programs (before school, afterschool and summer programs) as a strategy for improving school performance.  The survey looked at 1,400 underperforming schools in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio.  Read about more examples of afterschool making a difference in struggling schools here.

Gangs Filling Crucial Voids (Merced Sun-Star, California)
“When these teenagers who have nothing ‘decide’ to join a gang, it was because we have decided that fully funded schools, sports programs, music programs, arts programs were more costly than prisons that cost $47,102 per inmate a year,” defense attorney Vincent Andrade writes.  “Your editorial divorces the gang problem from the defunding of the education and social services that in turn nurtures gang growth.  Fully-funded schools, after-school, sports, music and arts programs decrease the vacuum in which gangs flourish yet they require public funding and committed taxpayers.”

Lexington Seeking After-School Changes (Boston Globe, Massachusetts)
The Lexington school district unveiled a plan earlier this year that would eliminate four parent-run groups that have been operating afterschool programs for 30 years.  District officials believe it will save money to consolidate the groups under one organization, but parents are lobbying to keep the current system – which they say “reflects the needs and interests of their children”–in place.