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In the Field Snacks
AUG
31

IN THE FIELD
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Exciting new opportunity to partner with your local library

By Dan Gilbert

We all know that libraries can be fantastic partners for afterschool providers, and we’re excited to announce that we have a great new opportunity for programs to partner with local libraries to teach STEM! Through our partnership with STAR_Net, a national initiative to bring museum-quality exhibits into libraries, public libraries around the country have been invited to apply to host one of three science- and technology-focused traveling exhibitions focusing on STEM fields like technology, space, and earth science.

Developed by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute, STAR_Net has released three new traveling exhibitions:

  • Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet
  • Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond
  • Explore Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference
share this link: http://bit.ly/1EvDEy3
learn more about: Science Community Partners
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AUG
26

IN THE FIELD
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Deadline extended! Nominate a program for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award by Sept. 6!

By Nikki Yamashiro

If you haven’t heard about the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award yet, you’re in luck! If you know of an afterschool program that is providing year-round support, has a strong literacy focus and is helping improve its students’ reading, writing and critical thinking skills, you now have until Sept. 6 to nominate it for a chance to win a $10,000 award. A steady stream of nominations has been rolling in and we can’t wait to see what other afterschool programs we’ll find out about over the course of the next week and a half.

Together with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, we are excited to hear from the field about the work taking place around building students’ literacy skills and to recognize one program with a $10,000 award. This is a great opportunity to showcase the achievements and impact of your program or of a program with which you are familiar.

We encourage nominators to download a copy of the nomination form and review the questions prior to filling out and submitting the form online. Be sure to visit our awards page to learn more about the eligibility requirements.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1hFYxfQ
learn more about: Competition Funding Opportunity Literacy
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AUG
12

IN THE FIELD
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Celebrating the power of national service in helping kids succeed

By Rachel Clark

During the month of August, the Corporation for National and Community Service is celebrating the work national service programs do to help kids succeed in school. We’re joining them to celebrate our dedicated team of AmeriCorps VISTAs, who work tirelessly to ensure that all kids have access to quality afterschool, as well as to provide healthy afterschool meals and to increase afterschool STEM opportunities.

To keep kids’ bellies full and minds ready to learn, New Jersey meals VISTA Erin Moran has helped pilot Newark, N.J.’s new “Lunch and Learn” program, giving Newark kids an opportunity to receive a free healthy meal and participate in an engaging enrichment activity to curb summer learning loss. In nearby Jersey City, VISTA member Orlane Baghana had monumental success in recruiting summer learning sites to enroll in the Summer Food Service Program—through her outreach efforts, more than 80 summer learning sites have been approved to receive summer meals. That equates to more than 2700 students receiving healthy meals this summer!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1h2WNgk
learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance Nutrition Science Service Summer Learning Sustainability Vista
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JUL
31

IN THE FIELD
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Social media advocacy day for summer meals a huge success

By Lindsay Damiano

 
Photo via Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Yesterday, hundreds of advocates joined together on social media to send a loud, strong message to legislators: summer nutrition programs are essential.

We know that nutrition programs in schools keep children nourished and able to focus on their learning. But for many kids, summertime is anything but a relaxing break when they aren’t sure where their next meal will come from. That’s why we partnered with the YMCA, the National Recreation and Park AssociationBoys & Girls Clubs of America, the National AfterSchool Association, the Food Research and Action Center, the National Summer Learning Association and others to spread the word about the importance of reauthorizing child nutrition legislation and passing the Summer Meals Act. Summer learning and summer nutrition programs go hand-in-hand in supporting children; both deserve sustained investment.

For yesterday’s day of action, summer learning programs large and small shared what summer meals mean for the kids in their programs – and their stories were inspirational. The Texas Hunger Initiative wrote about how Canyon, Texas community organizations, from the police department to Master Gardeners, are each “adopting a week” this summer to provide enrichment activities at a new summer meals site, making sure kids’ minds are nourished as well as their bodies. The National AfterSchool Association explained that low-income children are less likely to have access to summer learning programs, where they would receive the summer meals they need and are eligible for—having summer learning and summer meals at the same site doubly benefits these underserved kids.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1DeRhAW
learn more about: Advocacy Congress Federal Funding Federal Policy Health and Wellness Legislation Nutrition Summer Learning Community Partners
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JUL
31

IN THE FIELD
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This summer, every child should be able to learn and explore with summer learning programs

By Jodi Grant

It’s 2 p.m. on a hot, humid DC summer day. Like most moms, I’m busy at work, and I’m so grateful to know that while I am focusing on how to advance afterschool and summer learning opportunities for all kids, my daughters are having an incredible time, making friends and learning in a safe, supervised environment.

Finding summer programs for opinionated and active tweens and teens is no easy matter—they would be perfectly content spending the day texting and playing video games. But today’s programs are exceptional. The perfect combination of learning, youth development and fun, summer becomes a chance for my daughters to learn and explore—getting out of their comfort zones and at the same time developing relationships with other students who share their interests.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1MC3ClG
learn more about: Science Summer Learning Arts
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JUL
30

IN THE FIELD
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Congress heads home for August recess: Time to take action for afterschool

By Jillian Luchner

The time is here when Congress goes on a month-long recess and senators and representatives return to your home town eager to hear your voice. The House recess begins this week and the Senate in early August. Plan now to reach out to your Members of Congress through meetingssite visits,  emaillettersand town halls  to emphasize the need for continued federal support of afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs. We give you details on these five actions to take and why to act now.

Did you know the Congress is close to completing the reauthorization of the country’s largest federal education legislation, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind?

The Senate and House both passed versions of the act, but they are not the same. The Senate version carefully included the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) which help fund afterschool programs for over 1.7 million children in low-income communities nationwide. The House version left the program out.

But, even getting language for 21st CCLC isn’t enough! Supporting low income children and working families requires funding and the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed cutting the Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) initiative by $117 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1LThnLh
learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy Legislation
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JUL
24

IN THE FIELD
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Join us for a summer meals blog-a-thon and tweetfest!

By Rachel Clark

Combining summer meals and summer learning should be a no-brainer—on July 30th, we’re going to spread the word by taking to the blogosphere and social media alongside the YMCA, the National Recreation and Park Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the National AfterSchool Association, FRAC, and the National Summer Learning Association. As Congress considers reauthorization of child nutrition legislation, it’s critical that we come together to raise awareness about the importance of keeping students’ minds and bellies full during the summer months—so we need your help!

Join us on Thursday, July 30 to share the amazing experiences your students are having in summer learning programs: eating nutritious meals, getting physically active, coding, reading, writing and more! Post a short blog and photos illustrating the opportunities you’re providing for young people this summer as they come together to learn and eat healthy meals, then let us know about your blogs at info@afterschoolalliance.org. We’ll also be following the hashtags #SummerMealsAct, #SummerLearning and #CNR2015 all day—share photos of your students eating and learning on social media, and we’ll spread the word about the great work your program is doing by collecting your images on a dedicated Pinterest board.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got a few sample posts to get you started—but be sure to customize them and share your own story!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1CZ8H4b
learn more about: Advocacy Nutrition Summer Learning
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JUL
23

IN THE FIELD
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It's back! Nominate a program today for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award

By Nikki Yamashiro

For the second year in a row, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance are thrilled to present the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award. We need your help to find the next Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award winner that will receive $10,000 for their program, be recognized in a joint Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Afterschool Alliance issue brief, and be featured in upcoming webinars and national conferences.  

This year we are searching for afterschool programs that provide year-round support to help improve their students’ reading, writing and critical thinking skills. In a departure from last year’s eligibility requirements, we are opening up the award to afterschool programs that serve students of any age, including elementary, middle and high school students.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1gQ2CNK
learn more about: Funding Opportunity Literacy
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