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In the Field Snacks
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.

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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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JUL
16

IN THE FIELD
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Celebrate the power of parks in keeping kids active during Park and Recreation Month this July!

By Lindsay Damiano

This is the 30th year of celebrating July as Park and Recreation Month, and the National Recreation and Park Association is recreating like it’s 1985 with events across the country.

For decades, local parks and recreation departments have been providing kids with a safe place to stay active and programming that encourages them to explore. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) finds that access to parks leads to more active communities, and park programs are among the 80 percent of afterschool and summer programs that provide kids opportunities for physical activity. Last year, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s Extended School Enrichment Program won the Lights On Afterschool photo contest, showcasing park programs’ diverse opportunities including helping kids explore nature and helping them capture it on camera!

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JUL
14

IN THE FIELD
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Webinar recap: Moving from awareness to action in bullying prevention

By Rachel Clark

Afterschool programs have a key role to play in addressing bullying in their communities—it’s critical that afterschool professionals feel prepared and empowered to stop bullying. To share important resources and strategies, the Afterschool Alliance joined the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration to co-host a bullying prevention webinar on June 24.

Webinar attendees heard from Erin Reiney, Director of the Injury and Violence Prevention Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Health at HRSA/Maternal and Child Health Bureau; and Dr. Susan Limber, Dan Olweus Professor at the Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life at Clemson University. The expert presenters showcased the StopBullying.gov Training Module and Community Action Toolkit and reviewed basic research about bullying affecting youth at every age. To help spread the word, participants also came away from the webinar prepared to educate other community leaders about bullying prevention and to organize an awareness-building event in their communities.

If you weren't able to join the webinar (or just want to refresh your memory!), don't worry—a recording of the presentation, including all of these key resources, is available for you to access anytime.  

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learn more about: Events and Briefings Youth Development
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JUL
14

IN THE FIELD
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Deadline extended: One more week to answer a short survey and a chance to win a $200 prize!

By Nikki Yamashiro

Photo via Cumberland County 4H.

A huge thank you to all of the rural afterschool program providers who have completed our survey and shared with us the unique opportunities and challenges they face in their rural afterschool programs. The response to the survey has been so great—with responses from afterschool programs in nearly all 50 states—that we don’t want to stop just yet. 

We have extended the deadline for the survey by one week. You now have until Wednesday, July 22 at 11:59 p.m. EDT to complete a short survey that will help us better understand the needs of rural afterschool program providers and that will give you a shot at winning a $200 Amazon gift card. To be eligible for the drawing for the $200 Amazon gift card, respondents must:

  • Be a rural afterschool program provider and
  • Complete the full survey.

Again, please one survey response per afterschool program.

It will take less than 10 minutes of your time to let us know about the great work you are doing for the children and families in your community and what supports are necessary for your program to better meet the needs of your community.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1MrszNn
learn more about: Rural
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