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In the Field Snacks
MAR
6

IN THE FIELD
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Afterschool advocates continue calling on Congress to save 21st CCLC

By Rachel Clark

With the Afterschool for All Challenge fast approaching and the future of ESEA reauthorization uncertain in the House, advocates have continued sending a strong message to Congress that children and working families can't afford to lose 21st CCLC.  125 supporters have signed on to our Thunderclap campaign, building a social reach of nearly 140,000.  To join this unified effort that will blast out across Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr at 1 p.m. EST on the day of the Challengesign up now and tag your representatives in your post—and be sure to ask your friends and networks to join you.

We've also made progress toward our goal of sending 10,600 emails to Congress on behalf of the 1.6 million kids at risk of losing programs if 21st CCLC goes extinct—more than 3,200 emails have reached policy makers across the country, and in many states, hundreds of emails have been sent.  But in this critical time in Congress, it's key that advocates continue to flood policy makers' inboxes.

This week in the spotlight for going above and beyond in support of afterschool programs: On Tuesday, more than 400 advocates will share their stories with Members of Congress face-to-face on Capitol Hill.  It's crucial for Members to hear from the experts in their districts with firsthand knowledge of afterschool's local impact, and participants in the Afterschool for All Challenge will deliver that message.  If you can't be in DC, you can still take part using the tools in our revamped social media kit.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1EUY1Cb
learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA
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MAR
6

IN THE FIELD
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Celebrate the fourth annual Digital Learning Day on March 13th!

By Dan Gilbert

The fourth annual Digital Learning Day is coming up next Friday, March 13th!  Digital Learning Day is a showcase of the most innovative educators, programs, and schools across the country and a celebration of the innovative ways that educators have used technology to improve instruction.  Our friends at the Alliance for Excellent Education, which hosts Digital Learning Day, believe that high-quality digital learning opportunities should be available to all youth every single day.

While news outlets may tend to focus on district-level efforts, OST programs around the country have been developing, finessing and perfecting innovative digital learning strategies for years.  There is no better time than Digital Learning Day to celebrate the successful practices that need to be shared and scaled to reach more students, especially those with the greatest need.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1NrpvmB
learn more about: Digital Learning Events and Briefings
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FEB
27

IN THE FIELD
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Advocates continue taking action to urge Congress to #Invest3to6

By Rachel Clark

As debate on ESEA reauthorization reached the floor of the House of Representatives, afterschool supporters continued calling on Congress to save 21st CCLC and invest in afterschool and summer learning programs.  Thanks to advocates from across the country, we're now a quarter of the way toward the goal of sending 10,600 emails to Congress by March 10 on behalf of the 1.6 million kids at risk of losing programs if 21st CCLC isn't protected—with less than two weeks to reach that goal, be sure to email Congress now if you haven't already.

This week, we also launched a Thunderclap campaign to coincide with the Afterschool for All Challenge on March 10, when hundreds of afterschool advocates will meet with Members of Congress face-to-face to share their stories and urge them to protect afterschool funding.  If you can't make it to the Challenge, you can still add your voice—joining the #Invest3to6 Thunderclap will schedule a message to be blasted out from your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr account on March 10 at 1PM EST (one time only!).  The message is customizable, so if you have an extra minute, be sure to tag your representatives in Congress and use our America After 3PM dashboard to add stats from your state.

This week in the spotlight for going above and beyond in support of afterschool programs: Advocates from Tennessee, Texas, and YMCA of the USA, who took their messages to legislators at their state Capitols and on Capitol Hill this week.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1N0dqV6
learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Congress ESEA Federal Policy Legislation
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FEB
26

IN THE FIELD
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Bright Ideas STEM from Today's Youth finalists to compete in Orlando

By Rachel Clark

After two rounds of voting and judging in the Bright Ideas STEM from Today's Youth contest, the competition will culminate on March 6 as six finalists face off in Orlando, Fla.  The Bright Ideas STEM contest invited young people from across Bright House Networks' six service areas to dream up innovative ideas solving some of the world's challenges, inspiring local youth to become tomorrow's innovators and inventors.

To reach next Friday's competition in front of a live studio audience, finalists made it through a round of online voting on their idea's "coolness factor" as well as a round of evaluation by four expert judges.  Next, the finalists will compete head-to-head in Orlando for the chance to work with leading innovation firm Fahrenheit 212—and potentially see their idea realized!

The six finalists are:

share this link: http://bit.ly/1LJBlF5
learn more about: Science
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FEB
20

IN THE FIELD
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Advocates continue calling on Congress to save 21st CCLC

By Rachel Clark

With the fight to save 21st Century Community Learning Centers continuing, hundreds of afterschool advocates have been taking action.  During just one hour this week, participants in our social media storm reached nearly 70 policy makers in 19 states.  Advocates have also continued to make progress toward our goal to see the afterschool community send 10,600 emails to Congress on behalf of the 1.6 million kids at risk of losing their programs if 21st CCLC isn't protected—2,073 emails have been sent so far this month, and a few states have climbed up our leaderboard.  In the coming days, activate your networks to help reach this goal—and to make sure your state has a slot on the leaderboard.

It's also critical to raise awareness in our communities—and reach policy makers in as many ways as possible—so be sure to check out our social media guide and keep tweeting and posting to keep up the momentum from this week.

This week in the spotlight for going above and beyond in support of afterschool programs: Afterschool Ambassadors in Kansas, who took Topeka by storm yesterday to share their stories and urge legislators to invest in afterschool.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1DBL4xL
learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy Legislation
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FEB
17

IN THE FIELD
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Join us for a social media storm: Call on Congress to protect afterschool

By Rachel Clark

Please join us tomorrow, February 18, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST for a Social Media Storm emphasizing the importance of afterschool programs. Since the launch of the #Invest3to6 campaign, advocates have reached out to dozens of policy makers in 19 states.  Tomorrow, the Senate Afterschool Caucus will host a briefing on Capitol Hill to inform congressional staff about the need for afterschool funding—help get #Invest3to6 trending to drive this point home and make sure every Member of Congress knows that afterschool programs—and 21st CCLC in particular—are essential. 

A few sample tweets are below—for more sample posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, as well as Twitter handles to tag every Senator and Member of Congress, check out our social media guide.  Be sure to tag your representatives when you tweet tomorrow to make sure they see the message!

  • Juvenile crime peaks #afterschool—eliminating #21stCCLC leaves kids without safe places after 3. #Invest3to6 http://bit.ly/1veukEo
  • Demand for #afterschool programs is higher than ever: kids can't afford to be cut from #21stCCLC. #Invest3to6 http://bit.ly/16HWdOX
  • Every $1 invested in #afterschool through initiatives like #21stCCLC saves $9. #Invest3to6 http://bit.ly/1A6PnjF

Before the storm, take a moment to reach out to your representatives via email!  Our goal is to see afterschool advocates send 10,600 emails to Congress by March 10 on behalf of the 1.6 million kids whose programs are at risk if 21st CCLC isn't protected.  Help us meet this ambitious goal—take action now and drive the message home on social media at 2 p.m. EST tomorrow.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1zM0SGD
learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
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FEB
13

IN THE FIELD
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Hundreds of afterschool advocates take action to protect 21st CCLC

By Rachel Clark

With 21st Century Community Learning Centers facing extinction, we're calling on afterschool advocates to take action—and you're coming through.  In just the last week, hundreds of tweets and more than a thousand emails have reached policy makers across the country.  With so much momentum, we've set an ambitious goal: to see the afterschool community send 10,600 emails to Congress on behalf of the 1.6 million kids at risk of losing their programs if 21st CCLC isn't protected.  We'll be updating this dashboard weekly to show the progress toward that goal—and which states are sending the most emails, for a little friendly competition.

It's also critical to raise awareness in our communities—and reach policy makers in as many ways as possible—so be sure to check out our social media guide, start tweeting and posting, and mark your calendar for our #Invest3to6 Social Media Storm on February 18 at 2 p.m. EST.

Every week, we'll highlight partners, organizations, and individuals who have gone above and beyond in support of 21st CCLC and afterschool programs.  Thank you to the New York State Afterschool Network and the National Summer Learning Association for your exceptional outreach this week!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1FId54x
learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
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FEB
2

IN THE FIELD
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New York City teens 'Break the Super Bowl'

By Rachel Clark

While millions of Americans followed the drama of the New England Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks—driving Super Bowl ratings to a historic high—over a dozen New York City teens took a more critical eye as participants in media education nonprofit The LAMP’s 4th annual “Break the Super Bowl” event.

For four years, The LAMP has used the Super Bowl and its famed advertisements as an opportunity to get young people to actively engage with these multi-million dollar messages, encouraging critical thinking about frequently used, ethically questionable marketing tactics like misinformation and over-the-top stereotypes.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1yvAMbA
learn more about: Digital Learning
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