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In the Field Snacks
MAR
25

IN THE FIELD
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"Don't Terminate Afterschool Programs"

By Ursula Helminski

So said former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the National After-Summit Summit, which sent a rallying cry across the nation to invest in the afterschool programs that are keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn and helping working families. Mayors, entrepreneurs, education experts, technology leaders and more spoke to the value of afterschool programs for children, families, communities and our nation. Even the audience—whether in the room or viewing online—took part in amplifying the call for more afterschool resources.  Using the Summit’s tweet4afterschool.com feature, more than 1,000 tweets were generated during the gathering, calling out key stats on afterschool outcomes to Members of Congress. 

Summit organizers have made plans to keep the momentum going. Tweet4afterschool.com will feature a new post weekly for advocates to click and send in one stroke. And a short video unveiled at the event is available for all in the afterschool field to download and use to help build support. 

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MAR
23

IN THE FIELD
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Guest blog: It's time to invest in afterschool, not cut

By Rachel Clark

A Message & Invitation from Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

I have been an advocate for afterschool programs for over 25 years and I am thrilled to welcome leaders from education, afterschool, government, business, and nonprofit organizations who share my passion for protecting America’s greatest resource—our kids—to a National After-School Summit.  Tomorrow, afterschool representatives from 47 states will meet at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute in Los Angeles to reiterate their commitment to afterschool programs and to remind Congress that these programs are not just another line in the budget.  We know firsthand that afterschool programs help kids succeed in school and in life. 

Over the past decade, demand for afterschool programs has continued to climb.  19.4 million children would sign up for an afterschool program—if one were available.  In fact, for every child in a program, another two are waiting to get in.  

It’s no wonder demand is high. Afterschool programs are helping address some of the most critical issues we face, like preventing juvenile crime, preparing kids for college and the workforce, and reducing alarming high school dropout rates.  83 percent of parents with a child in an afterschool program say programs help reduce the likelihood that kids will commit crimes, use drugs, or become a teen parent.  Youth who participate in afterschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.  These outcomes produce a strong return on investment: every $1 invested in afterschool programs saves taxpayers $9.

With a proven track record of impact and cost-effectiveness, afterschool programs are a no-brainer.  Yet the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, which provides afterschool programs to 1.6 million kids across the country, is threatened with extinction.  Our nation, and our youth, cannot afford to lose afterschool programs.  In fact, cities, states, the federal government, and the private sector should be pitching in with greater investments.  

I hope you’ll join me and innovative industry leaders and mayors from across the United States for this important conversation.  Tune in to the live webcast of the National After-School Summit and let Washington know that you support the protection and expansion of afterschool programing. 

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MAR
13

IN THE FIELD
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Schwarzenegger to host afterschool summit: Tune in March 24

By Rachel Clark

On Tuesday, March 24, leaders from education, afterschool, government, business, and nonprofits from throughout the United States will convene at the University of Southern California (USC) to discuss the importance of comprehensive afterschool programs in K-12 education, outcomes being achieved and the needs yet unmet.  The aim of the Summit, organized by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, the Afterschool Alliance and the After-School All-Stars, is to acknowledge the important work being done in the field, and encourage greater support for afterschool programs from cities, states, federal government and the private sector. 

With a record high 10.2 million children and youth participating in afterschool programs, the Summit will spotlight how afterschool programs are the most cost-effective and impactful way to address the critical challenges facing education, like preventing juvenile crime, reducing high school dropout rates, and ensuring college and workforce preparedness.  With a proven track record of success, afterschool programs are a key tool to help students succeed in school and in life, as well as an undeniably smart investment of taxpayer dollars—every $1 invested in afterschool leads to a savings of $9.

Join Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, mayors from across the United States, and innovative industry leaders for this exciting conversation by tuning into a live webcast of the National After-School Summit on March 24 at 9:30AM PST—get more details on the USC Schwarzenegger Institute website.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy Legislation
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