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In the Field Snacks
OCT
30
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Welcome Marisa Paipongna, our new Field Outreach Assistant

By Marisa Paipongna

Hi! I’m Marisa Paipongna and I’m very excited to be the new Field Outreach Assistant at the Afterschool Alliance.

I became interested in the Afterschool Alliance due to my own afterschool experiences. Upon entering high school, I knew that I wanted to go to college but because I was a first-generation college student, navigating that pathway was fairly unclear. I heard my teachers emphasize the importance of being engaged outside of the classroom, so I decided to join an afterschool community service organization. That experience not only made me realize this passion I had for helping the communities around me, but it also opened my eyes to the fact that I could actually pursue this passion in college.

The values that I had gained and my motivation to positively impact communities only grew throughout my time in college, both inside and outside of the classroom. I recently graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.S. in Kinesiology with a Concentration in Public Health, and a minor in Sociology. Throughout college, I served as a Health Outreach Peer Educator, creating and facilitating health programs for students throughout my campus. I interned at the USDA Rural Development California State Office in Davis, Calif. and also interned at the School Health Initiative Program throughout Williamsburg-James City County elementary schools in Williamsburg, Va.

While my degree and many of my experiences are related to health, I am passionate about pursuing efforts regarding afterschool programs because of the strong correlation that exists between education and health outcomes. As the Field Outreach Assistant, I will work closely with the Field Outreach team in recruiting and providing assistance to AmeriCorps VISTA members working on afterschool programs throughout the country!

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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance Vista
OCT
24
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Youth-serving organizations can leverage a growing resource: volunteers age 50+

By Guest Blogger

By Sarah McKinney, Content Marketing Producer at Encore.org’s Gen2Gen campaign.

 

Diana Amatucci volunteers after school and during the summers at her local Boys and Girls Club in Charlottesville Virginia. A retired teacher, Amatucci knows that kids need more champions in their lives.

“For students who may not get support at home or who may struggle in the larger school setting, getting this one-to-one attention is invaluable,” she says. 

Millions of other adults over 50 have the skills, experience, and desire to influence young lives, transform communities, and strengthen the social fabric of America. 

How are you engaging people 50+ in your afterschool program? 

Encore.org — an innovation tank tapping the talent of the 50+ population as a force for good — launched the Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) campaign to help. Gen2Gen’s goal: to mobilize one million people over 50 to help kids thrive.

So far, 110 organizations have joined with Gen2Gen — including the Afterschool Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the National 4-H Council, VolunteerMatch and more.

OCT
23
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Afterschool & Law Enforcement: Advice from 22 years of successful programming

By Arielle Kahn

The Afterschool Alliance is pleased to present this post as part of the Afterschool & Law Enforcement blog series.

22 years ago, in the back seat of a police car, an organization that would significantly reduce the juvenile crime rate in Dunn, North Carolina was born. A few officers perceived the need for a community policing initiative and sought a way to connect positively with youth in their area. In 1995, the Dunn Police Athletic and Activities League began offering a few sports programs and a handful of volunteers serving 10 children.

Today, Dunn PAL serves about 400 K-12 children per year in their afterschool program, mentoring program, and sports program. Dunn PAL is a Non-Profit 501(C)(3) organization under the Dunn Police Department that works to establish mutual trust between law enforcement, citizens, and youth.

I had the opportunity to interview Lieutenant Rodney Rowland, the Executive Director, and Stephanie Coxum, the Enrichment Instructor, about their program and their Lights On Afterschool event.

Both Lt. Rowland and Ms. Coxum emphasized the relationship-building that occurs between law enforcement and children. When kids see law enforcement officers on the street they are more likely to say “hey, what’s up” than to run away in fear. And when law enforcement see children in precarious situations, they have the clout with them to have a conversation about their behavior and encourage children to think critically about their choices.

“We are unique because we actually have police officers in the city directly involved in the lives of kids, which directly affects their parents, their families, and the community as a whole. And in such a positive way,” Lt. Rowland explained.  

OCT
16
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Meet Arielle Kahn, our new Special Assistant to the Executive Director

By Arielle Kahn

Hello! My name is Arielle Kahn and I am the new Special Assistant to the Executive Director at the Afterschool Alliance. I am so excited to channel my passion for educational equity into my work here at the Alliance. I firmly believe that quality afterschool experiences can put children on a path to success. I know that in my own experience, afterschool and extracurricular activities were most formative to my development. I was fortunate to participate in a variety of afterschool programs that shaped who I am today.

I graduated from Duke University last May, where I majored in Psychology, minored in Education, and completed the Child Policy Research certificate. My passion lies at the intersection of these three fields as they relate to the pressing issue of equity in educational opportunities. This issue has been important to me since my first internship experience, when I taught ten underserved elementary age students through a summer learning program run by the Children’s Defense Fund. The following summer I interned with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in the Healthy Schools Program to combat childhood obesity as an impediment to academic success. A year later I interned at the U.S. Department of Education where I worked on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color.

As Special Assistant, I will provide administrative and program support to the Executive Director, as well as work on special projects. I am enthusiastic about learning more about nonprofit management. Most of all, I believe in the work of the Alliance and am proud to work for an organization that works tirelessly to secure greater opportunities for children every day.

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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
OCT
13
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Nominate a youth volunteer for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

By Charlotte Steinecke

For many middle and high school students, community service is a requirement for graduation—one that afterschool programs often assist with, giving students a chance to give back through volunteering, community beautification efforts, and tutoring younger students. As a result, afterschool programs often see young people going above and beyond the call to improve their communities!

Do you know an exemplary youth volunteer? Nominate them for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!

State Honorees: Two students in each state and the District of Columbia will be named State Honorees and receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. with a parent or guardian for a recognition event from April 28 to May 1, 2018.

America’s top youth volunteers: In D.C., a national selection committee will name 10 of the 102 State Honorees as America’s top youth volunteers of the year. Winners will receive additional awards of $5,000, gold medallions, trophies for their nominating schools or organizations, and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

Distinguished finalists will receive bronze medallions and runners-up will receive Certificates of Excellence; local honorees will receive Certificates of Achievement.

Nominations run from now until November 7, 2017. To apply, complete the application and the student/parent agreement, then email or print and deliver instructions to your local certifier (school principal or head of a county 4-H organization, Girl Scout council, Americans Red Cross chapter, YMCA, or Affiliate of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network).

Best of luck to all applicants!

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learn more about: Competition Youth Development Awards
OCT
10
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Success Story: Girls on the Run

By Faith Savaiano

Twenty years ago in Charlotte, N.C., a young woman began the first Girls On the Run (GOTR) team as an individual effort. But when the program was covered in Runner’s World, a running-focused magazine, the demand for this girls-specific running program exploded. Today, GOTR has more than 200 councils across all 50 states, serving more than 200,000 girls each year.

The program’s rapid growth presented the young organization with the challenge and opportunity to develop a more structured curriculum, according to Dr. Heather Pressley, senior vice president of mission advancement.

“The team at headquarters realized that the organic growth was great but it was very fast, [and] we needed to look into the quality and consistency of the program across sites where it was being offered,” Pressley said. “We took the original concept of building confidence through running and created an intentional curriculum with measurable physical, social, emotional, and life skills outcomes.”

OCT
9
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Students harness healthy habits at Camp Fire Wise KidsĀ®

By Tiereny Lloyd

For the students and staff of Camp Fire Wise Kids® afterschool programs in and around Dallas, Texas, health is all about balance. By emphasizing the importance of a balanced diet and of balancing “energy in” and “energy out,” staff hope to empower children to make a lifetime’s worth of healthy and wise choices.

Like other Camp Fire programs across the nation, the Wise Kids program relies on the “Thrive{ology}” framework. Described as a “research-based, measurable approach to youth development,” Camp Fire developed the approach in partnership with the California-based Thrive Foundation for Youth. It comprises four components:

  1. Helping children identify their “sparks” – that is, their interests and passions
  2. Guiding them to adopt a “growth” mindset – the belief that they can learn new skills all the time
  3. Urging them to set and manage goals for themselves
  4. Encouraging them to reflect on what they’ve done and accomplished

Camp Fire Lone Star layers its Wise Kids framework over the health and physical education standards written into the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards issued by the state’s department of education. The health and physical education standards are generally in line with the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards developed by the National AfterSchool Association.

SEP
29
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Pro sports can connect kids to afterschool STEAM learning

By Guest Blogger

By Jesse Lovejoy, director of STEAM Education for the San Francisco 49ers and managing partner of EDU Academy. More information on 49ers STEAM programming is available here

On its best days, informal and afterschool education is cool. It’s different. It lights fires. For many kids, it’s a window into new way of thinking about subjects they either don’t know or think they don’t like. Sports can be a powerful connector of kids to content—one on which the San Francisco 49ers capitalize, through the organization’s education work in the Bay Area.

“Some kids think learning isn’t cool,” said George Garcia, lead STEAM instructor for Santa Clara Unified School District, “but you tie it into something they enjoy or see on TV and all of a sudden kids sit up straighter in the classroom and almost forget they’re learning.”