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Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
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MAR
4

POLICY
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Updated: The afterschool and summer learning perspective on the president's 2015 budget

By Erik Peterson

Today Pres. Obama released his budget request for the upcoming 2015 fiscal year, which begins this October.  With regard to support for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative, the president requested $1.149 billion—reflecting the same level for 21stCCLC as was in the FY2014 omnibus bill that passed in January. As was the case in his budget request last year, the president proposes to radically change 21st CCLC to a competitive grant at the federal level as well as to prioritize 21st CCLC grant funding for new purposes including adding time to the traditional school day or year, and for teacher planning and professional development.

According to the discussion of the budget request for the Department of Education:

Funds would support competitive grants to states, local education agencies, nonprofit organizations, or local governmental entities for projects that provide the additional time, support, and enrichment activities needed to improve student achievement, including projects that support expanding learning time by significantly increasing the number of hours in a regular school schedule and by comprehensively redesigning the school schedule for all students in a school. Projects could also provide teachers the time they need to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development within and across grades and subjects.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Budget Congress Department of Education Federal Funding NASA Obama Science Vista
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JAN
28

FUNDING
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Q&A on afterschool and the Common Core

By Sarah Simpson

Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards in both English Language Arts and Math, with the majority of these states expected to implement the standards by the 2013-2014 school year. As more schools begin to implement the Common Core standards, afterschool programs are well-positioned to support the learning that takes place during the school day and to align afterschool programming so that it bolsters students’ academic growth and engagement in learning.  

The Afterschool Alliance recently released an issue brief describing how afterschool programs are an ideal partner for schools and teachers in their work with the Common Core standards.

Below is a short Q&A on the intersection of afterschool programs and the Common Core standards.

 How can afterschool learning contribute to student achievement under the Common Core standards?

  • Across the country, afterschool programs are helping students develop the critical thinking, problem-solving and communications skills that the Common Core emphasizes.
  • Afterschool programs create engaging, fun, thoughtful and relevant learning experiences for children, allowing them the opportunity to produce and create, delve deeper into projects, collaborate with their peers, and focus on the learning that takes place throughout projects, rather than solely on the end result.
  • Working in partnership with schools and teachers, afterschool programs hold infinite potential to prepare children for college and the workforce, and have the competencies necessary to be successful, productive and engaged citizens.
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learn more about: Education Reform Issue Briefs Media Outreach MetLife Innovator Awards State Policy
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JAN
23

RESEARCH
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MetLife Foundation issue brief: Afterschool and the Common Core

By Nikki Yamashiro

At the Afterschool Alliance, we are thrilled to start off the new year with the release of the first in a series of issue briefs that explore the many ways afterschool programs are playing an integral role supporting the academic, social and emotional growth of middle schoolers across the country.  In partnership with MetLife Foundation, this year’s series of issue briefs will focus on the Common Core State Standards, students with disabilities and other special needs, the use of data to improve afterschool programs, and keeping kids safe and supported in the hours after school.  This issue brief, “Afterschool and the Common Core State Standards,” discusses the need to better prepare students for future success in college and work; the basics of the Common Core; and the variety of ways afterschool programs are working with students, teachers and schools to support learning under the Common Core.

The latest Program of International Student Assessment (PISA) scores released in December 2013 found that the U.S. ranked 26 in math, 21 in science and 17 in reading out of the 34 OECD countries.  The scores also showed that a higher percentage of U.S. students were performing at the lower levels of PISA’s proficiency scale in math than the OECD average.  However, what stood out among OECD’s findings was that U.S. students had shown no significant change in their reading scores since 2000, no significant change in math since 2000 and no significant change in science since 2006. 

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learn more about: Evaluations Issue Briefs MetLife Innovator Awards School Improvement Science State Policy Academic Enrichment Youth Development Literacy
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NOV
14

LIGHTS ON
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One more day to vote for your favorite photo

By Sarah Simpson

Time’s running out to help an afterschool program win up to $2,000 or other prizes!

Help to shine a light on your favorite afterschool program by voting in the Bright House Networks Lights On Afterschool photo contest on Facebook.  Up to three afterschool programs are eligible to win $1000 in cash, and one program in a Bright House Networks service area can win up to $2000.

Vote for as many photos as you want each day—but only one vote per day per photo! So be sure to come back and vote again so your favorite can stay in the lead! Voting will end this Friday, Nov. 15 at 11:59 PST.

For more information check out the Lights On Afterschool contest page or see the official rules for details.

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learn more about: Competition Funding Opportunity Inside the Afterschool Alliance
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OCT
25

FUNDING
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Calling all creative coders and tech savvy young women!

By Sarah Simpson

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. National winners receive:

  • $500 cash award
  • A laptop computer
  • Trip for two to the National award ceremony in Charlotte, NC, March 15, 2014
Open to all US high school level girls.  Apply online at www.aspirations.org by 10/31/13.

We also plan to recognize as many as 60 educators this year with the NCWIT Educator Award, which comes with $1000 for professional development and a Dell laptop from sponsor AT&T. Winners are selected from educators that encourage girls to apply for the Aspirations Award. https://www.aspirations.org/participate/educators 

Direct questions to Aspirations@ncwit.org
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learn more about: Competition Digital Learning Funding Opportunity Science
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OCT
22

STEM
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Use their creativity and energy to benefit humanity

By Sarah Simpson

The Spirit of Innovation Challenge is an excellent way to help your students channel their creative thinking and demonstrate their knowledge. The annual program is a multi-phase, business and technical plan competition, free and open to students ages 13-18 from around the world. The program invites teens to work in teams of 2-5 students and use science, technology, engineering and math skills along with creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship to develop innovative products and services to benefit humanity and address global sustainability.

The first round submission can be completed in less than five hours from start to finish. The deadline for the 2013-2014 one-page abstract qualification round is this Thurs., Oct. 24. 

Not sure you have all the tools needed for your team to be successful? The Spirit of Innovation Challenge provides free access to mentors, webinars and forums to answer all your questions. Join today! www.ConradAwards.org

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learn more about: Competition Robotics Science Academic Enrichment Youth Development
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OCT
15

STEM
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Project GUTS wins Afterschool STEM Impact Award for computing/engineering programs!

By Melissa Ballard

Project GUTS students work with StarLogo TNG, a graphical programming language for modeling and simulation.

Last week, we announced the first winner of the Afterschool STEM Impact Awards and now we are thrilled toannounce the second—Project GUTS at the Santa Fe Institute!

This past spring, we invited applications for the Afterschool STEM Impact Awards to identify programs that had significant impact on their students. As national buzz around K-12 computing education increases, we also wanted to showcase how afterschool can help support and grow those initiatives.

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learn more about: Competition Media Outreach Community Partners
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OCT
8

STEM
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Science Club in Chicago wins 2013 Afterschool STEM Impact Award!

By Sarah Simpson

Read more about Science Club in our STEM Storybook Program Profile>>

The Afterschool Alliance and Noyce Foundation are delighted to announce that Science Club, a partnership between Northwestern University and Boys & Girls Club of Chicago, has won the 2013 Afterschool STEM Impact Award in the partnerships category!

As many of you know, we conducted an awards competition this summer to identify afterschool STEM programs that had significant impact on their students and highlight the power of afterschool programs as key partners in STEM education.  We had two themes that programs could apply under: (1) Partnerships with a STEM-rich institution and (2) Computing and/or engineering focus.  We received hundreds of applications and it was tough to choose just one winner in each category from among so many excellent programs!

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learn more about: Competition Science Community Partners
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