Earlier this month, Champions® and the National AfterSchool Association released their second annual “Out-of-School Time Survey.” The survey found an overwhelming majority of elementary and middle school superintendents believe in the academic, social and behavioral benefits afterschool programs provide to their students. In addition to viewing afterschool programs as an environment where children can improve their core academic skills—such as reading, math and science—96 percent of superintendents agree that the most important afterschool programs improve study skills and more than 9 in 10 superintendents surveyed agree that the most important afterschool programs increase students’ social interactions and engagement (92 percent). More than 4 in 5 superintendents say that the most important afterschool programs are those that offer activities not present during the traditional school day (82 percent).
A key take away from this survey is that school superintendents understand the true value of afterschool programs and recognize that schools and students benefit from support of afterschool programs. Schools aren’t alone in the charge to ensure that all students receive a quality and well-rounded education. Afterschool programs are able and willing partners to prepare students for success in school, career and life.
For D.C. locals, April brings to mind cherry blossoms and the start of spring weather. For the Afterschool Alliance, April means it’s time to release the new MetLife Foundation and Afterschool Alliance compendium! This week, we are disseminating “Afterschool in Action: Innovative Afterschool Programs Supporting Middle School Youth” at the National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention in Indianapolis, IN. This compendium features four issue briefs that explore the critical role quality afterschool programs play in meeting the needs of middle schoolers, their families and their communities. The issue briefs address arts enrichment in afterschool, the role of afterschool supporting successful parent engagement efforts, afterschool programs promotingmiddle school improvement efforts, and digital media and learning in afterschool.
In keeping with the tradition started last year, we have once again included in-depth profiles of the five Afterschool Innovator Award winners, including a historical overview of the program, main sources of funding and their recommendations for other programs. The award winners—The Wooden Floor in Santa Ana, CA; Latino Arts Strings & Mariachi Juvenil Program in Milwaukee, WI;Kid Power Inc.,—The VeggieTime Project in Washington, D.C.; Parma Learning Center in Parma, ID; and Green Energy Technologies in the City in Lansing, MI—share the inspirational work they are taking on with their middle school students, giving readers an in-depth look at each program’s mission, theory of change, curriculum, and institutional growth and development.
This month we’re putting the spotlight on two of our grant opportunities for afterschool programs: the well-known MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Awards and the new Noyce Foundation Afterschool STEM Impact Awards. Afterschool STEM programs can apply for an Impact Award now until May 15. The Innovator Awards nomination process has been moved to later this year—stay tuned for further details and key dates. These webinars will introduce you to both grant opportunities, complete with tips about the application and selection process.
Afterschool Innovators & Middle School Success
April 25, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Since 2008, the Afterschool Alliance and MetLife Foundation have collaborated to highlight and expand the work of innovative afterschool programs supporting children, families and communities across the nation. Now in the fifth year of the partnership, we have awarded more than $160,000 to programs in a variety of categories, including digital learning, school alignment, service-learning, middle school bullying and college readiness. Join us to learn more about last year’s MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Award winners and hear helpful tips about the selection process. Register now!
Afterschool STEM Impact Award Insights
April 30, 1:00 – 1:30 PM EDT
The Afterschool Alliance recently announced a new national award for afterschool programs offering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – the Afterschool STEM Impact Awards, sponsored by the Noyce Foundation. This year’s award categories are focused on partnership models, and computing and/or engineering. This webinar will be incredibly useful to potential applicants as we will discuss the intentions behind creating the Afterschool STEM Impact awards and what we’ll be looking for in the review process. The Afterschool Alliance team will also address the definitions used for the award categories. Participants will have the opportunity to ask any questions they might have to help craft a winning application! Register now!
Today the members of the 113th Congress were sworn in on Capitol Hill where they face a full agenda from sequestration to appropriations. The new Congress includes some new faces in addition to the return of several long time champions of afterschool programs.
Prior to the election, the House Afterschool Caucus stood at 72 bipartisan members. As a result of election, 12 members will no longer be on the House Caucus. Six retired or resigned while four lost re-election and two won election to the Senate: Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN). Work will begin in the new Congress to recruit additional members to the Caucus. Among those retiring was Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), founder of the House Afterschool Caucus, whose seat was won by his nephew Dan Kildee. Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) continue as co-chairs of the House Afterschool Caucus.
In the Senate Afterschool Caucus, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) remains chairwoman. Prior to the election there were 34 bipartisan members of the Senate Afterschool Caucus. Going into the 113th Congress, six Caucus members have retired. Additionally, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has joined the Afterschool Caucus.
On the House Education and Workforce Committee, as previously mentioned Rep. Kildee retired. In addition to being founder of the House Afterschool Caucus, Mr. Kildee was also ranking member of the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) will replace Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) as chairman of the subcommittee. Other key champions of afterschool that will not be in the 113th Congress include Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Todd Russell Platts (R-PA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Jason Altmire (D-PA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Judy Biggert (R-IL) who also championed STEM education and social and emotional learning. In total, there will be 76 new representatives in the 113th Congress.
While clean up is underway following the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy, the impact on young people served by school-age child care and afterschool programs in the impacted area continues. The following items may be of use to those affected by Sandy, and also represent an opportunity for others to contribute to the recovery.
- ACYF-IM-CC-05-03—This Information Memorandum describes flexibility in spending CCDF funds in response to federal- or state-declared emergency situations.
- CCDF-ACF-IM-2010-01—This Information Memorandum for state CCDF agencies describes FEMA policies related to reimbursement for child care during the emergency sheltering period, including a FEMA fact sheet on this topic. State child care agencies can work with state emergency management officials to include child care as a part of their emergency response.
Most Congressional races have been called and vote counts are winding down: so what do the results mean for youth and children; and for supporters of afterschool and summer learning opportunities? From key Committee leadership to the House and Senate Afterschool Caucus, here is a rundown of potential impact:
Prior to the election, the House Afterschool Caucus stood at 72 bipartisan members. As a result of election, 12 members will no longer be on the House Caucus. Six retired or resigned while four lost re-election, and two won election to the Senate: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN). Work will begin in the new Congress to recruit additional members to the Caucus. Among those retiring was Rep. Kildee (D-MI), founder of the House Afterschool Caucus, whose seat was won by his nephew Dan Kildee.
In the Senate Afterschool Caucus, prior to the election there were 34 bipartisan members. Going into the 113th Congress in January, six Caucus members have retired. Two new senators were members of the House Afterschool Caucus previously: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN).
On the House Education and Workforce Committee, as previously mentioned Rep. Dale Kildee retired. In addition to being founder of the House Afterschool Caucus, Mr. Kildee was also ranking member of the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee. Other key champions of afterschool that will not be in the 113th Congress include Rep. Woolsey (D-CA), Rep. Platts (R-PA), Rep. Kucinich (D-OH), Rep. Altmire (D-PA), Rep. Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Biggert (R-IL) who also championed STEM education and social and emotional learning. In total, there will be 76 new representatives in the 113th House of Representatives.
A record-breaking 9,300 Lights On Afterschool events celebrating afterschool programs and young people were held around the country this month. In addition to recognizing the value and impact of afterschool programs on young people and their communities, Lights On Afterschool continued this year to be an opportunity to reach policy makers. Friends of afterschool, including parents and children, sent and made more than 600 emails and phone calls to Members of Congress last week. They also signed an online petition in support of afterschool, and now more than 10,900 individuals have signed on to urge that funding for afterschool programs should not be denied or diverted. Lights On Afterschool events also registered voters and raised awareness about the role elected officials play in supporting afterschool program opportunities for young people.
“In 2001, I wrote legislation that led to the first major national investment in afterschool programs. Children who regularly attend these programs have better grades and behavior in school; lower incidences of drug use and pregnancy; and are less likely to be either the perpetrators or victims of crime. Lights On Afterschool highlights the importance of high-quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, their families, and their communities.”
Congress remains out of session while Members campaign in advance of Election Day on November 6, however policy activity and advocacy opportunities continue: