Making learning relevant, incorporating workforce development into programming, emphasizing healthful eating and physical activity, providing a safe and supportive environment, and engaging parents are just a few of the key components of effective out-of-school-time programs highlighted in a new report by the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.
“Building Bridges: Connecting Out-of-School Time to Classroom Success Among School-Age Black Males in the District of Columbia” takes a look at policies and practices afterschool programs can adopt to best support the success of young black males in D.C. The report demonstrates the need for targeted support for young black males in D.C., beginning with an overview of the data on black men and boys in the District of Columbia. This includes data on graduation and dropout rates, grade school retentions, disability diagnosis, suspensions, household structure, employment, and household income. For example, the report found that in Washington, D.C., the dropout rate for black males is 14 percent, compared to less than 2 percent for white males. Another sobering statistic is the wealth gap that has grown in D.C. In 1990, just less than 3 in 10 black children in D.C. were being raised in families living in poverty and approximately 7 in 10 white children were being raised in families in “comfortable homes”—or in families with an income more than five times the rate of poverty. In 2011, approximately 4 in 10 black children in D.C. were living in poverty, compared to 9 in 10 white children who were living in a comfortable home.
Hundreds of you took action for the Afterschool for All Challenge; Congress heard you loud and clear
Last week, hundreds of afterschool advocates took action to urge their Members of Congress to support the Afterschool for America’s Children Act. While afterschool leaders from across the country spent the day on Capitol Hill to hold 200 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff, almost 700 more amplified their voices by calling and emailing from home.
You spoke, they listened. Here’s what your actions were able to do:
- 7 new co–sponsors of the Afterschool for America’s Children Act in the House: Reps. Beatty (D-Ohio), Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Sewell (D-Ala.), Velazquez (D-N.Y.), Higgins (D-N.Y.) and Lowey (D-N.Y.). That more than quadruples the number of co-sponsors from before the Afterschool for All Challenge!
- At least 1 new co–sponsor of the Afterschool for America’s Act in the Senate—we’ll keep you posted on who they are once the Senate is back in session next week!
- At least 3 new members of the Congressional Afterschool Caucus.
Thanks again for taking the Afterschool for All Challenge and advocating for the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families. We couldn’t have done it without you!
In New Britain, Conn., New Britain YWCA STRIVE is the only program in the area that provides academic enrichment, health and wellness programming, and positive youth development during the after school hours to middle school girls identified as at-risk. A program alumnus from YWCA STRIVE shares:
“Growing up in New Britain can be tough [sic.] there are many factors that can distract a young person and guide them through the wrong path. The transition from elementary school to middle school and middle school to high school can be rough on pre-teens and teens…The pressure to fit in for young people is very strong, especially for girls. During my middle school career, I found comfort in a wonderful program offered at the YWCA STRIVE…This program helped me blossom… STRIVE became my safe zone… STRIVE was more than a program. It was a sisterhood.”
By Musa Farmand
Quality afterschool programs that are based in or adjacent to affordable housing communities can guarantee access to a safe and stimulating learning environment for the children of working families who are most in need of such services. Through the Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) in Cleveland, Ohio, and its community partners are providing resident K-8 students with opportunities to achieve their educational goals and engage in positive interactions with the larger community. Below, we showcase CMHA’s 21st CCLC program, explore the unique benefits of housing-based afterschool programs, and highlight other afterschool partnerships that CMHA maintains in order to provide access to quality, affordable afterschool for all of the families they serve.
Following up on my colleague’s fantastic post on available resources on girls in STEM to celebrate Women’s History Month, I want to highlight a recent report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, “The State of Girls: Unfinished Business.”
The primary takeaway from this in-depth report that covers several key issues affecting girls’ healthy development is that there is progress to be proud of regarding girls’ educational attainment, reduction of risky behaviors, extracurricular activities and connection to technology. For example, the report found that there are 130 women enrolled in college for every 100 men, girls make up less than one-third of juvenile arrests and more than half of high school girls play on at least one sports team. However, as the report’s title implies, there’s still much more to be done.
By Jen Rinehart
|Photo Credit: Youth Today—Read their coverage of the announcement.|
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to talk with a room full of mayors, city council members and education/policy advisors about the role of federal policy in local afterschool efforts. With a crowd like that, I certainly felt like I was standing on the wrong side of the podium!
It was a dynamic discussion about how federal policies related to 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants, Child Care Development funds and newly proposed initiatives—like Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity—may impact local afterschool initiatives.
Many of the city leaders in the room were first drawn to afterschool because they recognized it as a strategy to keep their communities safe. After learning more about afterschool, they readily saw how keeping youth safe also supports working families, which is linked to worker productivity and therefore economic development. This necessitates a skilled workforce of the future, which brings you right back to education and safety again. In short, they were quickly sold on the importance of afterschool.
I’d like to take credit for the participants’ excitement about afterschool, but in truth it was most likely the result of an announcement made earlier that morning. Saint Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Chris Coleman, president of the National League of Cities, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan laid out a plan detailing how they would work together to boost partnerships among federal and local governments, schools, families, faith-based organizations, businesses, nonprofits and universities to advance learning, enhance student engagement and improve schools in cities across the country.
On March 3, just one day before the president released his FY2015 budget proposal, the House Budget Committee issued a report on federal spending related to federal antipoverty efforts entitled The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later. Among the 92 federal programs reviewed in the report is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative.
The Budget Committee report seeks to examine the effectiveness of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson’s "War on Poverty" that was launched 50 years ago. According to the report, there are at least 92 federal programs designed to help lower-income Americans, including education and job-training programs, food-aid programs and housing programs.
The report does include a brief entry on the 21st CCLC initiative, the only coordinated federal effort that supports afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs delivered by local schools and community-based organizations. 21st CCLC programs provide students attending high-poverty schools with academic enrichment activities; a broad array of additional services designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program such as hands-on experiments to excite children about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), access to physical activity, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, art, music, opportunities to be creative, and technology education programs; as well as literacy and related educational development services to the families of children who are served in the program. In addition, afterschool programs provide an infrastructure to bring in other resources to our children including access to mentors, tutors, and nutritious snacks and meals.
Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to the huge library of research and reports we publish on our website. To help you out, we’ve compiled a reading list of the top 10 most-downloaded documents from our website in 2013.
Even if you’ve read them all before, now is a great time to brush up on these popular afterschool topics for 2014:
- Afterschool Outcomes 1-pager
- Afterschool Benefits Kids with Special Needs (2008)
- Afterschool: A Key to Successful Parent Engagement (2012)
- Afterschool: A Strategy for Addressing and Preventing Middle School Bullying (2011)
- Aligning Afterschool with the Regular School Day: The Perfect Complement (2011)
- English Language Learners: Becoming Fluent in Afterschool (2011)
- Quality Afterschool: Helping Programs Achieve it and Policies Support it (2011)
- The Importance of Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in Africa-American and Latino Communities (2013)
- Afterschool: Providing Multiple Benefits to Middle School Students (2010)
- Arts Enrichment in Afterschool (2012)