Youth voice: The power of STEM learning opportunities

By Archika Dogra. Archika, 16, is a high school junior at the Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington who co-founded the EduSTEM Initiative, along with Evelyn Chen and Maya Srikanth, two juniors at Newport High School. Archika is also president of her school’s Technology Student...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/12/18

Renewed commitments to computer science at CSforAll Summit

On October 8, computer science (CS) educators and advocates descended on Detroit, Michigan for the 2018 CSforALL Summit. As part of this year’s summit, a special one-day working session, entitled Mo’ Time for CS Education, was held to bring practitioners, advocates, researchers, and...

BY: Chris Neitzey      10/29/18

It’s not too late to sign up: Afterschool Lab Report October recap!

The next issue of the Afterschool Lab Report is coming this October. Brought to you each quarter by the Afterschool STEM Hub, a project of the Afterschool Alliance, the newsletter provides the latest STEM education policy updates, new resources, upcoming opportunities for advocacy, and new research...

BY: Leah Silverberg      10/23/18

Ignite STEM learning for Lights On Afterschool

Afterschool programs are a natural space to provide engaging, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences. Because so many afterschool programs make STEM learning a priority – and so many programs want to offer STEM learning in the future –...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      09/27/18

New California “Kids Code” program to expand computer coding in afterschool

The Kids Code Pilot Program, which passed the California Legislature earlier this year and was championed by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, will provide $15 million in funding over three years to expand access to coding in afterschool programs across the state. The pilot program will allow existing...

BY: Chris Neitzey      09/21/18

Got a green thumb? Get a grant!

If your program features a youth garden, Green Education Foundation and Gardener's Supply Company want to help it thrive! To enter the Green Thumb Challenge, schools and youth groups (including afterschool programs) are encouraged to to submit chronicles of their garden projects...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      09/04/18

NSF awards funding for convening of afterschool STEM field

Over the last decade, the out-of-school time science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) field has expanded rapidly. We have seen substantial growth in not only the numbers of STEM programs, but in the diversity of programming offered. While the availability of a multitude of learning...

BY: Faith Savaiano      08/27/18

Start a Girls Who Code Club this fall!

Girls Who Code wants to work with you to provide your students with high-quality computer science resources! A national nonprofit organization, Girls Who Code is working to close the gender gap in computer science professions. The Girls Who Code afterschool curriculum is FREE to participating...

BY: Leah Silverberg      08/06/18

Guest blog: Bringing real-world experts and resources into your afterschool program

By Katie Lisowski, manager of Digital Education Partnerships at Discovery Communications.  Afterschool programs provide such unique opportunities to reach and inspire students. There’s freedom for students to try new things and explore the unknown without the pressures often felt...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/26/18

It’s not too late to sign up: Afterschool Lab Report recap!

The next issue of the Afterschool Lab Report is coming this July. Brought to you each quarter by the Afterschool STEM Hub, a project of the Afterschool Alliance, the newsletter provides the latest STEM education policy updates, new resources, upcoming opportunities for advocacy, and new research in...

BY: Leah Silverberg      07/24/18

Midterm election 2018: First look at what the results mean for afterschool

With the dust still settling from the 2018 midterm elections, and several House and Senate races remain too close to call, there are a few conclusions to be made amidst the remaining uncertainty. At the beginning of Tuesday, all 435 House seats were up for grabs along with 35 of the 100 Senate...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/07/18

Afterschool goes to college

After celebrating an updated law in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in July, it’s natural to ask “What’s next?” in the education landscape for Congress. One thing on the agenda is the Higher Education Act, or HEA, which governs federal investments in making quality...

BY: Jillian Luchner      10/09/18

Why invest public funds in afterschool?

A new infographic released by RAND draws our attention to the key benefits of public funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Based on their 2017 research report The Value of Out-of-School Programs, which we covered here last year, the infographic reflects the evident need for...

BY: Rina Moss      10/05/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Career education and afterschool partner up

On September 18, the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus in coordination with the Afterschool Alliance hosted a briefing: CTE and Afterschool – Youth Career Pathways Succeed with Partners. The briefing featured a moderator and four panelists from across the United States...

BY: Jillian Luchner      10/01/18

Opioid epidemic response legislation heads to House, Senate for final votes

Update Oct. 9: Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the final compromise opioid legislation (HR 6) in late September and early October – sending the bill to the president’s desk for signature this month. This summer both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/28/18

Final education spending bill increases afterschool funding

UPDATE: Sept. 28: Today the president signed the FY2019 Defense-LHHS-CR spending bill into law. See our statement here for more information. UPDATE: Sept. 19: Yesterday by a vote of 93-7 the Senate approved the conference report for HR 6157, the FY 19 minibus carrying the Defense and...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/14/18

The countdown to the end of the fiscal year is on

The current federal fiscal year (FY2018) ends on September 30, leaving just more than two weeks for Congress to pass spending bills for FY2019. In advance of that deadline, friends of afterschool programs have already sent or made more than 35,400 emails and calls to Congress making the case for...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/12/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

Several newly introduced bills would support afterschool, summer learning

While August is usually a slow month in the nation’s capital and Congress is usually in recess, this year there has been a great deal of activity during the doldrums of summer. In late July Congress passed and the president signed into law a reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/16/18

Public charge: What is it and what does it mean for afterschool?

One in four children in America lives in a household with at least one immigrant parent. Recently-proposed changes to the process of gaining citizenship could have major repercussions for communities and programs engaging with these families. Most importantly, these proposed changes could directly...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/30/18

Afterschool goes to college

After celebrating an updated law in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in July, it’s natural to ask “What’s next?” in the education landscape for Congress. One thing on the agenda is the Higher Education Act, or HEA, which governs federal investments in making quality...

BY: Jillian Luchner      10/09/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Opioid epidemic response legislation heads to House, Senate for final votes

Update Oct. 9: Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the final compromise opioid legislation (HR 6) in late September and early October – sending the bill to the president’s desk for signature this month. This summer both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/28/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

Several newly introduced bills would support afterschool, summer learning

While August is usually a slow month in the nation’s capital and Congress is usually in recess, this year there has been a great deal of activity during the doldrums of summer. In late July Congress passed and the president signed into law a reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/16/18

Career and Technical Education (CTE) bill passes into law with new opportunities for out-of-school time

On July 31, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” passed into law, reauthorizing the major federal legislation, colloquially known as “Perkins CTE,” which supports students’ educational pathways toward high-skill, high-wage, and...

BY: Jillian Luchner      08/02/18

How (and why) afterschool programs can ensure a more accurate census

In June, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released their 2018, Kids Count Data Book, State Trends in Child Well-Being. This year’s report in addition to identifying trends in spheres of economics, health, education, family, and community between 2010 and 2016 (find your state’s ranking...

BY: Jillian Luchner      07/19/18

House appropriators maintain federal afterschool funding levels

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2019 education and health funding bill on Wednesday, July 11, after a 13-hour session. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/13/18

Exciting bill aims to facilitate college student work-study participation in afterschool programs

I volunteer each Tuesday at a program called For Love of Children (FLOC) in Washington, D.C. along with volunteers of all ages, including a good-sized contingent of undergraduate student tutors from a work-study program at George Washington University. The college students are an enormously...

BY: Jillian Luchner      07/03/18

Afterschool suppers and afterschool programs key to student success

By Clarissa Hayes, child nutrition policy analyst at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Research shows that afterschool programs provide measurable benefits to students academically, socially, and behaviorally, and serve as an important resource for families and communities. In addition...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/12/18

Opioid epidemic response legislation heads to House, Senate for final votes

Update Oct. 9: Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the final compromise opioid legislation (HR 6) in late September and early October – sending the bill to the president’s desk for signature this month. This summer both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/28/18

Champion wellness with fitness professionals: 3 tips to get started

Photo courtesy of The American Council on Exercise and Alliance for a Healthier Generation By Daniel W. Hatcher, Director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This post was originally published by BOOST Collaborative on the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog on...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/20/18

NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards streamlined in version 2.0

By Heidi Ham, Vice President, Programs and Strategy at National AfterSchool Association. Studies show that healthy, active children learn better, perform better academically and experience fewer behavioral problems. Afterschool and summer learning programs are well-positioned to be key partners...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/14/18

New issue brief: A big-picture approach to wellness

From empowering students to take charge of their health to training staff to model healthy behaviors, afterschool and summer learning programs across the country are offering safe and supportive environments that promote young people’s healthy eating and physical activity, as well as build...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/07/18

Fresh SEL and health & wellness resources live on our website

We’re excited to unveil the latest additions in our refreshed resources for field: our brand new Health & Wellness Initiatives and Social Emotional Learning pages. These pages are currently outfitted with tools, research, and information for program providers and researchers to...

BY: Faith Savaiano      08/17/18

Guest blog: 2018 state report cards on active kids and communities

By Margaux Mennesson, marketing and communications manager at Safe Routes to School National Partnership. A new report out from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the Y, Making Strides: 2018 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities,...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/17/18

Summer meals are vital for children, but meal participation continues to decrease

Far too many children lose access to nutritious school meals when the school year ends, according to Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report, released June 13 by the Food Research & Action Center. The report finds that only 3 million children received a...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/22/18

Weekly Media Roundup: June 20, 2018

Campers build confidence at Bricks 4 Kidz (The Bakersfield Californian, California) At a day camp in Bakersfield, children spend their days building all kinds of structures with LEGO® bricks, learning STEM concepts along the way. With a different theme to inspire them each week, campers at...

BY: Emily Hecker      06/20/18

Weekly Media Roundup: June 6, 2018

Gwinnett Mom’s Programming Venture Gives Kids A Code for Fun (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia) After noticing the lack of STEM-related education programs in her children’s school, Nidhi Jain, a skilled programmer, decided to take matters into her own hands. Using a free...

BY: Emily Hecker      06/06/18

Weekly Media Roundup: November 7, 2018

Young Audiences Arts After School Program Brings Arts Integration to Bonner Elementary School, Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas) In Tyler, Texas, more than 50 elementary students benefit from a new afterschool program that exposes children to arts instruction they may not get during school hours....

BY: Magen Eissenstat      11/07/18

Weekly Media Roundup: October 31, 2018

Atlanta Teens Survey Teens for Lights On Afterschool Event, Youth Today To celebrate Lights On Afterschool, teens in Atlanta’s VOX Teen Communications afterschool program showcased their leadership skills by presenting the results of their survey of teens in their community. The survey...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      10/31/18

Weekly Media Roundup: October 24, 2018

YouthPlaces Empowers Pittsburgh’s Underserved Teens with Entrepreneurial Spirit, NEXT Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) In Pennsylvania, YouthPlaces is celebrating its 21st year of offering free afterschool programs  focused on mentorship, digital literacy, college preparation, and career...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      10/24/18

Weekly Media Roundup: October 17, 2018

‘Bridge the Gap’ touts success in southern Marin schools, Marin Independent Journal (California) For 23 years, Bridge the Gap has built pathways to college for students through group classes and one-on-one relationships. The free afterschool program in Marin City, California provides...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      10/17/18

Weekly Media Roundup: October 10, 2018

West Community Center Focuses on Creativity at Afterschool Program, Trib Live (Pennsylvania) In the maker space studio at the Lauri Ann West Community Center in O’Hara, Pennsylvania, kindergarten through fifth grade students explore animation, sewing, crocheting, cardboard art and more. By...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      10/10/18

Weekly Media Roundup: October 3, 2018

Former NBA Player Brings Tech Lessons to Chicago Area Kids, Cook County Chronicle (Illinois) In Chicago, a former NBA player is giving back to the neighborhood he grew up in through afterschool programs focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Steven Hunter is...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      10/03/18

Weekly Media Roundup: September 26, 2018

Youth Find Release in After School Program, WBNS-10TV (Ohio) In central Ohio, Directions for Youth and Families aims to address childhood trauma by building a safe community for youth. Its free afterschool program offers homework help as well as physical activities including basketball and...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      09/26/18

Weekly Media Roundup: September 19, 2018

Cancer Center to Offer After-School Program for Kids, The Island Now (New York) A new afterschool program in Greenvale, New York aims to support children who have a parent or sibling with cancer by providing them a safe place to learn life skills and meet peers who are having similar...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      09/19/18

Weekly Media Roundup: September 12, 2018

Drone Camp Lands at The Landing, Central Oregonian (Oregon) In Prineville, Oregon, a free afterschool program is building community partnerships to expose middle and high school students to unique learning opportunities and career paths. During the 2017-18 school year, The Landing reached 150...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      09/12/18

Weekly Media Roundup: September 5, 2018

Test Kitchen Growth Comes from Programming, Pen City Current (Iowa) When Kumar Wickramasingha founded the Elliot Test Kitchen in 2015, his goal was to reach 25 - 30 students a year with academic support and exposure to the culinary arts. Since then, the free afterschool program has grown to more...

BY: Magen Eissenstat      09/05/18

Youth voice: The power of STEM learning opportunities

By Archika Dogra. Archika, 16, is a high school junior at the Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington who co-founded the EduSTEM Initiative, along with Evelyn Chen and Maya Srikanth, two juniors at Newport High School. Archika is also president of her school’s Technology Student...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/12/18

New polling shows America is for afterschool

Just in time for Lights On Afterschool, the only national rally celebrating afterschool, a new national poll is out that shows strong public support for afterschool. Nearly 9 in 10 adults (89 percent) agree that afterschool programs are important to their community, with bipartisan and nationwide...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      10/22/18

Why invest public funds in afterschool?

A new infographic released by RAND draws our attention to the key benefits of public funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Based on their 2017 research report The Value of Out-of-School Programs, which we covered here last year, the infographic reflects the evident need for...

BY: Rina Moss      10/05/18

Guest blog: You are never too young to have a voice

By Kyra-Lee Harry, 4-H Collegiate Leader/National 4-H Youth Action Citizenship Pillar Winner. Growing up, I was always that student who volunteered to present, answer questions, or do something that involved interacting with my peers and using my voice. Even at a young age, I knew that I had a...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/24/18

Guest blog: Afterschool makes "cents" for Georgia

By Jessica Woltjen, policy & outreach manager at the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network.  When the clock strikes 3 p.m., thousands of Georgia’s youth head off to explore their interests, develop new skills, and build upon school day learning at afterschool and youth development...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/18/18

Guest blog: Branding tips your afterschool program needs to achieve success this school year

By Susan Le, Senior Marketing Manager at Peachjar, who strives to help after school programs elevate their marketing strategy so they can reach families more effectively and continue to make a meaningful impact in the lives of children. In addition to developing your program curriculum,...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/17/18

How to amplify youth voice, from 2 youth leaders

The past year has seen a wave of youth and student activists who have made their voices heard on a variety of topics and taken the national stage by storm. It’s clear that many children and youth have important things to say about issues they are passionate about, and youth development...

BY: Faith Savaiano      09/13/18

16 afterschool leaders named White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellows

Sixteen leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning nationwide have been selected as White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellows as part of a partnership between the Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Through deep discussion of...

BY: Jen Rinehart      09/11/18

In Baltimore, kids conquer uneven bars and bar graphs

To be able to guess what the students in the Barclay After School Program are doing for the three hours after the last bell rings, you’d have to keep up with a diverse and ever-rotating schedule of activities, from STEM contests to photography lessons, from arts programming to...

BY: Faith Savaiano      07/20/18

This is summer learning: Encouraging girls to be strong, smart, and bold

The weather is teetering between 90 and 100 degrees, and the sidewalks of D.C.’s iconic Shaw neighborhood are almost completely vacant. It is the heart of summer—when quality summer programs are especially important to keep children engaged. The D.C. affiliate of the national non-profit...

BY: Dayna Hood      07/16/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Final education spending bill increases afterschool funding

UPDATE: Sept. 28: Today the president signed the FY2019 Defense-LHHS-CR spending bill into law. See our statement here for more information. UPDATE: Sept. 19: Yesterday by a vote of 93-7 the Senate approved the conference report for HR 6157, the FY 19 minibus carrying the Defense and...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/14/18

The countdown to the end of the fiscal year is on

The current federal fiscal year (FY2018) ends on September 30, leaving just more than two weeks for Congress to pass spending bills for FY2019. In advance of that deadline, friends of afterschool programs have already sent or made more than 35,400 emails and calls to Congress making the case for...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/12/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

House appropriators maintain federal afterschool funding levels

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2019 education and health funding bill on Wednesday, July 11, after a 13-hour session. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/13/18

Federal afterschool funding update, June 27

June 29, 2018: Yesterday the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed their FY2019 education spending bill, sending it on to the Senate floor with full funding for 21st CCLC afterschool programs. See Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant’s statement here:...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/27/18

Federal afterschool funding protected in FY2019 House education spending bill

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee met to mark up the FY2019 education-funding bill on the morning of June 15. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/18/18

Invest in kids for #ChildrensWeek2018 and beyond

This week we are celebrating Children’s Week, a seven-day call to action coordinated by First Focus, the Children’s Budget Coalition, and others, to bring attention to key issues faced by children in America. The week-long campaign seeks to educate the public, engage policymakers,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/13/18

Sec. DeVos testifies in front of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

  On Tuesday, June 5, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing on the US Department of Education (ED) FY 2019 budget proposal featuring testimony from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/07/18

June appropriations update: Current outlook for federal afterschool funding

 As we enter June, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and full Committees are in the midst of an aggressive FY 2019 schedule with the goal of passing all 12 spending bills by September 30, 2018, the end of the current federal fiscal year. The Labor, Health and Human Services,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/04/18