RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Subscribe to the Afterschool Advocate newsletter
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.
Afterschool Donation
Afterschool on Facebook
Afterschool on Twitter
Blogs We Read Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Recent Afterschool Snacks
SEP
15

POLICY
email
print

Sen. Kaine introduces Middle STEP Act to boost middle school career exploration

By Sophie Papavizas

Last week, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced the Middle School Technical Education Program or Middle STEP Act (S. 2788).  The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Boxer, Casey and Warner and is intended to increase the exposure of middle school students to careers outside of traditional pathways through career and technical education.  When introducing the bill, Sen. Kaine said:

“Career and technical education, CTE, are a proven way to help students explore their own strengths and preferences, as well as how they match up with potential future careers. However, limited funding for middle school CTE programming often means students have to wait until high school for this exposure.

Studies have found that middle school students greatly benefit from career and technical education development programs that promote career exploration skills, as well as increase knowledge of career options and career pathways. Middle school is an important time for students to explore their own strengths, likes, and dislikes, and career and technical education exploration programs are great tools to educate them about the type of course or training that goes into a career field that matches their interests.”

share this link: http://bit.ly/1qXpWcG
learn more about: Congress Education Reform Federal Policy Issue Briefs Legislation School Improvement Youth Development
Comments: (0)
SEP
15

IN THE FIELD
email
print

September is Attendance Awareness Month

By Sophie Papavizas

In the United States, 7.5 million students miss 10 percent of the school year.  That’s 135 million days total.  More than 40 organizations, including the Afterschool Alliance, are working in partnership to raise awareness about the connection between attendance and academic achievement by celebrating Attendance Awareness Month.  Schools and organizations across the country are putting on events this month.  A map of events, a toolkit for putting on your own event and suggestions for media outreach can be found on the Attendance Awareness Month website.

Afterschool has been shown to have a significant impact on student’s school day attendance rates:

share this link: http://bit.ly/1qXnV03
learn more about: Events and Briefings School Improvement Academic Enrichment
Comments: (0)
SEP
15

STEM
email
print

New online platform to connect scientists and engineers directly to students

By Taylor Moore

Iridescent has recently released an online platform of STEM curriculum to help scientists and engineers to better connect with students and enable them to create together.  The premise of the platform revolves around three key concepts: curiosity, courage and persistence toward a solution.  Curiosity Machine provides students with access to content and mentoring that is critical in developing 21st century critical thinking skills.  Schools can use Curiosity Machine to allow students to view videos, read instructions on experiments, upload their own videos, answer questions, receive feedback from mentors, and earn badges along the way!  Additionally, the program has one-on-one mentoring support, engineering design challenges based on actual and innovation science and engineering work, and even includes professional development sessions for teachers and staff.  Curiosity Machine creates a community for families, students and mentors to learn together and work toward inspiring children to become inventors, creators, builders and engineers.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1qXpnzv
learn more about: Science Youth Development
Comments: (0)
SEP
10

FUNDING
email
print

KaBOOM! announces new round of grants for playground equipment

By Alexis Steines

Does your community need a playground? This week, KaBOOM! and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative announced a new grant opportunity for communities to build playgrounds in their neighborhoods. Winners of the Let’s Play Community Construction Grant will receive $15,000 for playground equipment.

Municipalities and child-serving nonprofit organizations without a playground or with existing equipment that is unsafe for children are eligible to apply. Applications are due Oct. 9.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1qFwEW1
learn more about: Funding Opportunity Health and Wellness
Comments: (0)
SEP
10

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup - September 10, 2014

By Luci Manning

Commentary: The Importance of Afterschool Programming (The Palm Beach Post, Florida)
Mayors Karl Dean and Betsy Price are asking their fellow mayors, city council members and other community leaders to take action to make afterschool programs a priority. In The Palm Beach Post, Dean and Price write, “Participating in high-quality afterschool programs has been shown to promote positive behaviors such as school attendance, and may help boost academic achievement, civic engagement and self-confidence, while reducing such dangers as obesity and juvenile crime…we need more cities to get on board. We urge city leaders to bring together key stakeholders to talk about—and take action on—local afterschool needs.  Mayors and city council members can lead key players to work together effectively.  And we need cities, businesses and private funders to invest more in afterschool.  Such an effort will change young lives, help families and strengthen neighborhoods.”  Mayors Dean and Price are on the Afterschool Alliance Board of Directors and received funding from The Wallace Foundation to expand afterschool opportunities in Nashville, Tenn., and Ft. Worth, Texas.

Theresa Horton Aces Courtrooms and Kitchens (Greenville Online, South Carolina)
An afterschool program from Resurrection Power Ministries in Travelers Rest is teaching children, ages 6 to 10, how to be self-sufficient in the kitchen.  In the program’s first year, students learned how to boil an egg, chop vegetables, and ultimately made a Nicoise salad at the end of term for their parents.  Instructor Theresa Horton tells Greenville Online that she’s teaching the young kids about nutrition and cooking, one skill at a time.  She said the afterschool program shows students “order and caring and discipline and that work is part of life.”

Flamingos in Payette (Independent Enterprise, Oregon)
Payette Primary School’s teachers have people flocking to donate to their cause. Educators are helping raise money to support the Payette Primary School 21st Century Community Leaning Center kindergarten program and fix the school playground by temporarily migrating a flock of flamingos to yards across Ontario. These quirky birds will roost in anyone’s yard for a day or two if a friend pays the school to place the birds there, the Independent Enterprise reports.

TPS Seeking to Expand Community Hubs (The Blade, Ohio)
Despite funding cuts, Toledo Public Schools and United Way of Greater Toledo are trying to continue expanding the successful “community hubs” they created three years ago.  The community hubs coordinate afterschool programs, medical and dental health programs, and social services to address the whole scope of problems that can inhibit a child’s ability to learn.  Last week leaders at United Way held a strategic planning session to develop a sustainable way to spread community hubs throughout Toledo.  George Chapman, former chief executive of Health Care REIT Inc., has been pitching donations for the concept, saying this money would make a real difference and told The Blade, “Equal opportunity is what this country is about.”

share this link: http://bit.ly/1CTdrFm
learn more about: Afterschool Champions Afterschool Voices Nutrition State Policy Sustainability
Comments: (0)
SEP
8

STEM
email
print

NASA awards 12 grants to expand informal STEM education

By Taylor Moore

NASA has just awarded $6 million in funding to support STEM opportunities in informal education settings.  Twelve education grants were awarded to informal science institutions like museums, science centers, planetariums and NASA visitor centers to support STEM curricula in afterschool and out-of-school-time projects.

The grants were awarded through NASA’s Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMP+).  When selecting the projects, NASA looked for STEM projects to infuse cutting-edge NASA research and development activities into curriculum development and implementation, teacher preparation and professional development, effective teaching, out-of-school activities, and educational technology.

One winner, the Boston Children’s Museum, is going to work on programs and curriculum focused on out-of-school time (OST) and afterschool.  This project received $241,584 and will be focusing on a project called “Our Sky.”  With resources provided by a partnership with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, “Our Sky” provides children ages 3-10 and their caregivers an educational experience to inspire an appreciation and understanding of earth and space science.

share this link: http://bit.ly/ZeRYHB
learn more about: Federal Funding Funding Opportunity NASA Science Sustainability
Comments: (0)
SEP
4

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Star pitcher of the Little League World Series got her start in afterschool

By Sophie Papavizas

Mo’ne Davis, the first female Little Leaguer to pitch a winning game at the Little League World Series and also the first Little Leaguer ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, was introduced to baseball in an afterschool program, ABC News reports:

“Davis's love of sport blossomed early. Steve Bandura of the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation noticed Davis six years ago holding her own at football against the boys. Bandura introduced Davis to the Marian Anderson Recreation Center's after-school program that includes time spent on homework and sports. From there, Davis and the program were inseparable.”

The Marian Anderson Recreation Center in South Philadelphia is home to the Anderson Monarchs, which fields baseball, basketball and soccer teams. Research shows that programs that utilize the afterschool space as a site for enjoying physical activity and learning about healthful lifestyles can improve student health outcomes.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1CuIIhP
learn more about: Health and Wellness Media Outreach Youth Development
Comments: (0)
SEP
3

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup -- September 3, 2014

By Luci Manning

AT&T Gives $1 Million to Girls Who Code (The Daily Beast, National)

Late last month, AT&T donated $1 million to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspire, educate, and equip girls with computing skills. Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani told the Daily Beast, “These are girls who are facing bullying or obesity, or depression, and they’re building apps to conquer that social ill that they’re seeing in society. That’s powerful to see.” In the program, girls learn the basics of computer science, including learning the programming languages of Python and JavaScript, robot programming, JavaScript library jQuery, and have even dabbled with HTML and CSS. “I definitely want to go into computer science now,” 16 year-old student Trinity Lawrence told the Daily Beast. She continued, “After this, I’m going to try to get into iOS programming and learn how to make apps mostly for Apple and Android. But not to make money or to create the next Flappybird; I just want to lean more.”

Back to School With Lots More After (Downtown Express, New York)

Starting in September, 78,000 middle schoolers will have access to afterschool activities in 562 schools across the city, from 3  to 6 p.m., five days a week, thanks to the mayor’s $145 million afterschool expansion. “This year, what this mayor is doing – nobody has done this before, anywhere, ever,” Manhattan Youth afterschool program director Theseus Roche told the Downtown Express. Manhattan Youth is receiving six new contracts for additional afterschool programs for middle school students thanks to the influx of funding. Manhattan Youth’s afterschool programs include literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), physical activity and leadership development tracks for students.

The Detroit Bus Company integrates With Detroit Public Schools to Help Bus Kids to After-School Programs (Metro Times, Michigan)

The Detroit Bus Company, a business started by buying old school buses from Ferndale Public Schools, is getting ready to launch a new venture—transporting kids in Southwest Detroit to afterschool programs. Detroit Bus Company founder Andy Didorosi told the Metro Times, “We're acting as both a ride home and a new opportunity for kids to get to these after-school programs and then get home safely. Before, you basically had to choose between your after-school program or your ride home.”  This is first year that the program is integrated with Detroit Public Schools.

Students Prep for School Year at Easton’s Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center (Easton Star Democrat, Maryland)

Last week some 100 afterschool students “shopped” for school supplies at the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center’s Back to School Night.  Students honed both financial literacy and reading skills by choosing and purchasing their own school supplies. In addition to shopping for school supplies, representatives from the local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Talbot Community Center’s ice skating programs, the YMCA and Chesapeake College’s English as a Second Language classes gave parents additional information. “By the end of the evening, students had new friends in the wings, new hobbies to try, opportunities to test aptitude and skill, along with plenty of stuff to take to the first day of school,” the Easton Star Democrat reports. 

share this link: http://bit.ly/1vPzta8
learn more about:
Comments: (0)