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NOV
6
2017

IN THE FIELD
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The Growing Out-of-School Time Field: A new must-read

By Nikki Yamashiro

“The authors in this important new book show us not only how to create [out-of-school time] programs but why it matters to our collective future. Timely, relevant, and readable, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to close gaps in educational opportunities.” – Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

From out-of-school (OST) time as vehicle to promote youth development to professional development within the OST field, The Growing Out-of-School Time Field: Past, Present, and Future offers a thoughtful and extensive look into the progress of a field that has grown and matured over the course of two decades. The above quote by Dr. Noguera, who has received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences and the McSilver Institute at New York University for his work aimed at advancing equity, nicely encapsulates the significance of this book and its value add to the national conversation.

 

NOV
3
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Apply to join a new professional learning community!

By Leah Silverberg

The One Sky Institute is looking for mid-career professionals to engage with and explore new approaches to implementing and evaluating equitable STEM programming. Mentored by an experienced faculty of practitioners and researchers, participants will learn to broaden participation in STEM in their fields and come together as a community of professionals dedicated to increasing equity in the STEM ecosystem.

Scope of community activities:

  • A three-day workshop in Chicago, Ill., March 27 to 29, 2018
  • Six 90-minute virtual meetings throughout the year
  • Participation in the 2019 AERA conference in Toronto, April 5 to 9
  • Design and development of a mini-pilot project at your organization
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learn more about: Professional Development
NOV
2
2017

LIGHTS ON
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Where were we during Lights On Afterschool 2017?

By Charlotte Steinecke

At the Afterschool Alliance, we spend a substantial part of our year focusing on Lights On Afterschool; when it finally happens, we’re running to keep up! We couldn’t wait to head out of the office (and sometimes out of the state) to explore the amazing programs and events that opened their doors to celebrate on October 26.

In our own words, here’s a small selection of where we were, what we saw, and who we met during this year’s Lights On Afterschool.

Andrews Air Force Base loves afterschool

"I had the pleasure of celebrating Lights On Afterschool with Matrice Brooks and the rest of the Youth Program staff on Andrews Air Force Base," said Shaun Gray, production and office manager. "As parents entered to pick up their kids, local youth programs were set up in the main area to offer sign-ups for sporting, art, and reading programs. McGruff the Crime Dog made an appearance but the highlight of the day was Sparky, a remote-controlled dog in a firetruck that sprays water."

Glowing bright in Tuscon, AZ

"We visited KIDCO, an afterschool program from the Tucson Parks and Rec department that serves 800 students during the school year and 1,200 students during the summer," wrote Andrea Szegedy-Maszak, our field outreach coordinator. "Their event was held in the beautiful Reid Park in Tucson, with an hour of lawn games before each KIDCO site performed a dance routine with a "decades" theme. More than 200 people attended the event, which kicked off with a group countdown until everyone cracked a glowstick and cheered for Lights On Afterschool!"

NOV
1
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: November 1, 2017

By Luci Manning

Governor Touts Afterschool Program (Daily Inter Lake, Montana)

Last Tuesday, students in the Bigfork ACES and Bigfork Playhouse Children’s Theatre afterschool programs celebrated Lights On Afterschool with Montana Governor Steve Bullock. The event included cookie decorating, choir performances, and a student-led tour of the facility, according to the Daily Inter Lake. Bigfork ACES provides about 500 students with academic support, socialization and meals during the afterschool hours. “Both my wife and I, we couldn’t [have] made it without a solid after-school program,” Bullock said. “What ACES does is provides those opportunities for parents, provides an enriching environment where kids can play, learn and hopefully enjoy yourselves and is a fun place to go after school.”

Boys & Girls Club Helps Raise Awareness for Afterschool Programs (KTVN, Nevada)

The Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada hosted a Lights On Afterschool event last Thursday that featured students building structures and sculptures with different materials and science experiments. “Every time I come out here, I just get a good feeling in my heart," Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell told KTVN. "I get a feeling that kids are on the road to making good choices, I get a feeling that there's hope for these young kids." Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada and Afterschool Ambassador Matt Sampson encouraged people to call their elected officials to show support for afterschool programs and to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club to make a difference.

Lights On for Learning (Hammond Daily Star, Louisiana)

The Ponchatoula Community Center celebrated Lights On Afterschool last Thursday with Louisiana First Lady and former educator Donna Edwards. Edwards toured the center and told the Hammond Daily Star, “More than 140,000 Louisiana children return home to an empty house while their parents are working hard to provide for their family. How a child spends those few hours from when school ends and when a parent typically comes home is very important." Students also worked with artist Kim Zabbia to create “Stars of Hope” to send to hurricane victims in Texas and Florida.

Guest Essay: Nazareth College Students Celebrate Mentors (Democratic and Chronicle, New York)

Nazareth College student Kaitlyn Kinney and Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services mentor Kirmani Scott celebrated the Nazareth College Community Youth Development’s Lights On Afterschool event and mentors in an op-ed for the Democrat & Chronicle: “Without the guidance and mentoring of youth workers during our academic service-learning and internship experience at their agencies, there could not be a true sense of ‘community’ in Community Youth Developments…. Mentors show us the importance of positive youth-adult relationships in order to change behavior and maybe change lives…. We are in awe of their passion, persistence and sense of purpose for the youth in Rochester – lessons that could not be easily learned from a book or in a classroom.” 

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learn more about: In The News Lights On Afterschool
OCT
31
2017

LIGHTS ON
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Lights On Afterschool 2017 in pictures

By Charlotte Steinecke

Javan Ng Photography

This year might just be our most photogenic Lights On Afterschool yet!

The Empire State Building lit up the night in blue and yellow on the evening of October 26, the Lowry Bridge gleamed on the waters of Hennepin County, and social media buzzed with our amazingly successful “My Light’s On Afterschool” lightbulb challenge.

We saw amazing images taken with drones, the STATE Grill and Bar surprised us with a sweet shoutout, and the youngest afterschool advocate we’ve ever seen showed support for #LightsOnAfterschool. Middle schoolers from LEAP in Brooklyn blew us away with a musical extravaganza all about afterschool!

In the lead-up to October 26, the 50 statewide afterschool networks worked with 44 governors, including New York, Idaho, Florida, and Alaska, to proclaim Lights On Afterschool day. (We’ve got the Delaware and South Carolina proclamations in our office — love them!) We also saw a wonderful post proclaiming Lights On Afterschool day from the office of the mayor of Houston.

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learn more about: Lights On Afterschool
OCT
30
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Welcome Marisa Paipongna, our new Field Outreach Assistant

By Marisa Paipongna

Hi! I’m Marisa Paipongna and I’m very excited to be the new Field Outreach Assistant at the Afterschool Alliance.

I became interested in the Afterschool Alliance due to my own afterschool experiences. Upon entering high school, I knew that I wanted to go to college but because I was a first-generation college student, navigating that pathway was fairly unclear. I heard my teachers emphasize the importance of being engaged outside of the classroom, so I decided to join an afterschool community service organization. That experience not only made me realize this passion I had for helping the communities around me, but it also opened my eyes to the fact that I could actually pursue this passion in college.

The values that I had gained and my motivation to positively impact communities only grew throughout my time in college, both inside and outside of the classroom. I recently graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.S. in Kinesiology with a Concentration in Public Health, and a minor in Sociology. Throughout college, I served as a Health Outreach Peer Educator, creating and facilitating health programs for students throughout my campus. I interned at the USDA Rural Development California State Office in Davis, Calif. and also interned at the School Health Initiative Program throughout Williamsburg-James City County elementary schools in Williamsburg, Va.

While my degree and many of my experiences are related to health, I am passionate about pursuing efforts regarding afterschool programs because of the strong correlation that exists between education and health outcomes. As the Field Outreach Assistant, I will work closely with the Field Outreach team in recruiting and providing assistance to AmeriCorps VISTA members working on afterschool programs throughout the country!

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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance Vista
OCT
27
2017

RESEARCH
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Creating high-quality arts programs in national youth-serving organizations

By Leah Silverberg

While research has shown that participation in the arts promotes positive youth outcomes, providing quality arts programming can seem like an unobtainable goal to many programs, especially those that mix various art disciplines into daily programming but do not have an arts focus. But a new report commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, Raising the Barre & Stretching the Canvas, shows that high-quality arts programming for multidisciplinary out-of-school time programs is obtainable — and how.

How do you provide quality arts programming?

With the goal of helping to improve and expand high-quality arts programming, The Wallace Foundation partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to create and pilot the Youth Arts Initiative (YAI) in Milwaukee (Wis.), Green Bay (Wis.), and St. Cloud (Minn.). The YAI drew from ten key principles of high-quality arts programming outlined in the 2013 study, Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts: professional practicing artists, executive commitment, dedicated spaces, high expectations, culminating events, positive relationships, youth input, hands-on skill building, community engagement, and physical and emotional safety. With these principles in mind, the YAI programs:

  1. Hired practicing artists as staff.
  2. Created dedicated studio spaces for the arts.
  3. Supplied the tools and materials needed for the program’s art discipline.
  4. Engaged students in decision-making throughout the creation and execution of the program.
  5. Emphasized positive youth development principles.
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learn more about: Arts Partnerships
OCT
26
2017

LIGHTS ON
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Today is Lights On Afterschool!

By Charlotte Steinecke

Happy Lights On Afterschool!

Today is a day to celebrate the amazing impact afterschool programs have on the lives of millions of children every day. Thank you for everything you do to keep the Lights On Afterschool!

For the next 24 hours, our home page will be populated with a social media wall, showing all the action online. Join the party by using the #LightsOnAfterschool hashtag and challenge your friends to show their support by participating in the “My Light’s On Afterschool” Challenge.

If you’re not hosting an event today, use our lookup tool to find an event to attend near you!

We would love to see your pictures, as well — please send images of your event loa@afterschoolalliance.org with the name of the program and the location in the subject line.

Enjoy the celebration!

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learn more about: Lights On Afterschool