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10

NEWS ROUNDUP
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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.”

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learn more about: Afterschool Champions Afterschool Voices Nutrition State Policy Sustainability
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8

STEM
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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.

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learn more about: Federal Funding Funding Opportunity NASA Science Sustainability
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4

IN THE FIELD
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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.

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learn more about: Health and Wellness Media Outreach Youth Development
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3

NEWS ROUNDUP
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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. 

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2

STEM
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Girls Who Code receives $1 million from AT&T

By Taylor Moore

Girls Who Code has exploded over the past two years. What started as a pilot program of 20 has quickly grown to a graduating class of 3,000 girls at clubs and camps across the country.  Offering a summer immersion program and afterschool clubs, Girls Who Code seeks to introduce 6th to 12th-grade girls to computer science and the tech industry.  Girls learn how to use Python, Javascript, CSS and HTML and visit technology companies like AT&T AdWorks Lab, Google and Foursquare.   

In an August graduation ceremony for this summer’s program in New York City, AT&T announced a $1 million contribution to Girls Who Code. This generous gift will allow Girls Who Code to expand afterschool clubs and their summer immersion program to more cities, including Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

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learn more about: Science Sustainability
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28

STEM
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New handout: Afterschool makes STEM stick!

By Sophie Papavizas

Check out our newest resource, a visually appealing four-pager that makes the case for afterschool STEM by pulling together research on the importance of STEM learning in afterschool.  It demonstrates how afterschool is a critical component in a child’s overall education, and describes how afterschool STEM uniquely impacts youth.

We hope you’ll find this handout useful in your advocacy efforts with elected officials, funders and potential community partners.  When accompanied by a compelling description of your own program and evidence of your program’s impact, you can help stakeholders understand that afterschool must be an integral partner in any efforts to reform or improve STEM education.  In addition to the Web version, you can also download a high-resolution print version, which prints as a booklet on 11"x17" paper.  Make sure to adjust your printer settings to print double-sided, flipped on the top edge.

The handout is based on the papers “Examining the impact of afterschool STEM programs” (July 2014) and “Defining youth outcomes for STEM learning in afterschool” (January 2013).

If you’re looking for more guidance on effective advocacy, check out our advocacy toolkit, “Making the case for STEM afterschool.”

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learn more about: Advocacy Media Outreach Science
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27

POLICY
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Jim Jeffords: A founder of the movement to expand afterschool programs, a hero to children and families

By Jodi Grant

This post was originally published on Huffington Post's Education Blog. Read the original post and share your thoughts with the HuffPost community.

 

Before former Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont introduced the first legislation to provide federal funding for afterschool in 1994, the federal government played essentially no role in providing meaningful support and programming for young people in the hours after the school day ended and before parents arrived home from work. Sen. Jeffords, who passed away on Aug. 18 at the age of 80, was a pioneer in the national afterschool movement. He worked tirelessly to build congressional and presidential support for a national afterschool and summer learning program infrastructure that lives on today as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative (21st CCLC).

Sen. Jeffords had many proud accomplishments, including chairing the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and helping to shape the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the No Child Left Behind Act and the Higher Education Act. But advocates for afterschool remember him best as one of the original authors of the legislation that created the 21st CCLC.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Afterschool Voices Congress Equity ESEA Federal Policy Media Outreach Sustainability Working Families Academic Enrichment
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27

STEM
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After passing the House, STEM Education Act moves to Senate

By Sophie Papavizas

The bipartisan STEM Education Act, H.R. 5031 introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), passed the House last month and is now in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The bill has three goals:

  1. It expands the definition of STEM education as it pertains to federally funded programs to include disciplines such as computer science
  2. Grows programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support informal STEM education activities
  3. Extends eligibility for NSF’s Noyce Teacher Fellowship program to teachers pursuing master’s degrees in their fields

Of particular interest to the out-of-school field, the bill gives a directive to NSF to continue awarding grants and using funds to support informal and out-of-school STEM learning with the goal of increasing engagement in STEM and improving learning outcomes.  Grants and funding would support existing and new programs in places such as museums and science centers.

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learn more about: Congress Education Reform Federal Policy Legislation School Improvement Science Academic Enrichment
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