On Tuesday, March 10, we're teaming up with the National AfterSchool Association and afterschool professionals from around the country in Washington, D.C., to meet face to face with Members of Congress and urge them to support kids and families who rely on afterschool programs. 2,000 afterschool professionals will be bringing their powerful stories to our nation's capital to share with one another in workshops and sessions and to share with our federal elected officials.
By participating in the National AfterSchool Association Convention and Afterschool for All Challenge, you'll have the opportunity to hear from leaders around the country who are working to provide opportunities for health and wellness in afterschool, pilot efforts for kids and afterschool staff to earn digital badges, provide STEM learning opportunities after school and much more. You'll receive training on how to be an effective advocate for afterschool and then you'll hone those advocacy skills by participating in meetings on Capitol Hill with your elected officials.
Even if you can't make it to DC to meet face to face, we will need your help to amplify the message. You're the local expert on afterschool. Members of Congress need to hear from constituents like you who care about making afterschool for all a reality. In the coming months we'll be posting everything you need to reach out from home, including sample scripts and a guide for planning a district meeting with your local Congressional office.
Last year, participants from 46 states met with their senators and representatives to talk about the many ways afterschool programs support children, families, school and communities, and to urge them to support the Afterschool for America's Children Act. Hundreds more afterschool supporters participated in the event from their own communities. As a result of these efforts, the number of co-sponsors of the Afterschool for America's Children Act more than quadrupled!
This spring will be one of the most critical times on Capitol Hill for friends and advocates of afterschool programs. Congress will likely be rewriting federal education, child nutrition, juvenile justice and STEM legislation this year, making decisions that will impact access to quality afterschool, before school, and summer learning programs for millions of children. Your elected officials need to hear your voice and story to fully understand the value that these programs have on the lives of young people.
During this exciting weekend, you’ll also be able to learn new insights from more than 150 engaging workshops. Staff from the Afterschool Alliance will be presenting on a wide range of topics like Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards, afterschool and housing, digital badges, reimagining literacy, sustainable funding to alleviate child hunger, and afterschool STEM. And you’ll get to hear from keynote speakers Jonathan Gotschall, an author and TED Talk Speaker, and Cornell McClellan, personal trainer to the First Family and member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.
Plus, you’ll get the first look at the America After 3PM Special Report on Physical Activity, Health and Wellness -- we’ll preview some exciting new data at the Sunday plenary.