What are the candidates saying?
To take advantage of this election cycle's opportunity to get candidates on the record about youth issues outside the classroom, the Afterschool Alliance created a candidate questionnaire and issued it to each of the main presidential candidates for the two major political parties. Responses have been posted exactly as they were received. Click on each candidate to see how they responded.View Questionnaire
If you are facing an election in your community, now is the time to tell the candidates: “I support afterschool, and I vote!” We have the power to make afterschool a key issue in elections at every level—from presidential to congressional and local. Whether you have the time and resources to run a coordinated, multi-pronged afterschool issue campaign, or you are just looking for some ideas on how to raise the profile of afterschool during election season, this kit can inform your planning, help you assess what you can undertake and hopefully make your job easier.
To execute a campaign to make afterschool an election issue, it is important to understand your community and the election that you are targeting. Consider:
This toolkit is filled with an abundance of information on campaigning; however, you should not feel like you have to complete every step and participate in every recommended activity in order for your efforts to be successful. Rather, you should pick and choose—based on the time you are able to spend and the resources available—the strategies most effective to help you reach your campaign goals.
The diagram below offers suggestions for how you should focus your efforts depending upon the level of involvement you choose. Participation at any of these levels is a meaningful accomplishment that will help to advance the goal of afterschool for all.
It can be confusing to know how you can involve yourself in an election if you work for a nonprofit organization. There are a couple of simple ground rules that you need to follow:
A few details from the IRS: Section 501(c)(3) provides a federal tax exemption to a charitable organization, so long as it "does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." The IRS also forbids such organizations from trying to prevent a public official from being re-nominated.
This toolkit is intended to provide guidance on federal lobbying laws, but it is not legal advice. We advise you to consult an attorney if you have specific concerns. This information was adapted from the Alliance for Justice’s series on nonprofit and foundation lobbying and advocacy.
Whether you’re a seasoned advocate or completely new to advocacy, there’s no reason to scale down your advocacy efforts during an election year. Advocacy and lobbying activities may take place during election season provided you follow the rules detailed below. You may engage in the following activities:
Candidate: any individual who offers himself or herself, or is proposed by others, as a contestant for an elective public office.
Public office: any position filled by a vote of the people at the federal, state or local level—ranging from the president of the United States to the local school board—and elective party offices, such as local area committee persons and party nominations.
Can an organization state its position on public policy issues that candidates for public office are divided on?
An organization may take positions on public policy issues, including issues that divide candidates in an election for public office, as long as the message does not in any way favor or oppose a candidate. Be aware that the message does not need to identify the candidate by name to be prohibited political activity. A message that shows a picture of a candidate, refers to a candidate’s political party affiliations, refers to an election, or includes other distinctive features of a candidate’s platform or biography may be prohibited political activity.
Can an organization post information on its website (or link to other websites) about a candidate for public office?
A website is a form of communication. If an organization posts something on its website that favors or opposes a candidate for public office, it is prohibited political activity. It is the same as if the organization distributed printed material, or made oral statements or broadcasts that favored or opposed a candidate.
If an organization establishes a link to another website, it is responsible for the consequences of establishing and maintaining that link even if the organization does not have control over the content on the linked site. Because the linked content may change, the organization should monitor the linked content and adjust or remove any links that could result in prohibited political activity.
Making the Case for Afterschool
We want candidates to know that supporting afterschool is important to voters. Afterschool keeps kids safe, inspires them to learn and helps America’s working families. These three key points resonate with voters of every kind.
The Candidate Resource Guide on Afterschool provides a primer on the afterschool issues for candidates, including additional data on public support for afterschool, program supply and demand, and research on afterschool outcomes for youth, families and communities. Download the Candidate Resource Guide on Afterschool, then mail or email it to all candidates for a particular office and their advisors with a personal letter discussing how the issue affects your area. If you are able, tailor the guide to include data specific to your locality.
During your campaign, you will not only be tasked with educating and prompting your community, but also with defending afterschool against criticism, excuses or apathy. These talking points provide responses to commonly held misconceptions about afterschool programs.
Misconception #1: “We can’t afford to pay for afterschool programs.”
Reply: We can’t afford to not support afterschool. If a young person falls into a life of crime, society will pay a tab of roughly $1.5 million over his or her lifetime. Quality afterschool has been proven to deter youth from risky behaviors and offer an alternative to gang life. Also, afterschool programs save at least three tax dollars for every one spent by reducing the need for remedial education and grade repetition, as well as keeping kids safe and out of trouble.
Misconception #2: “People aren’t willing to spend public funds on afterschool programs.”
Reply: Recent polling tells us the opposite. First, the public believes that afterschool programs provide a multitude of benefits for children in a variety of areas—from academics to social skills to health and wellness. Second, they want government at every level to invest in afterschool.
Highlights from America After 3PM and other polling data:
Misconception #3: “Afterschool programs don’t work.”
Find more information on afterschool programs’ outcomes in our website's research section.
Reply: In addition to many compelling personal stories about the benefits of afterschool, dozens of formal studies clearly demonstrate the value of afterschool initiatives. These studies prove that afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and improve academic achievement. Some examples:
Misconception #4: “It’s parents’ responsibility to see that their kids have adequate care.”
Reply: Unfortunately, adequate care is something not always available in every community. Today, only one-fourth of American families fit the “traditional” image of one parent at home caring for children full time, while the other parent provides financial support. In fact, 75 percent of mothers with school-age children are employed. In all, there are more than 30 million children in a household where both parents are in the workforce.
Additionally, the impact of a lack of adequate care is much broader in scope, not only affecting the children and parents who are in need of afterschool resources. Research has found that parents miss an average of five days of work per year due to a lack of afterschool care, and that decreased worker productivity related to parent’s concerns about their child’s afterschool care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year.
With parents reporting spending close to an average of 9 hours during the weekdays working, the gap between work and school schedules amounts to as much as 25 hours per week. This presents working parents with the challenge of finding someone to care for their children while they are at work. Nationwide, more than 3 million children in grades K-8 regularly care for themselves, and 20 percent of all children go home alone after school each day. Further, child care can be prohibitively expensive for many working families. For instance, more than half of American families with an employed mother and a child younger than 15 years old have child care expenses that consume, on average, roughly 8 percent of their monthly earnings. The situation is even tougher for families with earnings below the federal poverty leve—they spend an average of 30 percent of their monthly earnings on child care. The average annual cost of care for school-aged children can total more than $11,000.
The realities of today’s working world make afterschool programs an absolute necessity. More than 8 in 10 parents agree that afterschool programs help give working parents peace of mind about their children when they are at work (85 percent) and that afterschool programs help working parents keep their jobs (84 percent).
Afterschool funding and policy affects millions of families, as well as stakeholders such as employers concerned about productivity and future workforce. Be sure you have an understanding of key policies that affect afterschool in your area. A number of federal policy initiatives have major impact on afterschool in local communities:
|For more resources to make the case for afterschool STEM, visit the Afterschool STEM Hub, where afterschool STEM advocates can find infographics, talking points, fact sheets, and more.|
When asked about the most important problem facing America today, Americans are most likely to point to the economy. STEM education is critical to the success of our future workforce—and therefore our economy. This makes STEM even more central in the minds of voters, and places it near the forefront in many candidates’ and policymakers’ speeches.
Our future economy will be primarily driven by innovation that arises from advances in STEM. By giving all children opportunities to develop strong STEM skills, we can ensure the next generation’s ability to build and maintain a strong national economy. Adding to the sector that develops new products and tackles pressing problems also adds to the pool of people creating jobs for our economy, which, in turn, helps us all. In fact, one job in the high-tech sector leads to four new jobs in local goods and service industries. Over the next five years, employers will need to hire nearly 1 million employees with basic STEM literacy and more than 600,000 employees with advanced STEM knowledge.
Yet, a survey of CEOs of major US corporations conducted by the Business Round Table and Change the Equation revealed that approximately 60 percent of job openings require basic STEM literacy, and 42 percent require advanced STEM skills. However:
STEM is the future. Afterschool STEM opportunities spark STEM learning and prepare our nation’s children.
Preparing students’ futures for STEM careers is an exciting and solvable problem, but our schools can’t do it alone. Students spend less than 20 percent of their waking hours in a classroom, and they need more exposure to STEM subjects than that time allows. That’s why out-of-school time programs such as afterschool programs are crucial partners in STEM education improvement efforts.
When children get the opportunity to be immersed in STEM they become more fluent in it. Our goal is to give them as many opportunities as possible to gain hands-on experience with hypothesizing, experimentation and problem solving. The kinds of projects that kids tackle in afterschool STEM programs help them build relevant, real-life observation and analysis skills. Additionally, students gain and hone teamwork and communication skills—the critical 21st-century skills they will need to contribute as citizens and members of the workforce.
When we look out across the current system of afterschool opportunities, we can see that it’s patchy, like a map of charging stations with gaps in some areas—built in a way that provides fewer charging opportunities for some of our nation’s children than for others. Some students are in places with lots of opportunities to power up their STEM learning through access to great libraries, museums, science centers and afterschool programs. But other students are in charging dead zones—places where there just aren’t many high-quality learning opportunities to plug into.
Afterschool STEM learning opportunities play a proven role in helping kids gain STEM interests and skills. Talking about afterschool in the context of STEM is a great way to link afterschool to a number of important issues that voters, candidates and policy makers care about. Below are suggested talking points to share with candidates to help them make the connection between afterschool and STEM.
The demand for afterschool STEM learning is very high in African-American, Hispanic, and low-income populations.
STEM in the Field
Example: In a program in New Mexico, middle schoolers from all kinds of backgrounds, including children from rural areas, actively experiment with a computer programming language to create and test models of complex systems, such as the environment, or outbreaks of diseases. These models are then used to run simulations of “what if” scenarios to answer questions about real-world concerns, with local examples to make the learning come to life.
Example: A study of one state’s afterschool programming found that when a site had a STEM partner, such as a science museum, an engineering firm, or a university, the experiences that students had tended to be much better in a variety of ways. The partnerships often weren’t very large—this was a case where a little bit of effort went a long way. Supporting the infrastructure that afterschool and summer learning providers need to connect with science professionals and experts in their region is an important, feasible step we can take.
A helpful way to think about your election outreach is to look at three key audiences: the media, the candidates and the field of afterschool supporters you can mobilize. The more that afterschool is raised at events and debates, in news articles, and through direct contact with campaigns, the more likely candidates are to take a stand on it. There are many strategies you can use to reach these audiences—this kit breaks them down and can help you decide which strategies are best for you.
The following chart illustrates some of the kinds of activities you might undertake to reach each key audience. Remember, this is not an exhaustive list and is only meant to serve as a foundation on which to build.
Letters to the Editor
Sending a letter to the editor is a great way to disseminate your message to a wide audience and one of the easiest ways to get published. In many cases, letters are your best shot at getting published, if only because newspapers print more letters than editorials each day.
Letters to the editor are widely read and well worth submitting.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
A sample letter to the editor is available in our Sample Materials.
Editorial Board Meetings
Most newspaper editorials are written by editorial writers, not reporters. These writers are part of the newspaper's "editorial board," usually made up of the editorial page editor, editorial writers with responsibility for specific issue areas and other ranking members of the newspaper staff.
Find out how to engage these writers at meetings with members of the public. Editorial boards frequently meet with representatives of local organizations, elected officials, candidates and anyone else they think might be able to inform them on issues that matter to their readers. The meetings generally last about an hour, and they are usually the occasion for a vigorous give-and-take between the editorial writers and their guests (and sometimes among the editorial writers themselves).
Newspapers rely on advocates to propose meetings. It is important to reach out to editorial boards to put ideas about afterschool–related articles on their radar. Here's how to proceed:
Because social media is relatively new, the rules governing its use are not always clear. Therefore, we recommend being careful with your online communications to avoid electioneering. As an organization, it is not recommended to like, friend or follow candidates on social media, as this can be perceived as an endorsement. Your organization can, however, follow the official government accounts of sitting elected officials.
These days, having a Facebook page is almost as important as having an official website. While your official site should list information about your afterschool campaign, Facebook should be used mostly for publicity, awareness and outreach. Set up a fan page so that people can “like” your campaign or organization. Include information about your campaign and a link to your official site in case people want more information.
Update your status a few times a week with recent developments or compelling information; the more people who “like” and “share” your status, the more publicity that status—and your campaign—will get. In general, photo and video updates tend to reach more people than text-only posts or links. Facebook is particularly useful for event publicity, as you can create a page specifically for your event and use it as an electronic invitation, complete with details like a map to the event location as well as the ability to easily update guests with last-minute changes. Event pages should mirror the actual events you plan and are a great way to spread the word. Share the event with all of your Facebook fans and encourage them to invite all of their friends.
Twitter is another useful social network to employ when running a campaign. Tweet short blurbs as often as you want, updating your followers about any progress you make, meetings you attend, links to articles to which you want to draw attention—so long as it’s not perceived as an endorsement, etc. Really, you can relay anything related to your campaign to your supporters in a short, digestible post. Be sure to follow other organizations, public figures, people, etc. that affect your campaign. Check to see if the candidates have Twitter profiles; if they do, you can monitor their posts for afterschool-related posts and other general updates without choosing to follow them.
While we recommend focusing your social media efforts on Facebook and Twitter, it’s also worth investigating Instagram, Periscope, and other platforms if you have the capacity. Instagram is useful for reaching a younger audience with compelling visuals, while Periscope allows you to share events in real time by live-streaming to audiences near and far using your smartphone.
Get your messages on the radar
The increased attention to news and social media during election season is a great benefit and opportunity. Given this, your focus should be on getting your messages out to the widest audience possible. To do this you can:
Capitalize on multi-candidate events
While using social media during single candidate events can either look like endorsing—or opposing—a specific candidate, multi-candidate events can be a great opportunity to get visibility for your issue. During these events you can:
Find additional social media tips, strategies, and guidelines in our Downloadable Resources.
During election season, social media is a great tool for research. You can use it to answer these basic questions:
Understand the candidates’ core issues and challenges by setting up private lists on Twitter (this allows you to follow what the candidate says, without actually following them), using social media listening tools like Tweetdeck to follow multiple conversations at once, and setting up Google news alerts for your issue and the candidates. Use this information to inform any in-person conversations you have with candidates and plan your calendar and approach for larger multi-candidate events.
Find additional social media tips, strategies, and guidelines in our Downloadable Resources.
A crucial aspect of your work is mobilizing afterschool supporters—they are one of your greatest assets. Optimize their effectiveness by encouraging them to vote and by prompting them to ask candidates where they stand on afterschool.
Start with your own list of supporters and contacts. Convene and brief members of the afterschool community and the broader children’s community, including local elected officials, practitioners, parents, PTAs, etc. As you organize meetings and gauge interest from like-minded organizations in your area, it may be useful to think about the size of their databases and strength of their existing grassroots networks. This can and should be a factor when deciding on partners.
“Get Out the Vote” (GOTV)
In addition to hosting events and using the Internet to rally support around afterschool, it is important to make a push to turn out voters through targeted materials. Items such as palm cards, fliers, mock bbballots and other election-related materials can be distributed to your supporters in the community and at Lights On Afterschool events. This material should also be easily accessible on your website. These materials should note the day and date of the election. Implementing this GOTV effort separately from any information you provide on your issues may be the easiest way to avoid concerns of electioneering; if you would like to combine the two, you may want to seek further advice.
It is important to ask candidates about their positions on afterschool. This is both your opportunity to get the candidates’ positions on the record and the candidates’ opportunity to express their views. Asking questions about afterschool in public settings will help ensure that these issues are included in the political conversation, while prompting candidates to take a formal stand on afterschool. This is especially important when considering that most candidates do not include afterschool policy in their formal campaign platforms. Be sure to phrase your questions in an unbiased manner, to avoid indicating that there is a “correct” answer—otherwise, your question (combined with the candidates’ responses) may be construed as an endorsement of the candidate who provided the “right” answer.
If a candidate goes on record as being supportive of afterschool, it will help you hold him or her accountable after the election. Candidate surveys and questionnaires are another way to get candidate views on the record. You can also use candidates’ survey responses to share an objective view of the candidates with afterschool supporters. For example, re-printing candidates’ complete responses—and noting who did not respond—can provide advocates with information about where the candidates stand on these important issues. Make sure you have given each candidate for that particular office the same opportunity to answer.
Lights On Afterschool is a great way to introduce candidates and elected officials to the world of afterschool. Elected officials can always speak in their official capacity. If you invite elected officials to speak in support of your issue in their role as public officials, ask them not to discuss the campaign or mention the election. Other candidates also want to be visible in the community, and Lights On Afterschool is all about building and demonstrating community support for afterschool programs. However, when a person speaks as a candidate—and not in their official capacity as a public officeholder—your organization must exercise more caution. You may invite candidates to speak at your Lights On Afterschool event, but only if you follow these rules:
All aspects of these requirements should be carefully documented by the host organization.
To summarize, when working with candidates use equal access and reach out to every candidate for that particular office with equal intention and no sign of organizational support for any one candidate over any other. But don’t fear: it’s easier than it may sound.
Check out our Lights On Afterschool online event planning kit for event ideas, sample materials and more.
Candidate forums present an excellent opportunity to raise awareness among candidates and the community about the need for and importance of afterschool programs. If there isn’t already a candidate event happening in your community, you can organize one! As always, all candidates must be treated equally and neutrally. In no case should an organization consult with one candidate about his or her availability before setting the date of its event, unless all candidates are consulted and a mutually convenient date is chosen.
Give yourself ample time to plan, make sure that you have adequate staffing and/or partnerships to pull together all of the pieces, and give the candidates plenty of notice as to the date and location of the forum. It is very important to invite all viable candidates for a particular office in the district where the forum or meeting is held and do everything that you can to generate a large audience. Afterschool will likely be one of several issues discussed; in fact, the IRS rules require that a forum be on a variety of topics, and not on a single, narrow topic. Collaborate with other organizations as much as possible.
Panel and Moderator - Questions for candidates can be asked by a moderator, a panel of stakeholders (afterschool providers, school officials, parents or youth) or from the audience. Be aware that the IRS says that having questions from a neutral moderator (e.g., a journalist), helps to demonstrate that the event is unbiased, but any moderator, as long as they show no bias, is legal. You can also combine these elements. For example, have a moderator or panel lead off the questioning and then open it up to the audience. Be sure to give all candidates equal amounts of time to respond. Asking the same set of questions to each candidate is also a safe bet. But questioners should not indicate their approval or disapproval of any candidates’ answers.
Debate: For a more debate-style format, send the candidates questions prior to the event that elicit specific responses. Candidates can answer these questions and then move on to those that arise from the audience and moderator during the debate.
Candidates: Send out personal letters inviting candidates three months prior to holding the forum. Emphasize that this is a nonpartisan event put on by the afterschool community in the candidate’s district/city/town. Include information about the impact of afterschool programs in the district. Follow up with candidates each month after sending the invitation using different methods of contact (phone, face-to-face, email). If you can only get one candidate, the event has a higher chance of looking like an endorsement, so you should probably cancel if only one candidate agrees to participate. Also, ask all candidates not to bring their campaign materials, otherwise the IRS might mistake it for a campaign rally!
Moderator: Select a moderator who can serve in a nonpartisan role. Ideally, this would be someone who is well respected within your community, such as a local journalist. Get a commitment from this person early-on and prepare them in advance (review with them, do practice runs). Have a back-up in mind.
Timekeeper: This should be a staff person with the main objective to keep the forum on schedule and enforce any predetermined time limits on candidate responses if applicable. This person should be able to interrupt people in order to keep time.
Forum Planning Timeline
The earlier you make contact with the candidates, the better. Communicate with a representative from each campaign and request meetings to brief the candidates. Be sure to:
Polls can help you identify and refine messages and themes that resonate with the public to make for a stronger campaign and more focused messaging.
If you have the resources, conduct polls or surveys to register voter opinions on a variety of subjects, including afterschool. Using the surveys and opinion research can help you make the case that public concern for afterschool is among the top issues on voters’ minds. This can serve as the “meat” of your campaign. Consider having the youth in your program conduct their own poll with questions for their fellow students as well as parents and community members.
If you do not have the resources to conduct polls or voter surveys, you may be able to use existing data to make your point or work with an organization already conducting a poll for this election. Do not reinvent the wheel! Review existing research and polls on afterschool and collate the data to release “new” results from which to base your talking points. If an organization is conducting a poll, discuss adding afterschool-related questions.
Finally, it may be helpful to get feedback from high-level supporters outside your community. Surveying out-of-state advocates and colleagues may give you a better sense of how to present the campaign and what issues might work. Use these people and organizations as resources to help you frame the debate in your community. They may have suggestions of what has worked in their respective areas.
For sample polling questions and ideas to make your poll a success, check out our Sample Materials.
After the Election
While the election may be over, your campaign work is not. Hopefully some aspects of your work will continue for some time into the new term. In order to make the most of all your time and hard work leading up to Election Day, you need to continue your efforts with post-election follow-up to candidates, newly elected officials, media and the public.
Once Election Day has passed, be sure to review public pronouncements, candidate surveys and other materials from the winning and losing campaigns. Understand the winning candidate’s position and hold them to what they said during their campaign. Having made public statements on the issue, the candidates will most likely be responsive. Remind the newly elected official about your expertise and offer to provide them with information and research to help better understand your issue.
For more ideas on how to educate officials once they’re in office, check out our Action Center.
For a sample follow-up letter to newly elected officials, check out our Sample Materials.
There are a number of things you can do to follow up with the field. Ideally, the end of the campaign is just the beginning of your outreach to the database that you’ve built.
For a sample post-election letter to the field, check out our Sample Materials.
Sample Materials & Downloadable Resources
[Organization contact information]
Anytown, USA 12345
To the Editor:
Just in time for the new school year, [your school/organization name] has answered the pleas of local families by providing an affordable, quality afterschool program for students in grades six to eight. The demand for supervised afterschool programs is great. More than 30 million school-age children have both parents working outside the home. Furthermore, 11.3 million “latchkey children” go home after school each day to a house with no adult supervision, and without the opportunities to learn that afterschool programs can provide .
The juvenile crime rate triples between the hours of 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., with violent crimes by juveniles peaking between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.—the hour at the end of the school day. Why? In part because an increasing number of our children are on their own during these late afternoon hours while parents are at work. What these children need are engaging activities that will keep them safe and out of trouble.
Afterschool programs provide that needed alternative while helping children with their studies and providing a range of enrichment activities. [insert examples of how your afterschool program is helping your community. Example: Just For Kids provides three hours of supervised afterschool activities, including homework assistance, arts and crafts, and recreation. Rivertowne Student Success is proud to take a leadership role in the burgeoning afterschool movement and excited about the chance to provide our children with a positive afternoon alternative to the streets.]
[title, school/organization name]
Questions for parents, teachers, community members and voters:
Don’t limit yourself to the above questions; those are just ideas. You know what the issues are concerning afterschool programs and your community. For example, is your program in danger of closing? Even if it isn’t, ask people how they would feel if it did close. What would their biggest concern be?
What to do when you’re done:
Once you’ve polled enough people—and enough depends on the size of your program, school or community—you’ll need to decide how you want to present your data. For example, would the data make more sense as a bar graph, or as text? The final report should only be about one page long, maybe two, depending on how big your poll was. You could include your final report in the Candidate’s Guide to Afterschool or send it to a local newspaper to get them to write a story about it.
Congratulations on your campaign victory. My fellow Virginians and I have signaled our support for you and your views on what our children need. Ensuring that our children are safe and cared for after school is a top priority for me. I’m not alone; an independent poll found that 80 percent of Virginia voters are concerned about the amount of unstructured time that children have, and 72 percent feel that afterschool programs are essential for their communities.
Despite this clear consensus, more than a third of young people in our state are alone after school. These children are not only at unsafe and at risk—they are also losing out on important learning opportunities. For their sake, I urge you to invest in afterschool programs during your term in office. Afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning.
I hope you will consider the Virginia Partnership for Out of School Time (VPOST) as a resource to you in your new role. We would be delighted to connect you and your staff with local afterschool and summer learning programs to conduct site visits to see firsthand the critical roles that afterschool programs are playing for our children, youth and families in our state.
As you consider ways in which you can invest in afterschool and summer learning programs in your newly elected position, we can also provide you with any needed research on supply and demand and evidence of effectiveness. VPOST has a strong network of afterschool supporters across the state and we are looking forward to engaging our network to support any proposed policies that would benefit afterschool and summer providers and the children and youth that they support.
Again, congratulations on your victory! We look forward to working with you to help keep Virginia’s youth safe and engaged in learning during the hours after school.
[your phone number]
[your email address]
Dear Afterschool Advocates,
On behalf of the Kids Deserve Better team, congratulations on an incredible campaign. Working together, we made children and afterschool programs an issue in Virginia’s elections. From polling data and debates to Lights On Afterschool events and media coverage across the state, your voices were heard calling for safe, enriching afterschool programs for our young people. We reached every candidate with our message about the needs of Virginia’s children.
We don’t want our campaign, or our contact with you, to end with the election. We will stay in touch with you via our Afterschool Advocate newsletter. But please stay in touch with us at the Afterschool Alliance, and let us know how we can support your efforts to expand afterschool programs for our children and families. A few ideas:
Again, thank you for all of your hard work. We value your involvement and greatly respect your dedication.