Archives:

Select:

A sense of stability and a place to connect

READ FULL STORY

A sense of stability and a place to connect

By Avery Reisinger, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2023.

Hi everyone! My name is Avery Reisinger and my afterschool program is a nonprofit organization called Kids Rank. My afterschool experience with Kids Rank has been a pleasure. Kids Rank has taught me many new things and connected me with people who have similar experiences to what I've gone through. The program was founded by Kelcey Liverpool, whose idea behind Kids Rank was to bring military children together and have it be a safe place for military children to connect with each other and learn a thing or two. Kids Rank strives to be a sense of stability.

Kids Rank has helped me figure out what skills I would like to put into my future job. I really enjoy being creative, talking to people, getting my hands dirty, and being a helping hand. For example, I participated in the entrepreneur part of Kids Rank. We had workshops that we did together in a group and actually got to see our products being formed. And even though mine wasn’t successful, it was still good to learn the ups and downs of business. I like how Kids Rank provides all these types of activities that you can do and get involved with. Right now, I am part of YAB, the youth advisory board, which is run by kids who have been through their club program and have been in Kids Rank for quite a bit. We are the youth voices for the board and we give our input and help with the fundraisers, events, and the scholarship.

What I love the most about my afterschool experience is how it’s not just a classroom. It is being face to face with each other and being able to talk to each other. The people are really nice and Kids Rank offers a fun and engaging way to learn.

Youth Voice Week 2024 was a huge success

The voices of young people are still echoing in afterschool programs across the nation, in the halls of Congress, and across social media after a powerful Youth Voice Week! From March 25-29, the Afterschool Alliance partnered with the Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society and...

BY: Maria Rizo      04/15/24

By helping create my afterschool program, I became the person I am today

By Ava Havidic, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and their...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/29/24

I'm grateful to my afterschool program for giving me a place to belong and helping me make friends.

By Gabrielle Haynes, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/27/24

I have been led by my afterschool teachers, and now I am leading the youth of today.

By Jay'Len Clark, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/26/24

Afterschool gave me access to opportunities that improved my outlook on life.

By Brandon Tibbs, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/25/24

It's almost Youth Voice Week! Here's how to participate.

Next week marks the start of Youth Voice Week 2024, and all eyes are on the young people in afterschool. From March 25 to 29, we’re amplifying young people’s voices as they share the issues that are most important to them, and we’re inviting your program’s youth to...

BY: Maria Rizo      03/22/24

Afterschool is changing the narrative in my community

By Brandon Tibbs, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. Where I’m from, there’s three ways to be: a “Norbit” (a scholar), a “hoodlum,” or a baller. Afterschool programs aim to change that narrative. A typical day in the ComED youth program would...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/21/24

In afterschool, I had amazing experiences and got to meet amazing people

By Gabrielle Haynes, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. Throughout middle school, I loved going to the Boys and Girls Club afterschool, and I especially loved the staff. Being at the club felt like home to me; it just felt normal and comfortable. Every day, at about 2:15 pm, we would...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/19/24

In afterschool, we're building community and celebrating progress

By Edgar Euceda, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. One meaningful lesson I've learned in the Elsik Afterschool Debate Club, particularly as president of the club, is the importance of having a community that's not only supportive but also celebrates progress.  A few...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/14/24

In afterschool, I discovered that my voice could make a difference, in my life and the lives of others.

By Jully Myrthil, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. Being a project leader and board member for Young Voices (YV), a youth organization advocating for policies affecting youth and their communities, has been a life-changing experience. Young Voices has allowed me to use my voice to...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/05/24

Youth Voice Week 2024 was a huge success

The voices of young people are still echoing in afterschool programs across the nation, in the halls of Congress, and across social media after a powerful Youth Voice Week! From March 25-29, the Afterschool Alliance partnered with the Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society and...

BY: Maria Rizo      04/15/24

By helping create my afterschool program, I became the person I am today

By Ava Havidic, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and their...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/29/24

I'm grateful to my afterschool program for giving me a place to belong and helping me make friends.

By Gabrielle Haynes, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/27/24

I have been led by my afterschool teachers, and now I am leading the youth of today.

By Jay'Len Clark, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/26/24

Afterschool gave me access to opportunities that improved my outlook on life.

By Brandon Tibbs, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. March 25 to 29, 2024 is Youth Voice Week! All this week, we will publish blogs from our Afterschool Youth Ambassadors, as they describe the impact their program has had on their lives and why afterschool is important to them and...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/25/24

Afterschool is changing the narrative in my community

By Brandon Tibbs, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. Where I’m from, there’s three ways to be: a “Norbit” (a scholar), a “hoodlum,” or a baller. Afterschool programs aim to change that narrative. A typical day in the ComED youth program would...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/21/24

In afterschool, I had amazing experiences and got to meet amazing people

By Gabrielle Haynes, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. Throughout middle school, I loved going to the Boys and Girls Club afterschool, and I especially loved the staff. Being at the club felt like home to me; it just felt normal and comfortable. Every day, at about 2:15 pm, we would...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/19/24

In afterschool, we're building community and celebrating progress

By Edgar Euceda, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. One meaningful lesson I've learned in the Elsik Afterschool Debate Club, particularly as president of the club, is the importance of having a community that's not only supportive but also celebrates progress.  A few...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/14/24

In afterschool, I discovered that my voice could make a difference, in my life and the lives of others.

By Jully Myrthil, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. Being a project leader and board member for Young Voices (YV), a youth organization advocating for policies affecting youth and their communities, has been a life-changing experience. Young Voices has allowed me to use my voice to...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/05/24

It’s important for everyone to feel equal and important. I feel that way in afterschool.

By Willany Sayles, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2024. Even though I participated in afterschool programs all of my elementary years, my middle school did not have an afterschool program my 6th and 7th grade years because of the pandemic. However, my elementary school was right down the...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/20/24

Measuring Youth Development: How out-of-school time programs collect and use data

Data collection can be one of the most useful – and most challenging – aspects of running an afterschool or summer program. A new Child Trends report commissioned by The Wallace Foundation explores the ways OST programs gauge their work, challenges to collecting data, and tips to...

BY: Ursula Helminski      04/02/24

Find essential OST research on the new Wallace Foundation website

Notice anything new? The Wallace Foundation has recently unveiled a new website. To help users navigate the new site, the foundation has provided an accompanying FAQ to address common questions about the site’s updated features. While steps were taken to ensure that former webpage links...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/23/24

Culturally responsive STEM programming: Aim High awardee Geeking Out Kids of Color

This blog is part of a series covering the work of New York Life Foundation Aim High grantees. Awardees receive support for their outstanding out-of-school time programs serving underserved middle school youth. The Aim High grant request for proposals is open now through February 1, 2024...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/02/24

Promising practices and innovative responses for high-quality arts programming in OST

Welcome to the second part of our series unpacking The Wallace Foundation’s recent report, “Setting the Stage: Practical Ideas for Implementing High-Quality Afterschool Arts Programs.” In this blog post, we will discuss the Youth Arts Initiative’s efforts to connect youth...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      10/17/23

Guest blog: Sparking joy… districtwide

By Laurie Posner, communications consultant. This article originally appeared on the Mizzen Minute on October 2, 2023. It is being shared here with permission. As an out-of-school time professional, having vetted education content at your fingertips — for free — can be a huge help....

BY: Guest Blogger      10/09/23

Connecting young people with high-quality arts programming in multipurpose OST settings

Welcome to our two-part series unpacking The Wallace Foundation’s recent report, “Setting the Stage: Practical Ideas for Implementing High-Quality Afterschool Arts Programs.” In this blog post, we will discuss the Youth Arts Initiative’s efforts to connect youth from...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      10/03/23

New podcast discusses youth perspectives on program design

In March of 2023, The Wallace Foundation released a three-part podcast series titled Beyond the Classroom, where youth research team members, out-of-school time (OST) practitioners, and field experts discuss the findings of a 2022 student-led study commissioned by The Wallace Foundation,...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      08/01/23

U.S. Dept. of Ed. calls for more afterschool and summer supports

The U.S. Department of Education’s Engage Every Student Initiative marked its one-year anniversary last week with the Raise the Bar Summit, a celebration of the progress made toward expanding afterschool and summer programs for youth across the nation and a platform to exchange...

BY: Ursula Helminski      07/17/23

21st CCLC youth gain life and work skills

Parents and youth alike value the opportunities that afterschool and summer programs offer to develop life and work skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, and communications, as well as exposure to career paths. In a fall 2022 survey, 88 percent of parents said that afterschool...

BY: Ursula Helminski      06/29/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

The power of representation: Being a role model for the next generation

By Dawn Marie Johnson, MSW, Director of Leadership and Culture for the South Dakota Afterschool Network; School Board Member, Sioux Falls School District Dawn Marie Johnson has been involved in supporting young people and school and afterschool organizations for the past decade. Growing up...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/27/23

U.S. Dept. of Ed. calls for more afterschool and summer supports

The U.S. Department of Education’s Engage Every Student Initiative marked its one-year anniversary last week with the Raise the Bar Summit, a celebration of the progress made toward expanding afterschool and summer programs for youth across the nation and a platform to exchange...

BY: Ursula Helminski      07/17/23

Creating a safe space in afterschool for LGBTQIA+ youth

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection Afterschool programs provide a safe space for youth to be their most authentic selves, with opportunities to engage with peers outside of the school day, connect with caring adults, and explore their interests and passions. But LGBTQ+ youth in...

BY: Maria Rizo      06/27/23

Success stories: The Burma Center

Reflecting on the findings from our recent voter poll, "Afterschool a Priority for Asian American and Pacific Islander Voters," the Afterschool Alliance is amplifying the work of out-of-school providers supporting AANHPI students and their families. The Burma Center is a...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/26/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

January is National Mentoring Month

Afterschool programs are excellent places for young people to meet and engage with supportive adults and find mentors. From STEM superheroes introducing girls to 21st century STEM careers, to caring adults helping with homework and encouraging students realize their full potential, mentorship in...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/10/23

New video: This Is Afterschool

We're starting 2023 off with the release of our anthem video, This Is Afterschool, which puts a spotlight on some of the amazing activities available in quality afterschool and summer learning programs. From ballet to sailing, and from rocketry to theater, afterschool programs are...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/03/23

Celebrating 25 years of masterpieces with a masterpiece of a movie

“We want to show the softness.” – Mingotae Kebede, director and producer A filmmaker and former staff of a long running Washington, DC Afterschool program, Life Pieces to Masterpieces was asked to help the program create a small video to commemorate the program’s 25th...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/09/22

California celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Proposition 49

The energy was buzzing at Bell Gardens Intermediate as students, school leaders, and afterschool advocates including former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Proposition 49, the initiative that created...

BY: Emily Murtaugh      12/05/22

Program Toolbox recently updated for new, established, and growing programs

Starting a new program or working to grow a program can be exciting and fulfilling—but it can take hard work. We’ve created a toolbox of resources to help you at every point in the process. With a variety of guides, tools, case studies, and best practices from out-of-school time experts...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/22/22

Celebrate Black History Month in afterschool

February marks the celebration of Black History Month, an opportunity to honor and commemorate the profound contributions of Black folks throughout history. See new resources for afterschool providers to engage students in meaningful discussions and activities that highlight and celebrate Black...

BY: Maria Rizo      02/16/24

Culturally responsive STEM programming: Aim High awardee Geeking Out Kids of Color

This blog is part of a series covering the work of New York Life Foundation Aim High grantees. Awardees receive support for their outstanding out-of-school time programs serving underserved middle school youth. The Aim High grant request for proposals is open now through February 1, 2024...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/02/24

Recapping NIEA's Convention: Education Sovereignty. It Begins with Us.

In October, advocates came together in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the National Indian Education Association’s 54th annual Convention and Trade Show. This year’s theme was "Education Sovereignty. It Begins with Us." The convention was filled with inspiring speakers and...

BY: Sophie Kidd      11/03/23

The power of representation: Being a role model for the next generation

By Dawn Marie Johnson, MSW, Director of Leadership and Culture for the South Dakota Afterschool Network; School Board Member, Sioux Falls School District Dawn Marie Johnson has been involved in supporting young people and school and afterschool organizations for the past decade. Growing up...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/27/23

Success stories: The Burma Center

Reflecting on the findings from our recent voter poll, "Afterschool a Priority for Asian American and Pacific Islander Voters," the Afterschool Alliance is amplifying the work of out-of-school providers supporting AANHPI students and their families. The Burma Center is a...

BY: Sophie Kidd      06/26/23

Activities and resources to celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month - a month to honor the accomplishments and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States while celebrating their diverse heritages. Here are a few resources and ideas to help you think about ways...

BY: Ursula Helminski      05/15/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

Celebrating 25 years of masterpieces with a masterpiece of a movie

“We want to show the softness.” – Mingotae Kebede, director and producer A filmmaker and former staff of a long running Washington, DC Afterschool program, Life Pieces to Masterpieces was asked to help the program create a small video to commemorate the program’s 25th...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/09/22

Guest blog: A book about everyday superheroes inspired Girlstart campers to pursue world-changing careers in STEM

By Alexa Brown and Hannah Winkler, coordinators at Girlstart. Girlstart aims to increase girls’ interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) — a mission accomplished through free summer camps and after-school programs across Texas,...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/12/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

New podcast discusses youth perspectives on program design

In March of 2023, The Wallace Foundation released a three-part podcast series titled Beyond the Classroom, where youth research team members, out-of-school time (OST) practitioners, and field experts discuss the findings of a 2022 student-led study commissioned by The Wallace Foundation,...

BY: Elizabeth Bannan      08/01/23

U.S. Dept. of Ed. calls for more afterschool and summer supports

The U.S. Department of Education’s Engage Every Student Initiative marked its one-year anniversary last week with the Raise the Bar Summit, a celebration of the progress made toward expanding afterschool and summer programs for youth across the nation and a platform to exchange...

BY: Ursula Helminski      07/17/23

Creating a safe space in afterschool for LGBTQIA+ youth

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection Afterschool programs provide a safe space for youth to be their most authentic selves, with opportunities to engage with peers outside of the school day, connect with caring adults, and explore their interests and passions. But LGBTQ+ youth in...

BY: Maria Rizo      06/27/23

Activities and resources to celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month - a month to honor the accomplishments and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States while celebrating their diverse heritages. Here are a few resources and ideas to help you think about ways...

BY: Ursula Helminski      05/15/23

An afterschool program that feels like a family

By Trinity Ansley, Afterschool Youth Ambassador, class of 2023.  Hi everyone, my name is Trinity Ansley! My afterschool program is San Diego Urban League, Project Ready. Having been a member since freshman year and now being the chair of the program as a junior, I really appreciate this...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/27/23

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim...

BY: Maria Rizo      01/19/23

Supporting young people to engage at the intersection of STEM & society

We are living through some challenging times—societies across the world have been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate is rapidly changing around us and making our planet less hospitable to human beings, technology is evolving at a dizzying rate with dramatic consequences, and a new...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      09/27/22

Guest blog: Advancing equity and inclusion in hiring and staff development in OST

By Angelica Portillo, National AfterSchool Association’s Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives, and Shawna Rosenweig, Camp Fire Chief Strategy Officer and member of the National AfterSchool Association's Board. For the last 20 years, out-of-school time (OST) has...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/28/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

Celebrating Juneteenth in afterschool programs

Image by William Adams from Pixabay Juneteenth National Independence Day also known as Freedom Day, or Jubilee day honors the emancipation of slaves in the United States. More than 150 years after its first celebration, the Juneteenth holiday provides an opportunity to learn and teach about the...

BY: Tierra Easter      06/17/22

School/OST partnerships help kids thrive, thanks to pandemic funding

This blog was originally published by The Wallace Foundation on June 15, 2023. It is being reposted on our blog with their permission. Almost every headline about young people today seems to mention the learning loss and mental health challenges created by the pandemic. For good reason. The...

BY: Jodi Grant      07/10/23

Opportunities for communities: Partnerships that support whole child recovery

By Ken Anthony, Ed.D., associate executive director at the Connecticut After School Network, and Heather Williams, program director, Policy and Outreach, for the California AfterSchool Network. In our work as part of the 50 State Afterschool Network, we see first hand how the impacts of the...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/08/23

Afterschool and summer programs are stepping up to help with the youth mental health crisis

As we find ourselves at the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, our team here at the Afterschool Alliance wanted to take a moment to reflect on the critical ways that afterschool and summer learning programs can help support the mental and emotional wellness of our nation’s young people, as...

BY: Dan Gilbert      05/31/23

Voters, parents, and youth agree: Afterschool supports mental health

“For me, the introduction to my culture and the feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself, goes hand in hand with a spark or an increase to my mental, spiritual, and physical health,” writes Sasha Neyra, 16. Sasha is a high school junior and Member of Big Lagoon Rancheria....

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/04/23

"I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world": An interview with Girls Empowerment Network

We spoke with Ami Kane, Deputy Director at the Girls Empowerment Network, to discuss how the Spark Change Project is empowering girls to become advocates for the issues that matter the most to them and strengthening critical supports for their students with help from the New York Life...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/24/22

Guest blog: Foundations, Inc.'s REACH model accelerates learning recovery in afterschool

By Elizabeth Cieri and Paula Houghton of Foundations, Inc.  Educators across the nation are dealing with academic losses due to the pandemic -- mitigating those losses requires inventive thinking and better practices. “Coming out of the pandemic, we knew all kids suffered learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/29/22

$1.8M awarded to middle school out-of-school time programs

The New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance are pleased to announce the 2022 Aim High grant recipients. In its sixth year, the Aim High grant has provided a total of $7.95 million dollars to help fund afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs as they help middle school...

BY: Dan Gilbert      06/14/22

This is Afterschool: Supporting Student Well-Being

Afterschool programs are engaging children and youth in safe and supportive settings, where they can learn mental health and well-being skills that help them recover and thrive. In this video, afterschool students share how their programs help them build confidence, discover their...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      06/03/22

Youth mental health is top of mind for voters

By Olivia Allen, strategy director at Children’s Funding Project. Public opinion polling during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that voters feel intense concern about youth mental health and are willing to prioritize public investment in programs that support young people. In fact, 79...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/26/22

Afterschool is rising to the moment to support mental well-being of youth

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, Afterschool Alliance, National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), STEM Next, Million Girls Moonshot, and National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) held a Twitter Chat to discuss how afterschool is rising to the moment to support the physical and...

BY: Maria Rizo      05/24/22