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JUL
9

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - July 9, 2014

By Luci Manning

Soapbox: Help Students Beat Summer Learning Loss (Coloradoan, Colorado)

Maria Ortiz, an Afterschool Ambassador and the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant director for Poudre School District, calls on parents, school systems, local and state governments and businesses to help students meet the need for summer learning opportunities across the country in a piece for the Coloradoan.  She writes:

“Clearly, we need more summer learning programs, and just as clearly, the problem is funding them. Right now, the federal government provides some funding for summer learning, by way of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative — the principal federal funding stream for after-school programs. But the funding is insufficient to provide summer learning opportunities for all the kids who need them. Until we can find a way to fix that with contributions from parents, school systems, local and state governments, business, and individual donors, too many of our kids will spend more time with video games and remote controls than with all the wondrous opportunities that summer learning programs can offer them.”

ACTC Summer Camp Teaches About Electronic Components (Daily Independent, Kentucky)

In just one week, elementary school children participating in the Ashland Community and Technical College summer learning camp will have created more than 30 electronic devices including burglar alarms, night lights and police sirens.  In this week’s camp the young students are learning theories behind various electrical components and are putting their knowledge to the test.  Craig McDavid, the program’s instructor, told the Daily Independent the time he spent at this camp as a child motivated him to have a career in science and that he hopes these children are similarly inspired.  He said that “this kind of hands-on learning is the best kind of learning. It’s what brings it home.”

YMS Students Film Commercials for Local Non-Profits (York New-Times, Nebraska)

Students at York Middle School’s (YMS) Summer Learning Academy are gaining some real world media experience and helping their community’s nonprofits in a big way.  The students created commercials to help York Adopt-A-Pet and the Palmer Museum.  Matt Maltsberger, YMS social studies and media productions teacher, told the York News-Times that summer learning programs allow students to have educational opportunities outside of the traditional classroom, “I think that getting kids in a different setting—a setting that lets them express themselves—is beneficial.  It’s the ideal situation for great opportunities to learn.”

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Afterschool Ambassadors Digital Learning Science Summer Learning Community Partners
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MAY
8

IN THE FIELD
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Guest Blog: My Brother's Keeper--stories from Jonesboro, Arkansas

By Sarah Simpson

Ed. Note: The White House Initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, is focused on creating opportunities for boys and young men of color.  To help the White House better understand the important role that afterschool programs are playing in supporting boys and young men of color, we are gathering stories from the field and will be sharing them with the White House.  We may also ask you to share additional details in the form of a guest blog or on a conference call or webinar.  Our afterschool ambassador, Rennell Woods, is helping us kick off this project with his story below.  Please submit your story here.

Rennell Woods is the executive director of the At-Risk American Male Education Network in Jonesboro, Ark., and an Afterschool Ambassador for the Afterschool Alliance. AAMEN’s work is supported by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

 

 

The launch last month of the president’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative is great news. I’m reminded every single day of the need for such an effort.

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Afterschool Ambassadors Equity Guest Blog Inside the Afterschool Alliance Obama Youth Development
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APR
2

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - April 2, 2014

By Luci Manning

One Good Reason to Support Renewing Fort Worth’s Crime Prevention Tax (Star-Telegram, Texas)

Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders makes a compelling case for why Fort Worth’s crime prevention tax needs to be renewed, citing the positive learning experiences at the Fort Worth After School (FWAS) program.  Miguel Garcia, an Afterschool Ambassador and program director of FWAS, told the Star-Telegram how the afterschool programs “provide a safe, positive learning experience for students at the end of the school day when many of them otherwise would be at home, or somewhere else, without adult supervision.”  Sanders calls the $1.1 million the FWAS program receives in Crime Control and Prevention District funding, “a small amount of money for all the benefit that comes from this exceptional program.”

Shabazz Napier Has Sturdy Base in Roxbury (Boston Globe, Massachusetts)

Roxbury coach Tony Richards was there many years ago when Shabazz Napier, point guard for the University of Connecticut, learned to play the sport he loved at the Roxbury YMCA.  Richards started coaching kids in Boston neighborhoods in his “No Books, No Ball” program to keep his son and nephew off the streets.  Richards told the Boston Globe, “You see these single mothers, you see these kids that need mentoring… that’s the energy that keeps me coming back.” Napier will play in this year’s Final Four on Saturday.

Checkmate: After-School Club Draws JHS Students (Jacksonville Daily Progress, Texas)

On any given Monday night, dozens of students are engaged in some friendly competition at Jacksonville High School’s chess club.  The newly formed club was intended not only for the students to improve their chess skills for the sake of winning the game, but to employ those skills in all areas of life.  Club co-founder Larry Richmond told the Jacksonville Daily Progress that to excel in chess, the students need to utilize logical thinking and a strong work ethic, qualities he believes are “the greatest value to academics.”  

‘Little Doctors’ Work Blood Drives (Hicksville Illustrated News, New York)

Donors at Hicksville blood drives were treated to snacks and juice from a special group of “little doctors.”  Students from seven Hicksville Elementary schools, who volunteer through the Little Doctors afterschool program, not only served refreshments but also assisted potential donors before clinicians took over the process.  “Little Doctors is an opportunity for students to learn the value of volunteerism and the importance of participating in community service,” Fork Lane School Principal Christopher Scardino told the Hicksville Illustrated News. 

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Afterschool Ambassadors Youth Development Community Partners
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FEB
24

FUNDING
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Updated: Need ideas to advocate for afterschool? Check out these webinars

By Alexis Steines

As afterschool professionals, we understand the importance of raising awareness of our programs and afterschool in general. With local and state budgets including sharp cuts to education and youth development programs and major federal policy challenges threatening the integrity of afterschool programs, advocacy is more important than ever. While we can speak about the work afterschool programs do to provide children with opportunities to participate in hands-on, interactive learning, it’s important to include other voices in our advocacy efforts.

This year, through the generous support of the Robert Bowne Foundation, the Afterschool Alliance is hosting a series of webinars on how we can engage parents, students and communities in advocacy. Last Tuesday, we held our first webinar in this occasional series. The first installment focused on engaging parents in afterschool advocacy. Esther Grant-Walker, director of School Age and Family Engagement Services at the Isaacs Center Afterschool Program in New York City, shared how she engages parents and prepares them to be effective afterschool advocates through hands-on training and other initiatives. Student engagement was the focus of our second webinar on Feb. 18.  Alberto Cruz, Senior Director of Youth and Family at the YMCA of Greater New York, along with Patrick Pinchinat and Marlena Starace of the Queens Community House discussed how they involve students in advocating for afterschool.

Using social media to advocate will be the subject of the final webinar of this series on March 27. Deepmalya Ghosh, Director of Youth Development at the Child Center of New York, Inc. will share how he engages the public in afterschool advocacy through social media. Visit our webinars page to register

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learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Voices Events and Briefings Media Outreach
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NOV
13

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - November 13, 2013

By Luci Manning

Afterschool Ambassador and Girls on the Run of Montgomery County Executive Director Elizabeth McGlynn and Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant co-authored a piece in the Montgomery County Gazette on the importance of afterschool programs in advance of Girls on the Run of Montgomery County’s 5K fun run on Sunday. They write: “As Montgomery County working moms, we long ago learned what every other working parent can tell you: That every-afternoon chunk of time that starts with the final school bell and ends when parents arrive at home can be filled either with angst or peace of mind, depending on whether your kids are under the watchful eye of caring adults and constructively occupied. After-school programs are a terrific solution, and that’s one reason we’ve both spent years working to make sure such programs are available… Sunday, the girls will be joined by parents, after-school providers, teachers, school administrators, community partners, elected officials, and others — all united by their desire to celebrate the girls’ accomplishment, and to show their support for after-school programs. We hope that message is heard, loud, clear, far and wide!”
 
826DC serves more than 2,000 children in and around the Columbia Heights neighborhood each year inspiring them to become better readers, writers and students. 826DC offers free afterschool tutoring, bookmaking sessions, and in-school writing, storytelling and publishing workshops. “The tutoring center is one of eight 826 locations across the country honored this month with the Library of Congress’ first-ever Literacy Award, meant to recognize organizations working to address illiteracy in America,” the Washington Post reports.
 
“Dozens of Palm Terrace Elementary School students rallied recently to draw attention to the need for more after-school programs,” the Daytona Times reports. Kenneth Walker, who works at the school, told the paper that there are millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon.
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learn more about: Afterschool Ambassadors Health and Wellness Literacy
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OCT
25

IN THE FIELD
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Guest Blogger Patrick Pinchinat: Sustaining a long term advocacy campaign

By Alexis Steines

Patrick Pinchinat is the Beacon Director at the Queens Community House in New York City.  He was previously an Afterschool Ambassador.

 

I’ve always promoted the importance of afterschool. Before I became Beacon Director at the Queens Community House, I participated in an afterschool program as a youth. Even as a young person participating in an afterschool program, I found ways to advocate for afterschool. For the last few years, I’ve led an advocacy campaign to promote afterschool programs at Queens Community House, as well as advocate for out-of-school-time programs throughout New York City as a member of Campaign for Children.

During my year as a Bowne Foundation sponsored Afterschool Ambassador, I’ve been able to bring our advocacy campaign at Queens Community House Beacon to the next level. I organized several different events to help promote our afterschool programs and increase the momentum of our projects.

When possible, we always included students in our activities. For example, we’ve put on a talent show and an advocacy “carnival” in which our afterschool participants were able to showcase what they were learning. It was a great way to show off our afterschool program in action and demonstrate how afterschool programs help to inspire creativity. We invited elected officials to the carnival so they could spend time with our students and see first-hand all of the great activities our kids take part in every day.

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learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Ambassadors Guest Blog
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OCT
11

IN THE FIELD
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Guest Blogger Esther Grant-Walker: Developing an afterschool advocacy campaign

By Alexis Steines

Esther Grant-Walker is the Program Director of School Aged Childcare at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center in New York City.  Esther previously served as an Afterschool Ambassador.

 

A sustained advocacy campaign is key to raising public perception and awareness of afterschool programs. Planning an advocacy campaign does not need to be time consuming or costly. A very simple campaign can be as effective as an elaborate one. 

During the past year, with the support of the Bowne Foundation, I began to develop a sustained advocacy campaign to promote my afterschool program.  New York City afterschool program funding was threatened with cuts during the past few city budget cycles.  As the Program Director of School Age Childcare at the Isaacs Center Afterschool Program, I can see that there is a need for increased afterschool advocacy to promote not just my afterschool program, but programs across the city.

I decided focus my campaign on bringing parents and schools together to support afterschool. Many of our parents take our afterschool programs for granted because they are funded by the city. They assume that funding for afterschool will always be in place. In reality, city funding is never guaranteed. To educate parents, I decided to launch an advocacy campaign that would not only teach them about the challenges facing afterschool programs, but would also train them and other community members to be active advocates for afterschool.

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learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Ambassadors Guest Blog Working Families Community Partners
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OCT
3

IN THE FIELD
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Guest Blogger Deep Ghosh: Using social media to advocate for afterschool

By Sarah Simpson

Afterschool Ambassador Deepmalya Ghosh is the director of youth development programs at the Child Center of New York, Inc.

 

Increasing public awareness of your afterschool program is an important key to running a successful advocacy campaign.  While traditional media sources, such as newspaper articles and TV news stories, are great ways to increase visibility, afterschool programs are increasingly turning to social media as a way to build support and momentum.  One of the benefits of social media is that it is a low-cost, effective way to reach a large number of people.

During my term as an Afterschool Ambassador sponsored by the Bowne Foundation, I found great success using social media to build momentum for an afterschool advocacy campaign.  I am the Director of Youth Development for the Child Center of NY, an organization that provides afterschool programming, among other services, to children in New York City.  Realizing we needed to reach beyond traditional media sources when promoting our programs, we developed a campaign to leverage social media to maximize our advocacy efforts. There was a sense of joint purpose among other afterschool providers in the city, so I often shared what they were doing to advocate for afterschool with our team.

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learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Ambassadors Guest Blog Media Outreach
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