Connection Failure Afterschool Snack: The Afterschool Alliance Blog
RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Subscribe to the Afterschool Advocate newsletter
Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
Afterschool Donation
Afterschool on Facebook
Afterschool on Twitter
Blogs We Read Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Recent Afterschool Snacks
JUL
15

FUNDING
email
print

One month left to nominate a program for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award!

By Nikki Yamashiro

Does your afterschool program help middle school students develop their reading skills?  Do you volunteer with a program that taps into students’ creativity and piques their interest in writing?  We need your help to find exemplary afterschool programs that are providing strong literacy support to middle schoolers.  Nominate them today for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award and the chance to win the $10,000 award! 

The nomination period will close on Aug. 15, which leaves one month to submit your nomination and share with us the fantastic work taking place in an afterschool program in your community. 

You can find more detailed instructions for the online nomination form here

We can’t wait to hear from you!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1jMQGwM
learn more about: Funding Opportunity Inside the Afterschool Alliance Literacy
Comments: (0)
JUN
30

FUNDING
email
print

New mini-grants are supporting digital badges in five states

By Nikki Yamashiro

Congratulations to the Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance, the Maryland Out of School Time NetworkOregonASK, the Michigan After-School Partnership and the Ohio Afterschool Network for being awarded mini-grants of $10,000 to pilot digital badge projects in their states! 

Over the course of the next year, these five statewide afterschool networks will pilot new badge systems to offer digital badges to youth in afterschool and summer programs and/or offer digital badges to afterschool professionals.  

At the Afterschool Alliance, every day we hear stories of the range of activities and learning experiences students participating in afterschool programs are exposed to.  For instance, hands-on activities—such as creating and testing computer simulations of how a disease might spread; learning about health and wellness, as well as environmental science, through the cultivation of a community vegetable garden; and developing leadership skills through group projects that focus on collaboration and effective communication.  We also continuously review research demonstrating the multitude of positive outcomes associated with regular participation in quality afterschool programs. 

share this link: http://bit.ly/TJIDo2
learn more about: Digital Learning Inside the Afterschool Alliance State Networks
Comments: (0)
JUN
12

FUNDING
email
print

New $10,000 award opportunity: The Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award!

By Nikki Yamashiro

We're thrilled to announce that we have partnered with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to offer the first ever Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award.  We need your help to find exceptional afterschool programs that are providing strong literacy support to middle schoolers—helping them to develop their reading, writing and critical thinking skills.  The winning afterschool program will be awarded $10,000 and recognized at the Afterschool Alliance’s national Afterschool for All Challenge.  

Nominate a program today!  Or, nominate your own program today!  We also encourage afterschool program directors, staff, volunteers and students to nominate their own program.

The Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award is a great opportunity to highlight the critical work taking place outside of the school day to ensure that middle school students have the necessary support and guidance to build the literacy skills that will help them succeed both in and out of school. 

The deadline for nominations is Aug. 15

The online nomination form has more detailed instructions, but feel free to email nyamashiro@afterschoolalliance.org to answer any questions you may have about this process.

Good luck and we look forward to learn more about the valuable work to strengthen students’ literacy skills that is taking place in afterschool programs across the country.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1ohxCZ5
learn more about: Competition Funding Opportunity Inside the Afterschool Alliance Literacy
Comments: (0)
JUN
11

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Have you heard about digital badges?

By Nikki Yamashiro

The Afterschool Alliance has been following the emergence of digital badges for almost a year now.  More recently, we’ve joined with the MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla and HASTAC to dig deeper into the potential of digital badges in the out-of-school space. 

Part of better understanding what digital badges can mean for afterschool is understand what the afterschool field knows about digital badges and the perceptions of digital badges.

That is why we want to hear from you.  Take this short survey and help us better understand the afterschool field’s awareness of digital badges and perceptions of this emerging innovation.  

If you’ve never heard of heard of digital badges, we want to know that.  If you’ve worked with digital badges, we want to know that too.

Your responses will be incredibly helpful to shape and coordinate our work in the digital badge space.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1xK9u3l
learn more about: Digital Learning Inside the Afterschool Alliance Youth Development
Comments: (0)
JUN
11

CHALLENGE
email
print

Youth advocates hone their skills at the Afterschool for All Challenge

By Melissa Ballard

We welcomed more than 30 youth from across the country to this year’s Afterschool for All Challenge. Half came from science center afterschool programs, thanks to our partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). Youth from this year’s MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Award-winning programs also attended. These young advocates visited Congressional offices along with their state teams and shared personal stories of how afterschool has impacted their lives. But before they got started, we helped prepare them in an intensive workshop.

The workshop started with the students brainstorming ideas about what advocacy is and how it’s done. The group focused in on one aspect of advocacy—that it gave voice to those that don’t have one—thinking about other kids in their home communities. Then, we discussed what kinds of "asks" state teams would make and how advocacy through Capitol Hill visits fits into the legislative process (and of course, we had to show the classic School House Rock video).

To prepare for their turn to speak in the next day’s Capitol Hill meetings, we spent time crafting and practicing talking points. The task was to come up with a short, succinct way to describe what they did in their afterschool programs; why it mattered to them; and to concretely describe the effect participation has had on their interests, behaviors, knowledge and skills. Our last task for the workshop was to translate these talking points into a memorable document to leave behind with Congressional staff after the meetings. Check out all the youth’s handouts in America’s Afterschool Storybook.

Feedback from both the youth and their adult leaders was overwhelmingly positive. Leaders reported that the youth’s compelling personal stories were a great impact at each office they visited. ASTC is currently working on a video capturing the reactions of the science center youth—we’ll post that next week. We’re looking forward to an even bigger and better Afterschool for All Challenge in 2015!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1oUB7R3
learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Voices Congress Events and Briefings Inside the Afterschool Alliance MetLife Innovator Awards Youth Development
Comments: (0)
MAY
30

LIGHTS ON
email
print

Lights On Afterschool poster deadline extended!

By Sarah Simpson

We’ve gotten some great submissions for this year’s Lights On Afterschool poster, but we think there’s even more afterschool talent out there—and we want to see it!  That’s why we’re extending the poster deadline to Monday, June 9, 2014. 

This contest is a great opportunity for an afterschool program to gain national recognition for the great enrichment opportunities it offers, since the young artist’s program will be credited on the poster, too!

  • The winning design will be printed on tens of thousands of posters
  • The design will be displayed at thousands of Lights On Afterschool celebrations across the country
  • The winning artist will be featured on our website, blog and Afterschool Storybook

See contest details and submission guidelines.

We can't wait to see what you come up with!

share this link: http://bit.ly/U0DlW0
learn more about: Competition Inside the Afterschool Alliance Media Outreach Arts
Comments: (0)
MAY
30

STEM
email
print

Strong STEM presence at the Afterschool for All Challenge this year

By Anita Krishnamurthi

This year at the Afterschool for All Challenge, we had a particularly strong STEM presence at the workshops as well as during the visits with policy makers. 

Thanks to our partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), nearly 20 young people and their adult chaperones joined us from the New Jersey Academy of Aquatic Sciences in Camden; the Newark Museum in Newark, N.J.; The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Penn.; the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md.; and the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City.  Check out the blog ASTC has posted about their experience.  We envisioned this year's participation as a pilot effort and hope to make it even bigger next year with more science centers participating in the Afterschool for All Challenge.  A big thank you to our ASTC partners for working with us to make all of this happen.  Join the ASTC STEM Afterschool Community of Practice if you'd like to engage in this conversation with us. 

share this link: http://bit.ly/1kudeQZ
learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Voices Congress Events and Briefings Inside the Afterschool Alliance Obama Science State Networks
Comments: (0)
MAY
30

CHALLENGE
email
print

Preeminent afterschool researcher and 10 state education leaders honored as Afterschool Champions

By Sarah Simpson

As part of the Afterschool for All Challenge, last week Judge Glenda Hatchett joined some 250 parents, children, educators, lawmakers and advocates from around the country at the “Breakfast of Champions” on Capitol Hill to honor Members of Congress and state champions for afterschool programs. We were proud to give our National “Afterschool for All” Champion Award to Dr. Deborah Lowe Vandell, founding dean of the School of Education at the University of California-Irvine, for her powerful and growing body of research that has been used to improve programs and measure their impact.

Dr. Vandell was one of the first researchers to assess afterschool programs and has been presenting findings to her peers on afterschool choices and outcomes for more than 20 years. She has released more than 30 papers and articles reviewing the academic and social outcomes associated with participation in quality programs. She is a preeminent researcher on afterschool programs and outcomes, and her work has informed program and policy development at the national, state and local levels.

share this link: http://bit.ly/U0IHR8
learn more about: Advocacy Afterschool Champions Congress Events and Briefings Inside the Afterschool Alliance Media Outreach MetLife Innovator Awards State Networks
Comments: (0)