Connection Failure Afterschool Alliance :: Afterschool for All Challenge

Go to our Press Room for more information about the 2014 Afterschool for All Challenge and our honorees.

On May 22, 2014, hundreds of afterschool advocates took action to urge their Members of Congress to support the Afterschool for Americas Children Act.  While afterschool leaders from across the country spent the day on Capitol Hill to hold 200 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff, almost 700 more amplified their voices by calling and emailing from home.

You spoke, they listened.  Here's what your actions were able to do:

  • 7 new cosponsors of the Afterschool for Americas Children Act in the House: Reps. Beatty (D-Ohio), Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Sewell (D-Ala.), Velazquez (D-N.Y.), Higgins (D-N.Y.) and Lowey (D-N.Y.). That more than quadruples the number of co-sponsors from before the Afterschool for All Challenge!
  • At least 1 new cosponsor of the Afterschool for Americas Act in the Senate.
  • At least 3 new members of the Congressional Afterschool Caucus.

Congratulations to the 2014 Afterschool for All Champions!

Middle: National "Afterschool for All" Champion Dr. Deborah Lowe Vandell. Bottom: State "Afterschool for All" Champions.

To kick off the Afterschool for All Challenge, 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.

We also honored 10 State "Afterschool for All" Champions for their contributions to quality afterschool programming in their states:

  • Florida: Michael Lannon, Retired Superintendent, St. Lucie County Schools
  • Kansas: Joyce Glasscock, Director, Government Relations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Massachusetts: Jennifer Benson, Representative, Massachusetts State Legislature
  • Michigan: Peter MacGregor, Representative, Michigan State Legislature
  • Michigan: Rashida Tlaib, Representative, Michigan State Legislature
  • Nebraska: Rick Kolowski, Retired State Senator, Nebraska State Legislature
  • New Mexico: Christine Trujillo, State Representative, New Mexico State Legislature
  • Ohio: Gayle Manning, State Senator, Ohio State Legislature
  • Pennsylvania: Dr. Nancy Peter, Founder and Director, Out-of-School Time Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee: Karl Dean, Mayor of Nashville
  • Wyoming: Karen Bierhaus, 21st CCLC State Consultant, Wyoming Department of Education

Six Members of Congress came to celebrate with our champions and share how they've been supporting afterschool programs in Congress:

  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)
  • Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
  • Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
  • Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

Following the "Breakfast," participants from 46 states met with their senators and representatives to talk about the many ways afterschool programs support children, families, school and communities, and to urge them to support the Afterschool for Americas Children Act.  Hundreds more afterschool supporters participated in the event from their own communities.