RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Get Afterschool Updates
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
Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Snacks by Luci Manning
DEC
13
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: December 13, 2017

By Luci Manning

Contest Pitting Students Against JPL Engineers Draws a Vast Pool of Contenders (La Cañada Valley Sun, California)

Students from around the world, including those in Los Angeles afterschool programs, faced off against teams of engineers from La Cañada’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory last week as part of JPL’s annual Invention Challenge, an initiative meant to inspire future STEM professionals. This year’s challenge was to build a device that could load ten plastic balls into a tub six meters away within one minute, according to the La Cañada Valley Sun. “Being at JPL has brought [engineering] into my horizon,” 16-year-old participant Cristian Bonilla said. “Even though we didn’t do as great as other people, it feels great to have come this far.”

Community Schools a New Tradition for Education (Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico)

Mary Parr-Sanchez, Truancy and Dropout Prevention Coach at Las Cruces Public Schools, and David Greenberg, Education Initiative Director at Ngage New Mexico, praise the community schools model in the Las Cruces Sun-News: “For many years, community schools have been expanding the role of schools. Instead of shutting down in the evenings, weekends and summers, community schools have remained open to serve a variety of needs…. Community schools are not about doing something ‘to’ a school, but supporting a school and community to facilitate change from within…. We are grateful that local leadership on our School Board and City Council are moving this work forward so that in the near future, every child will have opportunity to attend a community school.”

Church to Pick Up the Tab for After-School Care (Eastern Express Times, Pennsylvania)

The Life Church has offered to pay for an afterschool program at Paxinosa Elementary School to offer disadvantaged students enrichment opportunities and give a break to their working parents. The Easton Area School District is now looking for an organization to run the program, without having to worry about costs. “We felt called there,” church spokeswoman Tara Craig told the Eastern Express Times. “We feel it’s where we’re supposed to be and are excited to see it happen.”

‘Three Little Pigs’ Tale Helps Teach North Charleston Kids Money Smarts (Post & Courier, South Carolina)

An afterschool reading program in North Charleston recently added financial literacy to its curriculum, to teach children how to manage their finances at an early age. The Felix Pinckney Community Center drew lessons from stories like “Three Little Pigs” to teach students about the importance of saving money and sharing with those in need. Dorothea Bernique, founder of the Increasing H.O.P.E. Financial Training Center, told the Post & Courier, “It’s not about the amount, but establishing a new behavior that can literally change your life and help break that cycle of poverty.” 

DEC
6
2017

CHALLENGE
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: December 6, 2017

By Luci Manning

New Club Allows Urbandale Students to Use Lessons in the Real World (WHO, Iowa)

Urbandale High school senior Maya Sims wanted to make a difference in her community, so she created a new afterschool program focused on giving back. Hope in Action gives students the opportunity to participate in community service projects, like creating a free library in a local neighborhood and working with the Iowa Youth Homeless Center. “When we talk about spreading hope, what we are really talking about is social responsibility, and just recognizing we as human beings have the responsibility to take care of each other,” Sims told WHO.

Springfield Students Will Learn How to Talk to Computers in New Course (Springfield News-Sun, Ohio)

This month, the Career Connected Center’s Maker Space afterschool program is offering a course on computer coding and computer sciences based on the Hour of Code. The program will give students an advantage in future careers by teaching them about computation communication and the basics of how computers work. “We have different themes, and it teaches different concepts in the STEM field,” Career Connect ED program coordinator Rene Stratton told the Springfield News-Sun. “You need it in all aspects of life, whatever your job is.”

Dawson After-School Program Opens Christmas Store for Kids (WALB, Georgia)

The Positive Direction afterschool program got into the holiday spirit last Monday by opening its 13th Annual Spirit of Christmas store. Students in fourth grade and younger received up to three gifts from the event, and older students were given gift cards to spend on gifts during an upcoming field trip. The gifts were supplied by Toys “R” Us and local businesses. “They are so excited, in fact when they choose their gifts today they want to take them home right then, but we can't let them take them home. And for us, as well as the children, the impact it has made on us and the children, it is just phenomenal,” Executive Director Dorothy Tomlin told WALB

Mentoring Program for Former Foster Children Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary (KETV, Nebraska)

Foster teenagers and young adults are learning fundamental job skills and customer service as employees of The Bike Union and Coffee. The bike repair and coffee shop is a nonprofit providing health and wellness, mindfulness training, cooking classes, a book club and more for its young employees. Participants commit to working for one year with 20 hours of work and activities each week, all focused on how to live a successful life. “When they're finished, you'll notice a change. For example, when you first met at their interview, their posture was very sunken in and they didn't make a lot of eye contact. When they leave, they sit up straight and they look everyone in the eye,” program manager Curtis Wilson told KETV.

share this link: http://bit.ly/2AC7TUi
learn more about: Computer Science In The News
NOV
29
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: November 29, 2017

By Luci Manning

Lynn Firefighter Do a Good Deed and Feed Local Kids Thanksgiving Meal (The Daily Item, Massachusetts)

300 Greg Neighborhood House afterschool students had the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with Lynn firefighters last Wednesday. Lynn Firefighters Local 739 has been hosting the annual meal since 2010, cooking up a traditional Thanksgiving meal and covering all the associated costs. The event is meant to bring the community together for the holiday and give the firefighters a chance to give back. “I think it’s (the meal) amazing because a lot of families don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and Gregg House gives an opportunity for kids to eat,” Gregg House member and middle schooler Janeyssi Morillo told The Daily Item.

Western Youth Network Celebrates Mentor Pairs with Thanksgiving Meal (The Mountain Times, North Carolina)

The Western Youth Network mentoring program celebrated its annual Thanksgiving feast earlier this month. The afterschool program, one of the largest of its kind in the state, pairs adult mentors and youths between the ages of six and 17 for weekly meetings where they spend quality time together. Students in the mentoring program often see improvements in academics and behavior and increase their desire to graduate from high school. “I think this organization is doing exceptional work for youth in this county who need a helping hand and need somebody to talk to,” Thanksgiving feast sponsor Billie Howell told The Mountain Times.

High School Mentors Help Dora Erickson Kids Learn (Idaho Falls Post Register, Idaho)

Compass High School students are volunteering to help Dora Erickson Elementary students with their studies through an afterschool program known as the Compass/Erickson interns program. The high schoolers serve as peer role models to the elementary students while providing academic support. The teachers at Dora Erickson benefit from the assistance, while youths learn leadership skills and receive homework help. “I really like helping them,” sophomore Nikki Ritter-Truxal told the Idaho Falls Post Register about being a mentor. “It’s fun just getting to help and making new friends seeing their excitement when they come back.”

New Tech Partnership Brings Coding, Drone Programming Classes to Memphis Kids (The Commercial Appeal, Tennessee)

Chandler Park is offering Memphis students free tech classes through a new partnership between computer science and mentoring non-profit CodeCrew and mobile tech facilities company Building Box. The courses are giving students of all ages a chance to explore robotics, coding, drone programming, 3D printing and more during afterschool hours. “This is an outstanding opportunity to help these kids learn more about technology and show them how they can use their imaginations to accomplish anything,” CodeCrew Executive Director Meka Egwuekwe told The Commercial Appeal.

share this link: http://bit.ly/2AIKgwk
learn more about: In The News
NOV
22
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: November 22, 2017

By Luci Manning

Program Helps Students Deal with Trauma, Stress at Home (Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada)

Nonprofit Healing Hearts’ afterschool program has made a big difference helping youths work through their stress, anger, anxiety and depression. The Teens in Action program addresses trauma and students’ emotional and mental issues by giving them an outlet for their frustration through fun activities, one-on-one counseling and group discussions. “A lot of them are broken, they don’t feel like they’re being listened to,” school counselor Annetta Bonner told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “They don’t feel like they’re loved; they don’t feel like anybody cares about them; they feel like they’re all alone. So we want to heal their hearts; we want to make them whole again.”

Big League Players Pitch in to Renovate Fields, Mentor Youth (Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Hawaii)

Three Major League Baseball players are getting their hands dirty to help children stay active by renovating the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s youth baseball fields. Through the nonprofit More Than A Game, which encourages professional athletes to pursue community service, the players have cleared out the overgrowth on the fields and will soon get to work repairing fences and replacing worn-out turf. “A lot of kids don’t have access to these opportunities,” Boston Red Sox infielder Mike Miller told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “It’s good to let them know there’s people out there rooting for them. I’ve seen kids take off with just a little bit of love.”

Marble Falls ACE Program Helps Students Become Better English Speakers through Writing (River Cities Daily Tribune, Texas)

Spanish-speaking students in the Marble Falls ACE afterschool program are not only learning to speak English, but also will soon write and publish their own books in their second language. ACE uses the Write Brain program to help students get a start writing their books by providing them with pre-illustrated pages on which to base their story. First, they will write a Spanish book as a team, then next semester they’ll work on their own English stories, getting a hang of the nuances of the language and building their confidence. “Seeing their name on the book, being an author, that’s going to mean a lot to them,” site coordinator Amanda Fulton told the River Cities Daily Tribune.

Students Explore Arts, Careers and Recreation with In Real Life (Mountain Xpress, North Carolina)

After a 2007 listening tour about how to address Asheville’s juvenile crime epidemic, the nonprofit Asheville City Schools Foundation developed Lights On After School: In Real Life (IRL) to give youths a safe, enriching place to spend their time once classes let out, according to Mountain Xpress. Students in the program can engage in dozens of activities like Latin dance, pottery, physical fitness and engineering, allowing them to explore their existing passions and discover new ones. The program serves 250 students at Asheville Middle School and is a result of a partnership with area businesses, nonprofits and volunteers. 

NOV
15
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: November 15, 2017

By Luci Manning

These Girls Now Have Big Dreams — Thanks to these Mentoring Programs (The Miami Herald, Florida)

Three unique afterschool programs in South Florida are inspiring girls to build their confidence and professional ambition. Honey Shine motivates girls to pursue higher education while improving self-esteem by pairing professional women with young girls. Women of Tomorrow offers a mentoring program between professional women and girls along with college and career trips. PACE Center for Girls offers an alternative to public school with academics, counseling, health and wellness and more. “Insecurity and self-doubt are rampant among the girls when they begin the program, PACE Miami Executive Director Sherry Thompson Giordano told the Miami Herald. “But as they discover their talents and begin to think it will be possible to launch careers, they find a strength that will help guide them through the rest of their lives.”

Students Helping Students Read at Maclary Elementary (The News Journal, Delaware)

A group of Maclary Elementary School fifth graders are volunteering to help 10 kindergarteners improve their reading skills. The mentoring program is a part of The Christina School Board’s resolution for students to participate in 20 minutes of unstructured learning a day. “I wanted to help little kids read, because sometimes in kindergarten I would need help reading and spelling,” 10-year-old Megan Levering told The News Journal. The program helps students improve their leadership skills, cognitive development, decision-making skills, concentration and self-confidence.

With Grammy Nominees, DASH Program Aims to Develop Philly's Next Entertainment Leaders (The Inquirer, Pennsylvania)

The DASH (Destined to Achieve Successful Heights) afterschool program is giving 20 high school students the chance to produce their own music through a 12-week program called “Songwriting 101.” The hands-on learning experience, part of a collaboration with the Philadelphia School District, will allow students to learn about various fields within the entertainment industry from professional musicians. “When you sit with these kids, you get to see their faces light up and you realize they know that they can really do this,” Grammy-nominated songwriter and DASH master instructor Kristal Oliver told The Inquirer.

After-School STEM Programs Inspire Kids to Keep Learning (PBS NewsHour, Rhode Island)

Ella Risk Elementary School is trying to boost the number of low-income, minorities and women in STEM fields through its afterschool program SMILE. The corporate- and foundation-funded program serves more than 500 4th- to 12th-grade Rhode Island students who participate in experiential learning in a low-risk environment that doesn’t punish failure. “We work very hard at promoting a cohesive peer group where everyone knows it’s cool to be smart. They identify with science. They identify with STEM. And that carries them into high school to take the harder science and math courses,” founder Carol Englander told PBS NewsHour.

share this link: http://bit.ly/2zFFs9V
learn more about: STEM Arts Literacy Girls In The News
NOV
8
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: November 8, 2017

By Luci Manning

Former Student Shares How Bellevue’s Jubilee Reach Provided Help (Bellevue Reporter, Washington)

Current University of Washington student and REACH afterschool program alumna Jeyma Garcia will share how instrumental the REACH afterschool program was to her at the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser on November 11. She credits the REACH afterschool staff and coaches with helping her overcome depression. Now she strives to provide the same level of passion and empathy to her students. “Garcia said she doesn’t know where she would be now if she hadn’t had help from her site coach when she was 13 years old,” reports the Bellevue Reporter.

James Island Elementary's After-School Fishing Program Catches on with Young Anglers (Post & Courier, South Carolina)

Students in the James Island Elementary School Fishing Club are spending their hours after school learning about birds and wildlife, how to tie knots and the difference between different fishing rigs. “The time spent with the kids outdoors has been amazing…. The looks on their faces when they catch that fish by themselves is amazing,” club founder Patrick Harrington told the Post & Courier. The program has helped the children become expert fishermen, earning them plaques and other awards at the annual Trident Fishing Tournament.

Kids Learn the Link Between Food, Health (Record Searchlight, California)

Patient educator Betsy Amstutz and nurse Jayne Cummins are offering a new afterschool cooking class at the Shasta Community Health Center to educate youths about how to cook more nutritious and balanced meals. The class, inspired by an adult nutrition class offered to the center’s patients, also teaches students about knife safety, hand-washing, and how to avoid cross-contamination. “I took this class because my mom made me and, two, I really enjoy cooking. It's my passion. It's a hobby actually,” 12-year-old member Ryder Rogers told the Record Searchlight.

Farm Program Lets Students Learn Hands-On from Animals (Las Vegas Sun, Nevada)

A new club at Mabel Hoggard Elementary School is introducing students to animal care, genealogy and gardening. The program is taught both during the school day and in the out-of-school time Zookeepers club and Green Thumb Kids club. During lunch hour and before school, 25 to 50 students partake in the unique experience of learning about and caring for a variety of over 130 animals. The programs are meant to inspire students with an interest in zoology, veterinary, geology and other science fields. “We wanted to give our kids a more involved experience,” life sciences teacher Kimberly Law told the Las Vegas Sun. “I think this is a unique way for them to learn, and something no other elementary kids get to do.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/2zphwHX
learn more about: STEM In The News Nutrition
NOV
1
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: November 1, 2017

By Luci Manning

Governor Touts Afterschool Program (Daily Inter Lake, Montana)

Last Tuesday, students in the Bigfork ACES and Bigfork Playhouse Children’s Theatre afterschool programs celebrated Lights On Afterschool with Montana Governor Steve Bullock. The event included cookie decorating, choir performances, and a student-led tour of the facility, according to the Daily Inter Lake. Bigfork ACES provides about 500 students with academic support, socialization and meals during the afterschool hours. “Both my wife and I, we couldn’t [have] made it without a solid after-school program,” Bullock said. “What ACES does is provides those opportunities for parents, provides an enriching environment where kids can play, learn and hopefully enjoy yourselves and is a fun place to go after school.”

Boys & Girls Club Helps Raise Awareness for Afterschool Programs (KTVN, Nevada)

The Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada hosted a Lights On Afterschool event last Thursday that featured students building structures and sculptures with different materials and science experiments. “Every time I come out here, I just get a good feeling in my heart," Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell told KTVN. "I get a feeling that kids are on the road to making good choices, I get a feeling that there's hope for these young kids." Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada and Afterschool Ambassador Matt Sampson encouraged people to call their elected officials to show support for afterschool programs and to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club to make a difference.

Lights On for Learning (Hammond Daily Star, Louisiana)

The Ponchatoula Community Center celebrated Lights On Afterschool last Thursday with Louisiana First Lady and former educator Donna Edwards. Edwards toured the center and told the Hammond Daily Star, “More than 140,000 Louisiana children return home to an empty house while their parents are working hard to provide for their family. How a child spends those few hours from when school ends and when a parent typically comes home is very important." Students also worked with artist Kim Zabbia to create “Stars of Hope” to send to hurricane victims in Texas and Florida.

Guest Essay: Nazareth College Students Celebrate Mentors (Democratic and Chronicle, New York)

Nazareth College student Kaitlyn Kinney and Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services mentor Kirmani Scott celebrated the Nazareth College Community Youth Development’s Lights On Afterschool event and mentors in an op-ed for the Democrat & Chronicle: “Without the guidance and mentoring of youth workers during our academic service-learning and internship experience at their agencies, there could not be a true sense of ‘community’ in Community Youth Developments…. Mentors show us the importance of positive youth-adult relationships in order to change behavior and maybe change lives…. We are in awe of their passion, persistence and sense of purpose for the youth in Rochester – lessons that could not be easily learned from a book or in a classroom.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/2z5C3AS
learn more about: In The News Lights On Afterschool
OCT
25
2017

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: October 25, 2017

By Luci Manning

Topeka Program Working to Bring After School Activities to All Kansas Kids (WIBW, Kansas)

The Kansas Enrichment Network (KEN) hosted a Lights On Afterschool event last Friday on the Kansas Statehouse steps to encourage community support of afterschool programs. "[Afterschool activities] help the working families because they provide a safe learning environment for their students between 3 and 6 p.m. so they get a snack, they get homework help, and then they do enrichment activities, and then some wellness activities," KEN research project manager Rachel Willis told WIBW. As part of the celebration, students took a tour of the Statehouse, participated in a scavenger hunt and played kickball on the Statehouse lawn. Governor Sam Brownback also proclaimed October 26 Lights On Afterschool Day in support.

Local Schools Celebrate Tapestry (Rutland Herald, Vermont)

Last Wednesday, students in the Tapestry and EPIC afterschool programs celebrated Lights On Afterschool with a glow-in-the-dark party. State Senator Brian Collamore attended the event. Tapestry and EPIC provide about 300 students with academic support, socialization and a creative outlet during the afterschool hours. “I was so happy when we started coming to Rutland Town to know that the Tapestry program was here. Just knowing that the kids had a place that’s safe and fun and academically engaging to be after school while we were working,” Sheryn Whalen, a mother of two Tapestry Program participants, told the Rutland Herald.

Keeping the Lights On After School (Post Bulletin, Minnesota)

The Somali Kulan Community, along with many other local afterschool programs, celebrated Lights On Afterschool this week. The afterschool program is held in a converted apartment space through a partnership with Rochester Public Schools. “It's another chance for our kids to work with their peers and supportive adults in a positive environment,” Rochester Public Schools director of community education Amy Eich told the Post Bulletin. The program provides students a place to receive academic support, food, sports, college preparation and more.

Tom Haggard Says ‘Lights On Afterschool’ Event Calls Attention to Funding Needs (North Kentucky Tribune, Kentucky)

In a letter to the editor of the North Kentucky Tribune, Covington Partners Program Director and Afterschool Ambassador Tom Haggard details the importance of access to afterschool programs: “This Thursday, several hundred parents, students, educators, business leaders, policymakers and others will come together across our region to mark the 18th annual Lights On Afterschool, the nation’s only nationwide celebration of afterschool programs…. But because of funding difficulties, we don’t have nearly enough programs…. Our challenge in the afterschool movement: To make sure every child in the nation has access to afterschool.”

share this link: http://bit.ly/2iyZDj4
learn more about: In The News Lights On Afterschool