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
Blogs We Read Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Snacks by Luci Manning
AUG
26

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: August 26, 2015

By Luci Manning

Barrio Logan Education Program Sends More Immigrants to College (KPBS, California)

Thanks to the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI), Mexican immigrant Sarabi Rodriguez will be attending her dream college, UC Berkeley, in the fall. BLCI works with low-income, primarily immigrant families in San Diego to start preparing students for college in elementary school, involving their whole family in the planning process. Students in the afterschool program receive a meal and work with tutors, all of whom are bilingual and first-generation college students. Rodriguez was so grateful for her experience at BLCI that she organized the supplementary College Awareness Mentorship Program over the summer to reach other disadvantaged students who couldn’t attend BLCI due to its limited resources. “We want them to see themselves in our shoes and see that it’s possible,” she told KPBS. “We want to make sure they see that (college) is a possibility and make them passionate about something.”

Lemonade Lessons: Boys and Girls Club Members Learn About Business (Baraboo News-Republic, Wisconsin)

Boys and Girls Club members recently underwent business training from Old Navy employees in preparation for running their own lemonade stand at the end of the month. The elementary and middle school students developed marketing and pricing strategies and will set up their lemonade stand at an Old Navy store on August 29. “This is an opportunity for our younger members to set up and learn about how to run their own business,” Boys and Girls Club director of curriculum Doug Mering told Baraboo News-Republic. Lemonade Days is part of the Boys and Girls Club’s Summer Brain Gain program, which aims to prevent summer learning loss through project-based, themed activities.

Prescott Students ‘Dig’ New Class Project (Cookeville Herald-Citizen, Tennessee)

Students in the Prescott South Elementary LEAPs afterschool program will soon have a chance to harvest fresh lettuce, radishes, peas, carrots and tomatoes from their organic garden. In their gardening project, kids are learning about measuring crops, the harvesting process, energy efficiency, the water cycle and the life cycle of plants. They’ll even gain some business experience by creating their own farmer’s market at the school. “The kids can learn how to sell their vegetables and get the full experience of what a farmer goes through,” second grade teacher and project head Allison Wheeler told the Cookeville Herald-Citizen. “They’ll learn to advertise and manage money, and that money will go towards next year’s plants.”

New Child Care Program to Address Shortage (Bismarck Tribune, North Dakota)

The Missouri Valley YMCA has partnered with three local businesses – Basin Electric, Sanford Health and CHI St. Alexius Health – to expand child care services for their employees and other community members. North Dakota’s oil boom is drawing more workers to the state and increasing the demand for quality child care. Thanks to the new partnership, the expansion will allow the YMCA to open a new location, giving 240 children access to swimming lessons, sports and other fun activities while their parents are at work. “Every working parent strives to achieve a balance,” CHI St. Alexius Health president Kurt Schley told the Bismarck Tribune. “A lack of child care can affect that balance. We see this going hand-in-hand with our mission to promote a healthier community.”

share this link: http://bit.ly/1MO4hze
learn more about: Equity Health and Wellness Science Working Families
Comments: (0)
AUG
19

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: August 19, 2015

By Luci Manning

The STEM Gap (Los Angeles Times, California)

In the Los Angeles Times, Education Secretary Arne Duncan writes about the future of STEM education: “Across the country, there are disparities in students’ access to the full range of math and science courses… [But] I’m optimistic about the future of STEM teaching and learning, in California and throughout the country. The Galt Joint Union Elementary School District… is increasing access to STEM with after-school clubs that offer virtual courses in subjects such as mechanical engineering…. Additionally, four of the nation’s largest youth development organizations – Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girls Inc., YMCA and the National 4-H Council – are establishing a partnership to ignite the interest of traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM. This partnership will provide low-income and minority students and young girls with access to mobile STEM labs, science expos and STEM-themed summer camps.”

Program Helps Immigrant Children Hone Language, Cultural Skills (Columbus Dispatch, Ohio)

For almost ten years, Columbus State Community College has been working with immigrant and refugee children in an afterschool and summer program to help them overcome the barriers they face after coming to the U.S. Kids receive help with reading, writing and homework, while also playing games, touring colleges and going on field trips. “It’s as much teaching them life skills and having fun as it is about the academics,” Allison Wannemacher, site specialist for the Wedgewood Village Apartments branch of the program, told the Columbus Dispatch. The program also offers ESL classes, health and nutrition workshops, interpretation/translation services and social-service referrals for parents.

New Flyers Coach Gives Back to Community at Youth Hockey Clinic (Philadelphia Daily News, Pennsylvania)

Eighth- and ninth-graders of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation were visited by a special guest the other day – new Philadelphia Flyers Head Coach Dave Hakstol. He advised the students on how to translate lessons learned in hockey to the rest of their life. At Snider Hockey’s After School Excellence Program, student-athletes receive educational help and get to spend time improving their hockey skills. “I think, probably, as a young person, you walk away from here each and every day feeling like you’ve accomplished something,” Hakstol told the Philadelphia Daily News. “And I think that’s something that really helps a young person grow and feel good about themselves.” The program is free for students who maintain a C grade average and complete 15 hours of community service.

Student Scientists Show NASA They Have the Right Stuff (Hometown Life, Michigan)

Four students from the Hicks Elementary School Bright Futures afterschool program impressed NASA engineers by creating a multiple purpose crew vehicle (MPCV) to return astronauts home safely from a mission. The students designed, tested and marketed the vehicle as part of the NASA/U.S. Department of Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Challenge, a program meant to increase and support public engagement of youth in STEM. The elementary students constructed their MPCV using aluminum foil, bubble wrap, a paper bag and pipe cleaners, then tested it by dropping it from various heights. “This was a way to engage students,” Eastern Michigan University 21st Century Community Learning Centers assistant director Maria Mitter told Hometown Life. “They did real work and realized how exciting science can be.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/1E3FK82
learn more about: Department of Education Health and Wellness NASA Science
Comments: (0)
AUG
12

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: August 12, 2015

By Luci Manning

New Nonprofit 4thQTR Mentors Middle School Students Through Football (Baltimore Sun, Maryland)

A pair of 20-something fitness buffs are helping young boys and girls avoid trouble and bad habits by teaching sports and mentoring them through the pivotal moments of their youth. Mark Covington and Justin Guy’s nonprofit 4thQTR Inc. uses sports as a vehicle to impart life lessons like leadership, teamwork and dedication. In the weekly afterschool program, kids exercise and run football drills while also receiving brotherly advice and homework help. The program focuses on four main areas: academic excellence, drug and alcohol awareness, healthy habits and leadership skills. But the founders see mentorship as the core of the program. “We think that if the support is coming from young mentors who really believe in you, that no matter what you want to be, a plumber or a football player or whatever, you’ll want to be the best you can be,” Covington told the Baltimore Sun.

Orchestra Opens Doors for Aspiring Musicians (Beloit Daily News, Wisconsin)

The Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra is using music to stem summer learning loss for Beloit students. The orchestra hosts a four-day Summer Music Mini-camp to promote music education and teach life lessons to around 50 students this summer. “We teach teamwork how to work well together,” treasurer and orchestra co-founder Carol Roy told the Beloit Daily News. “(These) things that aren’t an exact science.” The camp provides scholarships so that students of diverse backgrounds and demographics can participate. Roy and the other co-founders hope to expand the program and eventually foster an international music exchange program.

Tower Street Community Center Program Fights Learning Loss (Westerly Sun, Rhode Island)

Students in the summer learning program at Tower Street School have been building, gardening, acting, solving math problems and reading all day throughout the summer to keep up their academic skills before school starts this fall. On a recent day, all their activities were water-focused – several students developed a water table while another built a boat out of a soda bottle, cardboard and bubble wrap. In teacher Marie Hoffmann’s math class, she shows her students how youngsters around the country are using math to make a difference in their communities. “I want our students to make connections, feel empowered and know that they can do it, too,” she told the Westerly Sun. “So we take math equations and put them into a bigger context.”

Teen’s Army of Tutors Helps Mold Baltimore’s Neediest Pupils (Washington Post)

The nonprofit U.S. Dream Academy’s Baltimore chapter was struggling to engage the area’s impoverished students – until 18-year-old Zach Azrael stepped in. Azrael recruited a group of teen volunteers eager to tutor underserved children in exchange for service learning hours, and now the afterschool Tutoring Outreach Program (TOP) is blossoming with 11 themed clubs and activities. The volunteers collaborate with younger students on robotics, art, athletics, music, technology, world culture, food and film, while also helping with the kids’ math and reading homework. It’s making a world of difference for the youths, who had often struggled in school. “Sometimes, kids don’t believe in themselves because they’re getting bad grades,” 15-year-old Isaiah House, Azrael’s tutee, told the Washington Post. “But when something difficult is broken down to the smallest possible level in a way they understand, they start to get it.”

share this link: http://bit.ly/1h3mT2C
learn more about: Health and Wellness Summer Learning Arts
Comments: (0)
AUG
5

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: August 5, 2015

By Luci Manning

Mailman’s Appeal to Get a Boy Books Goes Viral: Do We Need Better Access to Reading Programs? (Christian Science Monitor)

Low-income students like 12-year-old Matthew Flores often have trouble accessing books during the summer, but thanks to one man, Matthew now has enough books to last him the entire year. When Matthew told his mailman Ron Lynch that he couldn’t afford to take a bus to the library and instead resorted to fishing through a junk mail bin to find something to read, Lynch posted an appeal on Facebook to get Matthew some more appropriate reading material. In just a few days, Matthew received more than 500 books, according to the Christian Science Monitor. “If it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t have any books right now,” Matthew said. “I’m just super happy.” He plans to read every book and donate them once he’s finished so other kids like him can keep up their reading over the summer.

Charlotte Photographer Stumps for Students’ “Inked” Exhibition (Charlotte Observer, North Carolina)

A five-year-old youth-led afterschool photography project might finally get its day in the sun thanks to the dedication of its instructor. In 2010, Mark Pendergrass taught a portrait photography class to Charlotte high school students at the YMCA, culminating in a project called “Inked: The Story Behind the Art,” featuring portraits and stories of Charlotte residents with tattoos. The project was never exhibited due to unfortunate changes in the afterschool program’s funding, but Pendergrass is now raising money to display the photos in galleries, tattoo shops and venues around the city. “This is a great opportunity for youth art to receive recognition and inspire others enduring hardships to focus on their passions,” Kevin Mitchell, a project participant turned professional photographer, told the Charlotte Observer.

Lowell Students Get the Scoop on Summer Reading (Lowell Sun, Massachusetts)

The Summer Learning Collaborative by United Way is incorporating fun literacy initiatives into Lowell summer programs to try and tackle summer learning loss – and the summer heat. Students throughout the city will get an ice cream party at the end of the summer to celebrate all the reading progress they’ve made, and one school is awarding kids one water balloon for every four books they read to hurl at a staff member of their choice. “The curriculum incorporates everything right into physical education, arts and crafts,” Community Teamwork, Inc. School Age Site coordinator Lina Iacopucci told the Lowell Sun. “They’re learning as they’re going, they’re not even realizing that it’s happening.”

412 Build’s Business Is Training Teen Entrepreneurs (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania)

A five-week summer program is giving teenagers the chance to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to executives at Google and other influential companies. 412 Build gives teens instruction in prototyping, market research, financial planning, urban design, welding, woodworking and 3D printing, all leading up to a culminating group project meant to improve the community. The goal is to reach students who might not have the resources or connections to have their ideas see the light of day. “We have students who don’t get these kinds of opportunities,” summer instructor Steve Fortunato told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “They get so many resources and so much networking. It’s awesome how excited they are to be here every day.” 

share this link: http://bit.ly/1K45HRm
learn more about: Summer Learning Arts Literacy
Comments: (0)
JUL
29

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: July 29, 2015

By Luci Manning

High Schoolers Use Their Noodles at Engineering Summer Program (Washington Post, District of Columbia)

Local high school students spent a recent Friday morning putting their engineering skills to work by building bridges with dry spaghetti – and almost immediately destroying them. The teens in the Johns Hopkins University Engineering Innovation summer program were testing how much weight their noodles could support before collapsing. The engineering summer program aims to spark student interest in science by illustrating principles through hands-on projects, program director Karen Borgsmiller told the Washington Post. It’s an opportunity to explore how what they learn in their high school physics class applies to the real world. In addition to the spaghetti bridges, students in the program also build model cars and create traps to capture table-tennis balls.

Bringing Art to ‘Every Child’ (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Florida)

More than 150 children are spending their summer exploring beat box music, Latin dance, drama, drumming and hip-hop through an eight-week summer program put on by the Association of Florida Teaching Artists. Each day, homeless and underserved students get lessons in music and the arts from local professionals in an attempt to broaden their artistic horizons, build their confidence and keep them learning throughout the summer in a creative, interactive way. On a recent day, kids recorded their own songs using instruments they built from various household items. “This is my passion and my heart,” executive director Mary Kelly told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “Because I feel every child deserves quality art experiences.”

CRUSADing for Kids: Activists Seek Support in Campaign Against Child Poverty (Marin Independent Journal, California)

The Hannah Project’s Freedom School is sparking the imagination of nearly 50 disadvantaged students this summer as they focus on how to alleviate global poverty. The summer enrichment program was created by the Children’s Defense Fund to encourage reading and build leadership skills among low-income youths. “The biggest thing for them is to see somebody who looks like them, who they can relate to, who have experienced the same things they’ve experienced,” Corey Meshack, a paid intern from Midland University in Nebraska, told the Marin Independent Journal. “Once they see that, it opens them up.” The focus on eradicating poverty isn’t just for the kids – the Children’s Defense Fund is also engaging parents in the crusade, encouraging them to reach out to policymakers in support of a number of initiatives that could reduce child poverty in Marin. 

Violence Prevention Plan Aims to Teach Young Boys (Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tennessee)

A new program at the YWCA Knoxville aims to teach middle-school boys how to identify violence and intervene.  GameChangers uses adult male mentors to teach middle school-age boys, primarily from urban areas, about different kinds of domestic violence, when and how to intervene and how to be advocates for women in their communities. YWCA violence prevention project coordinator Hannah Brinson told the Knoxville News-Sentinel that she hopes the program will “give them a positive male role model, someone who can offer them that different perspective of healthy masculinity and what it means to be a man.” The first group of boys is already meeting, and new groups will start next month as part of the YWCA’s afterschool program.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1IL39gp
learn more about: Science Summer Learning Arts Youth Development
Comments: (0)
JUL
22

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: July 22, 2015

By Luci Manning

Karate Kids: Students Learn Self-Defense (Jackson Sun, Tennessee)

Jackson students are getting a workout and learning strategies for self-defense and crisis management in the Fudoskinka Dojo’s karate summer program. Throughout the summer, kids learn the history of various forms of martial arts, watch classic martial arts movies and practice origami and calligraphy. Each morning starts with tai chi, a Chinese martial art that promotes good cardiovascular, respiratory and central nervous systems health. “What I have witnessed is that kids who have a regular cardiovascular program… I find that it’s a lot easier for them to concentrate when they’re physically pushed,” sensei and program leader Sherwin Moore told the Jackson Sun. The karate lessons continue throughout the year as an afterschool program with a focus on academics – students with good grades can win prizes from the “Dojo Store.”

Canton Man Invites Summer School Group to Fishing Pond (Ogdensburg Journal, New York)

Some 30 kids had the opportunity to fish for perch, bullhead and large and small mouth bass in a man-made pond as part of the three-week Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Summer Fishing Camp. This is the third year William Locy has hosted the summer program at his private pond, which he stocked with a wide variety of fish for their visit. “You have a life experience on how to fish and how to catch fish and get them off the hook,” student Isaac LaRock told the Ogdensburg Journal. “I really like it.” All the kids relished having the chance to get away from school for a day and learn a new life skill they can carry with them for years.

Summer Chess Camp Hooks Local Kids on the Game (Chambersburg Public Opinion, Pennsylvania)

Teacher James Doyle has spent his summer teaching Franklin county students the tactics and strategies of how to defeat their opponent in a chess match. The twice-weekly summer chess camp is a pilot program that has allowed about 20 students to learn the game and improve their skills by playing with peers. The program gives students a productive way to spend lazy summer days and can provide a boost to their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. “(The game) helps build focus and concentration, even in children who have trouble sitting still and concentrating on tasks,” Doyle told the Chambersburg Public Opinion. Although currently Doyle only runs a summer program, he’d like to see chess integrated into local curricula, and hopes to open an afterschool chess club for all area students this year.

Young Readers Revel at Superhero Training Camp (Sierra Vista Herald, Arizona)

More than 90 kids channeled their inner superhero at Sierra Vista Library’s Superhero Training Camp this weekend, participating in hero-centric crafts, games and challenges as part of the library’s summer reading program. The library has been hosting special weekend activities and regular reading events in line with the year’s theme – “Every Hero Has a Story” – to keep kids reading throughout the summer. “It’s about preventing kids from falling into what we call the summer slide, where they basically fall behind in the summer because they don’t keep up with their reading,” librarian Sierra Baril told the Sierra Vista Herald

share this link: http://bit.ly/1LDn53J
learn more about: Health and Wellness Rural Summer Learning
Comments: (0)
JUL
15

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: July 15, 2015

By Luci Manning

Alice Cooper Unveils Computer Lab at Teen Center (Arizona Republic, Arizona)

Rock star Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center recently opened a new technology center to enhance the center’s afterschool tutoring program and give disadvantaged teens better access to technology. In addition to the computer lab, the teen center provides music, dance and cooking lessons as well as vocational training in the arts and entertainment industries. “What we want is for kids to have a creative outlet,” Cooper told the Arizona Republic. “Not all of them are gonna be players or dancers…. As long as there’s some creativity going on, that’s the ticket.” Since its opening in 2012, the center draws about 100 teens a week. According to Cooper, they’re currently planning to build a full art studio and a recording studio.

Anacostia Vending Machines Provide a New Snack: Free Children’s Books (Washington Post, District of Columbia)

Children in the Southeast Washington neighborhood of Anacostia are getting more than junk food from the Salvation Army community center’s newest vending machine. The machine, funded by JetBlue airlines, aims to dispense about 100,000 free books this summer to kids under the age of 14. Anacostia has one of the District’s lowest literacy rates and is a “book desert,” with only one age-appropriate children’s book for every 830 kids. JetBlue hopes the machine will be a creative tool to help close that literacy gap. “We wanted to do something that made kids wants to read, and want books,” JetBlue director of corporate responsibility Icema Gibbs told the Washington Post. “This way, they come to the machine, they choose what they like, instead of us deciding what they get and when they can get it.”

Manatee County Children Clean Up 32 Pounds of 'Unseen' Trash at Coquina Bayside (Bradenton Herald, Florida)

About 100 students and volunteers from various summer programs learned a lesson about environmental stewardship last week when they cleaned up 32 pounds of trash and more than 16 pounds of recyclable material at Coquina Bayside on Anna Maria Island. The goal of the 90-minute cleanup, organized by the Nature Academy, was to show kids how much of an impact even “unseen” trash and pollution can have on animals and the environment. In addition, it helped teach them a lesson about personal responsibility. “The environment is like your room, only bigger,” 11-year-old Cayenne Adams told the Bradenton Herald. “You have to keep it clean even if you have a brother or sister that’s making the mess.”

Ag Business 101: Cortez Middle School Students Learn the Business Side of Farming (Cortez Journal, Colorado)

Nine middle school students are learning the ins-and-outs of farming production as part of the four-week Youth Farmers Market Apprentice Program. Throughout the summer, kids will tend an acre of row crops, create budgets, set prices and schedule vegetable harvests. Whatever money the students make selling their produce at the local farmers market will go toward $100 stipends for each participant. “Our hope is that these students choose to be in the Ag elective next year, be advocates for the garden and really help spread enthusiasm,” Cortez Middle School farm production coordinator Danyel Mezzanatto told the Cortez Journal

share this link: http://bit.ly/1Dho5nq
learn more about: Science Service Arts Literacy
Comments: (0)
JUL
8

NEWS ROUNDUP
email
print

Weekly Media Roundup: July 8, 2015

By Luci Manning

Students Add Creativity to NOTO Mosaic (Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas)

About 35 students turned a nondescript concrete retaining wall in front of the NOTO Arts Center into a colorful, creative work of art last week, placing pieces of cut tile and mirror in various animal shapes to form a mosaic. The students are part of the Quincy Elementary School Summer STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math) program, which focuses on developing reading skills, problem-solving and creativity and in young kids. Each day, the students spend 45 minutes reading, take field trips and participate in theme-based activities, including the NOTO Arts Camp. It exposes them to a wide range of hands-on learning experiences like creating the NOTO mosaic, which many of them enjoyed. “I like this, because I get messy,” fourth-grader Danniell Johnson told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “It’s so fun to put it on the wall.”

Keeping Young Minds Active (Daily Ardmoreite, Oklahoma)

Nearly 400 children are getting the typical summer camp treatment at St. Mary Catholic Church, participating in arts, crafts, music drama and games. But instructors are sneaking in math and language arts skills to campers in between all these fun activities. “It is summer and we want the kids to enjoy what we are teaching them,” instructor Ashley Huggins told the Daily Ardmoreite. The camp hopes kids will find the fun in learning as they read stories, put together fairy tale mad libs and take part in service learning projects like Color Me a Smile, where campers create cheerful drawings for senior citizens, and writing thank-you letters to troops overseas.

Hartford Police Officers Rap with Youths to Erode Stereotypes (New York Times, Connecticut)

A music program in Hartford is breaking down barriers between young men of color and police officers. The 12-week program, known as Good Vibrations, brought together about 20 mostly black or Hispanic middle school boys and six police officers for guitar and rap lessons. At the start of the program, the officers mostly just observed the class from the sidelines; as the weeks went on, they became more involved, joining in on the guitar sessions and contributing lyrics to the rap songs. “I thought police officers were just to catch bad guys and be in a bad tone,” 12-year-old Kayke Lopes told the New York Times. “But these guys are awesome… They do stuff with us. They help us. They give us advice and everything.” The program will continue through the summer and expand to include up to 60 boys and 15 officers in the fall.

Cooking Camp Gives Hands-on Lessons to Children (Twin Falls Times-News, Idaho)

Children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Magic Valley learned to cook in a week-long summer camp through the University of Idaho extension’s Eat Smart Idaho program, according to the Twin Falls Times-News. Each day, the kids received a cooking lesson and produced culinary creations like smoothies, hummus and mini pizzas. For the hummus lesson, they had a chance to mash garbanzo beans, grate a lemon and peel garlic. They also learned about hand washing, flavors, fruits and vegetables, breakfast foods and the government’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines. 

share this link: http://bit.ly/1J56EbM
learn more about: Nutrition Summer Learning Arts
Comments: (0)