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Snacks by Luci Manning
DEC
7
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: December 7, 2016

By Luci Manning

Establishing a Culture of Peace (Indianapolis Star, Indiana)
Students in the Martin Luther King Center afterschool program now have a safe space to relax, take a few deep breaths and escape the drama of their daily lives. The community center decided to create the new Peace Room to give students a place to wind down, read and meditate after they finish their homework. The room is filled with peace-themed art, books and beanbag chairs. “We’ve dedicated this as the no-drama zone,” center director Allison Luthe told the Indianapolis Star. In addition to the afterschool program, the center also tries to engage parents with services like job training, co-working space and financial coaching.

One Zesty Food Fight (St. Joseph Herald-Palladium, Michigan)
Some 130 students from five area high schools stewed beans, chopped vegetables and fried cornbread at the eighth annual Chili Cook-Off at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College on Friday. The competition gave students a chance to meet their peers in other culinary programs and show off the skills they have been learning in their cooking classes. Being in a college setting also may have inspired some of the students to start thinking about their future. “It can get them excited about college,” Chris Woodruff, chair of the college’s Hospitality and Management Faculty and program, told the Herald-Palladium. “Maybe they haven’t even thought about it yet. It’s like, ‘This is fun. I can do this. I may to do this for a career.’”

From Syrian Refugee to U.S. Doctor, He Helps Shape Teens’ Dreams (CNN)
When Dr. Heval Mohammad Kelli arrived in the U.S. as a Syrian refugee at age 17, he worked as a dishwasher on nights and weekends to help support his family, hoping to one day save enough money to go to medical school. Now, he trains as a cardiology fellow at Emory University, one block away from that restaurant, and mentors high school refugees who want to follow in his footsteps. “I feel the obligation as a physician that my service goes beyond patient care: I need to invest in the community,” Kelli told CNN. The Young Physicians Initiative is an afterschool program that partners Emory University medical students with young refugees from around the world to inspire them to pursue a career in medicine, no matter the barriers.

After-School Programs Are Vital for Austin’s Children (Austin-American Statesman, Texas)
Karen LaShelle, executive director of Creative Action, lays out the benefits of afterschool programs in an Austin-American Statesman op-ed: "One big reason so many children aren’t some place safe and constructively engaged is that we don’t have enough after-school programs across the state...The Del Valle school district, located just east of Austin, has risen to the challenge. All of its 12 schools provide after-school programs for youths in K-12th grade...They can get help with homework; act in a play; dance in a ballet folklorico group; learn about various science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics; play soccer of chess; plant and harvest a garden and more. And they do all those things under the watchful eyes of caring adults...We can only hope that leaders in other communities will find a way to follow Del Valle's example."

DEC
1
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: December 1, 2016

By Luci Manning

Nutrition Fair Provides Dose of Education for All Kinds of Students (Centre Daily Times, Pennsylvania)

A partnership between Penn State University and the State College Area School District recently gave university students an opportunity to teach “nutrition at a community level” to afterschool students the Centre Daily Times reports. Some 55 Penn State students put together a Health and Nutrition Fair with a variety of interactive booths to teach kindergarten to fifth-graders from Ferguson Township Elementary School about what’s in their food and where it comes from. The fair also allowed college students to practice teaching in a real-world setting.

New After-School Program Offers Students and Their Families Free Tutoring, Meals (Santa Fe New Mexican, New Mexico)

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe’s Homework Diner is working to nourish both the minds and bodies of vulnerable children throughout the south-side of the city. Some 80 students attend the afterschool program, where they receive a free meal and help from volunteer tutors to get their homework done. The program also invites family members to enjoy dinner with their children. “This way we make sure the kids are getting fed and learning,” Club director Roman Abeyta told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “We really don’t know the family situation, but this really can take a burden off of parents when it comes to both feeding their children and making sure they get their homework done.”

Muslim Teen Fights Stigma by Winning Robotics Competitions (Los Angeles Times, California)

Sixteen-year-old Zaina Siyed is determined to change the way Muslims are perceived in the United States by coaching an all-female, all-Muslim team of teens to victory in robotics competitions. According to the Los Angeles Times, the FemSTEM girls recently won the award for best overall performance at a First Lego League robotics competition, where young people between the ages of nine and 14 build and program robots to perform a variety of different functions. The competitions emphasize teamwork and problem-solving wrapped around math and science concepts. “As a woman in STEM… [I’m] proud, hopeful for the next generation,” judge Cindy Muñoz said as she presented the team with its award. “I’m just so excited to see women, minorities, Muslims just really challenge those views some people have.”

Afterschool Program Finds Cozy Home (Port Clinton News Herald, Ohio)

Port Clinton students can enjoy tasty snacks and a cozy atmosphere at a free afterschool program at Bistro 163. The philanthropic-minded restaurant, which encourages patrons to pay more than the menu price to cover the cost of food for someone less fortunate, gives students a space to work on homework with volunteer tutors, play tabletop games, do crafts and eat a substantial snack every Wednesday after school. “It’s just something I felt like we should do,” owner and chef Stacy Maple told the Port Clinton News Herald.  

NOV
23
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: November 23, 2016

By Luci Manning

Students Partner with Elementary School, Teach Science (Stanford Daily, California)

Twice a week, elementary schoolers at East Palo Alto Charter School receive special science lessons from Stanford University students as part of the Science Bus afterschool program. The lesson plan is entirely devised by the Stanford students and includes a mix of lectures, field trips, events and fun experiments like mixing Coke and Mentos to explore chemical reactions. Mentorship is another important aspect of the Science Bus, according to third-year doctoral student Josh Eggold, who heads the program. “In contrast to a one-time event, we see the same students time and time again....These one-on-one relationships are a great foundation for us to have a meaningful impact in the students’ lives,” he told the Stanford Daily.

Porzingis to Donate $500 per Block to NY-Area Hoops Program (Wall Street Journal, New York)

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has pledged to donate $500 for each of his blocked shots this season to the RENS, a nonprofit basketball program, according to the Wall Street Journal. The “KrisStops” campaign will benefit the group’s Ben Jobe Educational and Scholarship Fund, which provides third- through eighth-grade students with tutoring, SAT prep and tuition money.

Inner City Figure Skating Program Comes to Detroit (Associated Press, Michigan)

The successful Figure Skating in Harlem program is making its way to cities across the country, starting with Detroit. Figure Skating in Detroit’s (FSD) inaugural year will serve 300 Detroit girls ages 6 to 15 through community workshops, summer camps, afterschool programs and more. “This is a youth development opportunity for Detroit’s young women, wrapped around the fun, artistry and discipline of figure skating,” FSD leader Geneva Williams told the Associated Press. The program empowers young girls with a combination of skating instruction, STEM-focused academics, entrepreneurship, leadership and social skills, critical thinking and healthy living resources.

From Lunches to Laundry, Schools Extend a Helping Hand beyond the Classroom (Chambersburg Public Opinion, Pennsylvania)

The Chambersburg Area School District is hoping to improve its students’ academics by focusing on the ‘whole child.’ District schools and local nonprofits, have built a network of support services meant to meet students’ basic needs and put them on a path to success. In addition to afterschool programs, the new initiative includes installing a washer and dryer to help homeless students, a food pantry that students can access on weekends or other days when the school is closed, a pediatrics clinic, English-language classes, and more. “Not all our students are “needy” in the sense of being poor or disadvantaged, but all have special needs,” director of support services Tamera Stouffer told the Public Opinion. “We want to meet all those needs and be the public school of choice.” 

NOV
16
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: November 16, 2016

By Luci Manning

Science Keeps Jr. High Students After School (Chico Enterprise-Record, California)

Students in the Bidwell Junior High School BLAST afterschool program don’t need encouragement to learn – they eagerly dive into the program’s hands-on science projects. Students from Chico State University lead experiments and teach the middle schoolers about topics ranging from hydrophobic molecules to how batteries work. Working with college students also exposes the children to the value of higher education, coordinator Stephanie Johnson said. “Hopefully it will give the kids another look at what hard work and dedication to education can get them,” she told the Chico Enterprise-Record.

‘Subway Sleuths’ Help the Autistic Learn, Grow (Daily News, New York)

An afterschool program for autistic children who love trains recently received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama to recognize its positive impact on students in Brooklyn. The Transit Museum’s Subway Sleuths program offers a chance for children to build train sets, make transit-themed art, go on museum scavenger hunts and build social skills as they share their love of trains with their peers. Parent Maria Farley said the program has helped her son Alastair learn to express himself. “He’s comfortable with speaking to me and speaking to other people about his interests and being able to express himself without any fear, without any reservations… it’s empowering,” she told the Daily News.

Through Art, Drama and Science, D.C. Schools Aim to Help Black and Latino Boys (Washington Post, District of Columbia)

Sixteen D.C. schools received grant money earlier this year to develop programs that will contribute to the academic and social success of young males of color in D.C. Public Schools. The Empowering Males of Color initiative supports afterschool programs that focus on science, art and more. “Our schools are excited about the activities and the supports that they have for our young men of color,” interim chancellor John Davis told the Washington Post. “It has generated an excitement and given them the support to be innovative.” The schools hope to give students skills that can lead them toward realistic and positive careers and help them to develop their social-emotional abilities.

A Denver Native Brings the Vast Outdoors to at-Risk Youths (Christian Science Monitor)

Denver nonprofit cityWILD is enabling low-income and marginalized students to enjoy outdoor opportunities in Colorado’s vast wilderness through a free afterschool program. Low-income students often don’t have access to outdoor activities, so the group organizes overnight and day trips where students can raft, backpack, mountain-bike, hike, snowshoe and explore nature in a safe, supportive environment. The program also offers academic assistance, leadership development and general support to the community. Executive director Jes Ward said the positive effect on students is clear. “[I] see the transformation in young people when they do have access to the outdoors and nature: It is incredible,” she told the Christian Science Monitor. “They are not the same young people that walk in the doors the first time.” 

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NOV
9
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: November 9, 2016

By Luci Manning

‘The Most Fired-up Kids’ (San Antonio Express-News, Texas)

Thanks to a donation from the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, some 500 students will learn how to play music on refurbished violins and cellos in the Winston Strings Program. The program teaches string instruments to students of all grade levels during and after school. While the orchestra in the past has lent instruments and sent in teaching assistants, this is the first time they have fully donated instruments to the program. “We’re not trying to make them into musicians; we’re trying to help students have a large sense of their own potential,” orchestra music director Troy Peters told the San Antonio Express-News.

Late Artist’s Foundation Gives Core Academy Students at West Prep a Place to Showcase Art in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada)

An afterschool program is bringing art and creative opportunities to underprivileged students from fifth grade through college. Core Academy offers students afterschool enrichment opportunities and homework help, as well as support for basic needs like food, school supplies and health care, to help students find their way through high school and eventually make it to college or a successful career. “I knew from the students that I was working with that it was going to take a lot more than mentoring and tutoring to truly break the cycle of poverty,” chief inspiration officer Lindsay Harper told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Not every kid has the same opportunity in this community, and so we are here to inspire and empower.”

NASA to Help Local Kids with Projects (Great Falls Tribune, Montana)

Students from nine Montana schools will spend the next few months collaborating with NASA to design drag devices and pressurized containment suits as part of the Montana 21st Century Community Learning Center program. The engineering design challenge will give students in fifth through eighth grade the chance to employ their STEM skills in afterschool science clubs to build interstellar equipment to better protect astronauts and support space exploration. “These students will get a firsthand look at how science, technology, engineering and math can create real solutions for space exploration,” superintendent of public instruction Denise Juneau told the Great Falls Tribune. “Getting students excited about the STEM fields is how we’ll continue to be a worldwide leader in research and discovery.”

Kids Bring Garden Project to Life (Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico)

Fifteen children between the ages of four and 11 showcased their knowledge of road runners, scorpions, butterflies and more at the Kiwanis Learning Garden through “The Synergy of Animals and Plants” project. Students in the Family Stewardship Collaborative, an afterschool program through the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, each selected an animal as their research subject. They then put together mosaics depicting the animal and a report describing how the animal interacts with plants, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The project, funded by a grant from the American Forest Foundation’s Project Learning Tree, will be on display at the garden indefinitely. 

NOV
2
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: November 2, 2016

By Luci Manning

Mentor Programs Steer Teens Away from Gangs (Associated Press, Oregon)

A community-wide coalition is aiming to keep youth from joining gangs through a variety of activities, including sports, art, spirituality and bicycle building. The Jackson County Gang Prevention Task Force includes law enforcement, educators, afterschool programs, nonprofit organizations and others who believe that stopping gang violence takes a whole community, not just the police, according to the Associated Press. “The only way to fight gangs is in the community and the police working together to beat this,” former gang member and Familia Unida volunteer Rico Gutierrez said. “The community has to be involved. Police can’t do it alone.”

Time to Jam: Kids Rock at After-School Program (Bland County Messenger, Virginia)

Students in a weekly afterschool program are learning to play fiddle, banjo, mountain dulcimer and other instruments traditional to Southern Appalachian music. Washington County JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) teaches 50 fourth- through eighth-grade students music skills and gives them a chance to explore and appreciate other aspects of Appalachian culture, such as clogging, square dancing, quilting and more. “We strive to expose the children to music and traditions of our area they may not pursue on their own,” coordinator Tammy Martin told the Bland County Messenger. The program is in its second year and has nearly twice the number of participants.

When Girls Teach Girls, They Unleash a New Power (Miami Herald, Florida)

In an effort to empower young girls from underserved communities, a host of nonprofits and community organizations are providing afterschool and mentoring opportunities at a number of Miami schools. A 13-year old Girl Scout is teaching younger girls how to code and assemble robots. The Embrace Girls Foundation is giving homework assistance and life-skills training at afterschool programs in three local schools, as well as a culinary program, tennis club and more. And the Honey Shine mentoring program provides mentoring and instruction in robotics, STEM, digital and financial literacy and more. “We teach the girls self-empowerment, character development, self-love and etiquette,” Honey Shine program manager Millie Delgado told the Miami Herald. “We empower young girls to shine as women.”

Grooming International Leaders While Helping Camden’s Kids (Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania)

For more than 25 years, UrbanPromise has worked to bolster leaders in international communities and build educational and youth development programs in America's cities and in foreign countries. The fellowship program brings community leaders from Uganda, Haiti and more to Camden schools and afterschool programs to help children break down prejudices. UrbanPromise also helps these fellows develop programs they can take back to their home countries to support youths there. “What we’re doing is supporting and resourcing young leaders to go home and make change,” UrbanPromise International School of Leadership Nadia VanderKuip told the Philadelphia Inquirer

OCT
26
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: October 26, 2016

By Luci Manning

After-School Program Seeks to Inspire Students (NBC Washington, District of Columbia)

Students in the After-School All-Stars program at Hobson Middle School are taking a different kind of STEM class:  one focused on science, travel, entrepreneurship and math. The students celebrated Lights On Afterschool by planning theoretical trips to places like New Orleans and Puerto Rico, learning the foundations of jazz music, expressing themselves with design and business plans and inspiring each other to change their worlds. The program serves 300 children in four D.C. schools and hopes to bring in an additional 200 children by the end of the year. “It’s a very different space,” Afterschool Ambassador Daniela Grigioni told NBC Washington. “It allows children to develop a different skill set than during the school day.”

Governor Emphasizes Importance of Reading in Visit to KCK Boys and Girls Club (Wyandotte Daily, Kansas)

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback emphasized the importance of literacy and inspired Reading Roadmap students to reach for the stars last week as part of Lights On Afterschool at a Kansas City Boys & Girls Club. The afterschool program targets children in low-income families who are struggling to read. “You learn to read, it’s going to open gateways for you to go all over the world,” Gov. Brownback told the students. “Maybe someday some of you are going to go to the moon, even…. I want you to work really hard, study hard, I want you to get straight As in school, I know you can do it.” The governor signed a proclamation for Lights On Afterschool Day, according to the Wyandotte Daily.

'Bright Futures' a Hit at Franklin Middle School (Hometown Life, Michigan)

The Bright Futures afterschool program is encouraging 350 students in nine Wayne-Westland schools to learn and grow their academic, art, leadership and time-management skills. The free program provides a meal, homework help and a variety of enrichment activities for youth. Eighth-grader Jael Smith said the program inspires her to push past her boundaries and plan more for her future. “I’ve learned to go outside my comfort zone,” she told Hometown Life. “I think that’s a really important part of growing up and being successful. You can’t really get anywhere without getting out of your comfort zone.” The program celebrated Lights On Afterschool last week with stations highlighting students’ achievements in math, art, film making, physical activities and science.

Local YMCA's Run for Lights On Afterschool Project (KVRR, North Dakota)

Nearly a thousand students from 23 area YMCA sites participated in a 1K run last week to highlight the importance of afterschool programs. The YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties has held the annual Lights On Afterschool run around Island Park for 16 years. "It's watching the kids grow, watching the families really appreciate what you do and all the hard work you put into making sure that the kids have somewhere to go after school and somewhere safe to be," Site Coordinator Kelsi McClaflin told KVRR.

OCT
19
2016

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: October 19, 2016

By Luci Manning

Rally Will Help Celebrate Afterschool Programs in Hawaii (Hawaii News Now, Hawaii)

The Hawaii Afterschool Alliance will celebrate Lights On Afterschool with a rally at the Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda today. The rally will allow children to show off their talents for art, dance and music and give the community a chance to show their appreciation for afterschool programs. “These places are engaging, the kids are having fun, and they are linked to the school hours, so when they are in the afterschool hours, they can support the work they do during school,” Afterschool Ambassador Paula Adams told Hawaii News Now.

Valley Center District Honored for Afterschool Program (San Diego Union-Tribune, California)

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) recognized Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District as its featured 2016 Lights On Afterschool district in honor of its exceptional afterschool programs. The district’s programs mix academics with enrichment activities, giving students a chance to try their hand at cooking, weightlifting, STEM subjects and more. “Parents are working, and this provides a safe place, an engaging, positive place for students,” Superintendent Mary Gorsuch told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Students need opportunities in a rural community like ours to have outlets that aren’t available otherwise. For us, this is huge. We want to make sure kids graduate ready to be successful adults.”

Need for After School Programs Highlighted at Burchell High (Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Alaska)

Community members celebrated the Mat-Su Borough School District’s Building Bridges afterschool program and highlighted the need for more quality afterschool options at a Lights On Afterschool rally last week. Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle issued a Proclamation of Support for Afterschool Programming and students gave presentations on digital art design, dance, archery, robotics, outdoor recreation, personal finance and poetry, according to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Building Bridges is a STEM-focused program that provides homework assistance, mentoring, college readiness training and other services.

Play Will Put Spotlight on Boys & Girls Club After-School Programs (Tampa Bay Times, Florida)

Students in the Boys & Girls Club in Hernando’s six afterschool sites will perform dramatic productions to celebrate Lights On Afterschool. Each site will put on a different play, and overall some 450 children will participate in tomorrow’s event. The performances are the culmination of a new initiative for club members called Drama Matters, which teaches students the ins and outs of the theater business, Tampa Bay Times reports. Students are not only the actors, but they built the sets, designed costumes and will manage a lot of the production aspects on the night of the performance.