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 Nikki Yamashiro
AUG
26

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Deadline extended! Nominate a program for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award by Sept. 6!

By Nikki Yamashiro

If you haven’t heard about the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award yet, you’re in luck! If you know of an afterschool program that is providing year-round support, has a strong literacy focus and is helping improve its students’ reading, writing and critical thinking skills, you now have until Sept. 6 to nominate it for a chance to win a $10,000 award. A steady stream of nominations has been rolling in and we can’t wait to see what other afterschool programs we’ll find out about over the course of the next week and a half.

Together with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, we are excited to hear from the field about the work taking place around building students’ literacy skills and to recognize one program with a $10,000 award. This is a great opportunity to showcase the achievements and impact of your program or of a program with which you are familiar.

We encourage nominators to download a copy of the nomination form and review the questions prior to filling out and submitting the form online. Be sure to visit our awards page to learn more about the eligibility requirements.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1hFYxfQ
learn more about: Competition Funding Opportunity Literacy
Comments: (0)
JUL
23

IN THE FIELD
email
print

It's back! Nominate a program today for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award

By Nikki Yamashiro

For the second year in a row, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance are thrilled to present the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award. We need your help to find the next Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award winner that will receive $10,000 for their program, be recognized in a joint Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Afterschool Alliance issue brief, and be featured in upcoming webinars and national conferences.  

This year we are searching for afterschool programs that provide year-round support to help improve their students’ reading, writing and critical thinking skills. In a departure from last year’s eligibility requirements, we are opening up the award to afterschool programs that serve students of any age, including elementary, middle and high school students.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1gQ2CNK
learn more about: Funding Opportunity Literacy
Comments: (0)
JUL
14

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Deadline extended: One more week to answer a short survey and a chance to win a $200 prize!

By Nikki Yamashiro

Photo via Cumberland County 4H.

A huge thank you to all of the rural afterschool program providers who have completed our survey and shared with us the unique opportunities and challenges they face in their rural afterschool programs. The response to the survey has been so great—with responses from afterschool programs in nearly all 50 states—that we don’t want to stop just yet. 

We have extended the deadline for the survey by one week. You now have until Wednesday, July 22 at 11:59 p.m. EDT to complete a short survey that will help us better understand the needs of rural afterschool program providers and that will give you a shot at winning a $200 Amazon gift card. To be eligible for the drawing for the $200 Amazon gift card, respondents must:

  • Be a rural afterschool program provider and
  • Complete the full survey.

Again, please one survey response per afterschool program.

It will take less than 10 minutes of your time to let us know about the great work you are doing for the children and families in your community and what supports are necessary for your program to better meet the needs of your community.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1MrszNn
learn more about: Rural
Comments: (0)
JUL
2

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Are you a rural afterschool program provider? We need your help!

By Nikki Yamashiro

Together with the Iowa Afterschool Alliance, we are calling on all rural afterschool program providers to complete a short survey on the challenges and opportunities unique to their program. By completing the full survey—which should take less than 10 minutes of your time—your program will be entered in a drawing for the chance to win a $200 Amazon gift card. It’s a win-win situation. Filling out the survey will make sure that your voice is heard as we work to better understand the issues providers face and practices they implement when it comes to reaching and serving children and families in rural communities, AND your program has a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

We ask that each afterschool program designate only one staff member to fill out the survey on behalf of the program.

The survey is open for just two weeks, and will close on Wednesday, July 15 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

We’re excited to hear from you and learn more about all that you are doing for afterschool!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1GQmINS
learn more about: Rural
Comments: (0)
JUN
17

RESEARCH
email
print

Summer learning infographic: Summer learning matters!

By Nikki Yamashiro

Our new infographic—the fourth in our America After 3PM infographic series—is a simple and visually compelling way to share just-released America After 3PM findings. It reveals that participation in summer learning programs has increased over the past five years and that demand among parents for these programs is high. The infographic illustrates the learning loss that happens during the summer months and the re-teaching that takes place when the school year begins in the fall, the high demand for summer learning programs, and the value both parents and teachers see in summer learning programs to support student success. 

Help us spread the word that children and families need more summer learning opportunities! Post, tweet or pin any or all of our summer infographics that highlight why summer learning matters, that parents want summer learning opportunities for their children and the strong support that exists for summer learning programs

share this link: http://bit.ly/1CdVfnp
learn more about: America After 3PM Summer Learning
Comments: (0)
JUN
15

RESEARCH
email
print

Soccer for Success keeping kids active and healthy

By Nikki Yamashiro

We know that afterschool programs across the country are helping to keep kids active and healthy, providing opportunities for physical activity, as well as offering healthy snacks and meals. The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s release of a new, independent evaluation of their Soccer for Success program—a free afterschool program serving approximately 30,000 children in underserved communities around the U.S.—further makes the case that afterschool programs have a positive impact on the health and wellness of students. The year-long evaluation, conducted by Healthy Networks Design & Research, looked at health indicators such as Body Mass Index (BMI) percentiles, waist circumference and PACER test lap results and found that children in the program improved their physical fitness and overall health. The evaluation reports that students in the program:

  • Decreased their BMI percentiles,
  • Transitioned to healthier BMI percentile categories,
  • Decreased their waist circumference size, and
  • Improved their aerobic capacity

Soccer for Success is a great example of how afterschool programs encourage heathy habits by combining physical activity, nutrition education, mentorship and family engagement. The result is a dynamic program that addresses different aspects of youth development, from children’s health issues to juvenile delinquency. Read more about the Soccer for Success impact evaluation at ussoccerfoundation.org and find out what physical activity opportunities look like for kids in your state on our interactive web dashboard

share this link: http://bit.ly/1C8MdYE
learn more about: Health and Wellness
Comments: (0)
JUN
11

RESEARCH
email
print

New summer learning numbers, new dashboard look

By Nikki Yamashiro

Last October, we took a look at how children spend the hours between 3 and 6 p.m. during the regular school year. As the temperature begins to rise and kids and families get ready for summer break, we have turned our attention to the summer months and what the summer learning program landscape looks like in the U.S. Answering questions like “what percentage of families have a child in a summer learning program?” and “how many families want their child to take part in a summer learning program?” our interactive Web dashboard—that includes data for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia—is an easy way to find out what participation in summer learning programs looks like in your state.

In addition to discovering what summer learning program participation and demand for summer learning programs looks like in your state, the dashboard also includes state-level information on the average amount of time children spend in a summer learning program, the cost of summer learning programs, and parent support for public funding of summer learning programs. For example, you can see that demand for summer learning programs ranges from 33 percent in North Dakota to 73 percent in the District of Columbia. 

Each state also has its own state-specific dashboard where, in addition to the new summer numbers, you can view everything from the number of children in an afterschool program to the percentage of children who receive a healthy snack or meal in their program to the percentage of parents who agree that afterschool programs help working families keep their jobs.

Our new summer numbers are complete with a new homepage for all of your America After 3PM needs. The homepage has been redesigned to help you more easily sort through and locate numbers from the original America After 3PM report release, findings from the special report on health and wellness in afterschool, and findings on summer learning programs. There is a wealth of data on the dashboard—find what interests you most!

Happy navigating!

share this link: http://bit.ly/1IJLYLl
learn more about: America After 3PM Summer Learning
Comments: (0)
MAY
22

RESEARCH
email
print

New Harvard Family Research Project commentary: Why student engagement matters

By Nikki Yamashiro

Leave Them Wanting More!: Engaging Youth in Afterschool,” a new commentary out of the Harvard Family Research Project, discusses the importance of youth engagement in students’ learning, relationship building and development, and the vital role afterschool programs play in engaging youth with the learning opportunities around them. The commentary delves into four dimensions of engagement:  1) cognitive engagement, 2) behavioral engagement, 3) social engagement and 4) emotional engagement. The piece not only calls attention to the need to create environments that engage students in these various dimensions, but outlines the many ways afterschool programs are encouraging student engagement. Below are a few examples of steps programs can take and have taken to leave students wanting more:

  • Cognitive engagement: Steps programs can take within this engagement dimension that deals with critical thinking, problem solving, developing new skills and learning new information include offering new activities that youth express an interest in; customizing and scaffolding activities that can facilitate students moving up the learning ladder; and providing encouragement and support to students as they navigate challenging activities and situations.
  • Behavioral engagement: Practices to support behavioral engagement—which refers to the attendance, behavior and participation of students in afterschool programs—include creating an environment where students can have fun and feel safe and relaxed, providing stability through the intentional structuring of the program, and offering a variety of learning experiences—such as field trips and technology training—to grow attendance and participation in programs.
  • Social engagement: Helping youth to feel like part of a community includes designing activities that create meaningful and positive group interactions, offering activities and devices that spur communication and collaboration, and building a sense of community for youth, both within and outside of the afterschool program.
  • Emotional engagement: Emotional engagement, referring to students feeling accepted and appreciated for who they are, can be supported through practices such as encouraging meaningful relationships between program staff and students and providing students leadership roles within the program.

“Leave Them Wanting More!: Engaging Youth in Afterschool” also includes data from Afterschool Alliance’s America After 3PM survey, which finds that parents view afterschool programs not only as a space that keeps their children safe, but also as an enriching learning environment. The commentary is a part of the latest edition of the FINE Newsletter, which you can access on the Harvard Family Research Project’s website.

share this link: http://bit.ly/1LtGHp9
learn more about: America After 3PM
Comments: (0)